Music, plays and kung fu in the great outdoorsGyeonggi province is providing a rare opportunity for visitors to enjoy a series of outdoor performances of foreign plays, live music and shows in one of the most popular vacation spots in the province.
Beginning today, the first International Open-air Arts Festival will kick off in Yangsu-ri, Yangpyeong county, which is famous for its scenic views, along with cozy cafes and campgrounds along the provincial highway.
A total of 54 domestic and foreign performances ― most of them free of charge ― will be showcased during the five-day event.
One of the shows you should not miss is the kung fu stunt show by the Songshan Shaolin Wushu training academy from China. This is the first time that these martial arts-trained monks from the Shaolin temple are appearing in Korea.
Starting today and throughout the weekend, the monks will perform a total of three times on an outdoor stage set up near the Yangseo Culture Physical Education Park, where most of the events will be held.
They will demonstrate a few of their famous moves, such as the “snake” movement, in which a martial arts fighter moves evasively around like a snake, waiting for a chance to launch a surprise attack on his opponent. The performances are free.
A famous Japanese dance troupe called Shinjuku Yang San-bak will also be appearing in Korea for the first time. The “tent” dance company will build its own stage in a tent to perform a play called “A Son of the Wind.”
The organizers explained that the highlight of the play is when the tent, or the portion that comprises a wall of the stage, is torn down to the floor as part of a special effect at the end of the show. Tickets cost 15,000 won ($15).
A famous Korean musical will also be staged during the event. The three-hour show, called “The Bride of May,” depicts the tragic story of a young couple who marry during the Gwangju massacre in May 1980. Audience members must be at least 18 years old.
The dozens of other events include performances by a traditional music band as well as some Western shows, including ballet and mime shows by “Miss Take,” a Canadian mime.
by Lee Min-a
To get to Yangsu-ri, it’s a 40 minute train ride from Cheongnyangni station to Yangsu-ri station. By car, take the no. 6 state road to Yangpyeong county, cross the Yangsu Bridge and take the Yangsu-ri exit. For more information, call 031-592-5993 or visit. www.iaof.or.kr.