Korea-Japan Art Festival Presents Challenging Works

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Korea-Japan Art Festival Presents Challenging Works

Performers from Korea and Japan will hold a festival to promote friendship and understanding between the two countries. It will be the third Korea-Japan Arts Fesival and will take place at Theater Zero, located near Hong-Ik University, from June 1 to June 14. As it is an event involving two countries, a variety of genres of performing arts will be staged, including theatre, dance, music, pantomime, and other performances. The festival is to start with an exorcism ceremony at 7 p.m. on June 1, in front of Hong-Ik University. Participants will celebrate the beginning of the festival by drinking makkoli (raw rice wine) and enjoying the primitive force of life as expressed through the traditional shamanistic rite. The idea is to forget the stresses of everyday life and give way to the exhilirating music and dance, even if just for a short while.

Participating Korean artists will include Lee Hye-kyung, an initiate of the West Sea fishermens' ceremony to wish for a good catch at sea, popular rock band Uuboo Project, performance artist Kim Baek-ki, and traditional Korean dancers Lee Sun and Seo Kyung-sun. On the Japanese side some ten dancers from the Buto (contemporary Japanese dance) team of Isikawa Masatora, who have skillfully assimilated Western dance into their own style, are to perform a particularly exciting piece.

The schedule is also full of events. On June 1 and 2, head of the Kongju folk play museum, Sim Wu-sung, will be performing "Marriage Exorcism," a one-man play in which the souls of a man and a woman who died young are united, and Sim Chol-jong representative of Theater Zero will perform the short play "Endgame" by Samuel Beckett.

On June 3 and 4, Kang Tae-hwan will present the world of oriental meditation through an alto saxophone performance, and Noh Jin-hwan is to perform his modern dance. On the 6 and 7, Korea's first generation mime artist Yu Jin-kyu, traditional Korean dancer Oh Eun-hee, and the Sinobume Buto team, comprising three females dancers, will be on stage.

Sim Chul-jong, artistic director for the festival, says, "Conservative Korean audiences will be shocked by many of the experimental works." He added, "We will make a selection from among the participating Korean artists and promote a performance in Japan next year."

by Park Jung-ho

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