Rush Ticket

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Hanboks and High Class Tea

Having kicked off earlier this month, the 7th annual Korea in Motion Festival is once again showcasing the very best nonverbal performances the country has to offer. The lineup this year is fantastic, with shows including genres of dance, traditional culture, music, comedy, and action. For the month of September, theater enthusiasts can see Seoul's top performances for up to 50% off the normal ticket price. Schedules and prices can be found at the KOINMO website and tickets can be purchased at the Korea Tourism Organization building located on the Cheongyechon in downtown Seoul.

As part of the promotion, I was one of the KTO's K-performance supporters invited to attend MiSuDa, one of the showcased performances of the festival. As it turned out, it was more of a cultural experience than a performance, but I was excited to be there regardless.

Pungnyu at the Palace

Korea wasn't always an incredibly modern, high tech, "bbali, bbali" ("hurry, hurry") country. In fact, back in the day before it was a nation of Samsung and skyscrapers, its residents preferred a simpler, slower paced lifestyle.

I remember when this fact was first brought to my attention last year. I was walking with a Korean friend amongst the trees on Namsan Mountain. The leaves were beginning to change colors and an early autumn wind blew up the trail on which we were walking. We sat down on a traditional wooden gazebo like the ones that are commonly found in parks and outdoor resting places throughout Korea. As I was taking in the scenery, my friend informed me that gazebos like the one we were resting on were originally used by the royal and noble classes of the former dynasties. There, they would recite poetry, drink tea (and alcohol, I'm sure), play music, and dance all the while having a 360 degree view of the environment surrounding them.

Wedding, the Musical

Last week, I had the privilege of attending a rather bizarre wedding that featured father-of-the-bride drunkenness, a rock-n-roll twist-off, and a gay stripper. OK, so it wasn't a real wedding, but rather the latest non-verbal performance to hit the stage of the PMC 대학로 자유극장 theater in Hyehwa-dong.

I was happy to be on yet another blogging mission from the Korea Tourism Organization heading to Hyehwa last week after work. Hyehwa is Seoul's theater district and though I frequent the area, it isn't often that I go there to see plays. Most of the performances held in the district are in Korean, so it was exciting to be heading there for a musical. After locating the PMC venue, I took my seat in the musty-smelling theater and admired the cheesy set, seemingly straight out of The Wedding Planner. I didn't know what to expect but had a feeling it was going to be an interesting hour or two.

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