Craziness and silence coming to Chuncheon

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Craziness and silence coming to Chuncheon

Chuncheon will be hosting a cultural festival next week that should prove wacky and remarkably quiet at the same time.
From Monday through the following Sunday, the city in Gangwon province hosts the 17th Chuncheon International Mime Festival, featuring more than 80 mime companies from 10 foreign countries, including Germany, Belgium, England, Canada and Japan. They’ll be performing indoors, outdoors and even on the streets.
This weekend in Chuncheon, the festival’s host, the Chuncheon Mime House, will offer two previews of the festival. There will be an outdoor performance in Okcheon-dong Saturday, and a street performance in Myeong-dong (in Chuncheon, not the one in Seoul) Sunday by some amateur mimes and a farmers’ folk band.
The festival itself will include events at which audiences can participate, such as Dokkebi Nanzang (which can be roughly translated as “goblin party”), the World Mime Conference and a professional mime workshop.
In total, more than 100 performances will be held in Chuncheon, at the Mime House, the Bomnae Theatre, the Doll Theatre, Chuncheon Arts Center, the Goseumdochi Seom theater and Hallym University.
Wednesday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., there will be a range of performances aimed at children at various locations, including “Architects of Air,” performed by a British mime company at Goseumdochi Seom (whose name means “porcupine island”). British mimes will be especially prevalent at this year’s festival.
The climax of the festival, however, will be the night of Saturday the 28th. Under the title “Goseumdochi Seom Dokkebi Nanzang,” various events will continue all night long and into the early morning. An event called “Dagachi Dolja Seom Hanbakwi” (“let’s go around the island”) will see visitors, performers and festival staff mingling together. A chaotic mixture of mime, visual images and dances will be going on, performed by more than 20 performing teams. Lee We-su, a well-known novelist, is scheduled to lead an all-night performance.
For those who are mainly interested in the climactic final night, there is a festival-sponsored train package called “Dokkebi Yeolcha” (“goblin trolley”), which leaves Cheongnyangni Station at 3 p.m. Saturday the 28th. Passengers be warned: Mimes will be on board, armed with balloons and other implements of their craft.
After the train arrives at Chuncheon, the passengers will see “Swan Lake,” performed by The Primitives, a Belgian mime group, and a comic performance, “The Blue Barrel Show,” by a Canadian troupe known as BAM.
After those two performances, passengers can join the all-night party and come back to Seoul on Sunday afternoon. For more information, call (033) 242-0585.

by Choi Sun-young
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