Russian clown brings a blizzard of fun to Seoul

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Russian clown brings a blizzard of fun to Seoul

Thought you missed out on a lot of snow this winter? Turn those frowns upside down, as the goofy Russian clown Slava Polunin is bringing snowflakes and much more to audiences in Seoul.
What better combination is there than a clown and snow to release the inner jubilant child in even the stiffest adult?
Mr. Polunin’s Snow Show is a mixture of surrealistic fantasy, absurdity and comedy. Its range extends beyond the simple laughter drawn from the satirical performances of a group of clowns often seen at circuses.
The show is whimsical, with the enchantment of a sentimental fantasy, but it also ventures into abysmal despair.
It’s clear that this is a show targeted to audiences who have at least graduated from kindergarten, especially when its nightmarish scenes begin. The clowns may seem like fools, with their playful acts and unnaturally large outfits, but underlying their performance is a poignant depiction of the human condition. Nevertheless, the show’s meaning remains quite ambiguous.
Words seem useless in the Snow Show, but every human emotion, including joy, triumph and melancholy, which is reserved deep within the performers, emerges gently from even the faintest movement.
One particular episode, which gained rave reviews in the troupe’s prior performances here in 2001 and 2003, is a witty scene in which a clown dances with and finally bids farewell to a lover ― which happens to be an overcoat on a hanger ― at a train station.
The audience is involved in the performance as well, as it becomes engulfed by a powerful and ferocious blizzard. And the entire assemblage seems to meld together when the clowns cast a giant spider web from the stage, ensnaring the audience.
Several gigantic balloons also are released, prompting childish merriment in every individual watching the show.
The avant-garde Russian performer made his professional debut in 1988 in the heart of London and won the Time Out Award, London, in 1993 with “Yellow,” the collection of his earlier works that later became the basis for the Snow Show.
Since then, Mr. Polunin has toured North America with the internationally renowned Cirque du Soleil, and he has won other awards, including the Golden Nose in 1995 during the International Clown Festival, and the Glasgow Festival Critics Award in Edinburgh the same year.
Mr. Polunin’s Snow Show will run at the LG Arts Center in Gangnam, southern Seoul, from Feb. 10 to 22.
Showtime is at 8 p.m. on weekdays, with performances at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturdays and 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Sundays. There is no show on Mondays.
Tickets cost from 20,000 ($17) won to 60,000 won. Reservations are available at

by Lee Ho-jeong

For more information, call (02) 2005-0114.
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