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Enjoy midsummer performances and puppetry in Chuncheon
  Date: July 28, 2009  

  
It’s already midsummer in Korea with hot, humid weather driving you to the beach or mountains for summertime fun.

But those who have not decided where to go to and want to spend their vacations on a limited budget, Chuncheon, a lake city in Gangwon-do (province), can be a great place to make an unforgettable summertime memory, especially this August.

Two popular festivals, the Chuncheon Arts Festival and the Puppet Festival Chuncheon, will amuse their visitors with nights full of romantic and artistic experiences in a variety of genres.

Known as the center of outdoor creative art performances in Korea, the eighth Chuncheon Arts Festival will be held from August 5 for four days at Chuncheon City Children’s Hall. The theme is “Chuncheon, Embracing Artists,” and new and rising artists will put on colorful programs and events, including dance, music and photo exhibitions.

Among the many invited artists, a jazz band named the Kang Sun-ah Quartet, an R&B group called the Kanghur Dalim Band, well-known guitarist Kim Gwang-seok, the holder of the Miryang Baekjung Nori (Important Intangible Cultural Asset No. 68) Ha Yong-bu, dance company UBINDance and freelance dancer Park Hwa-gyeong, will present performances of artistic rhythms and moves in a variety of genres ranging from traditional dance to modern choreography, accompanied by music from Korean traditional tunes and jazz to R&B melodies.

Ha Yong-buDuring the festival period, the Chuncheon Arts Festival will present interesting workshops, such as a dance workshop by dancer Park Hwa-gyeong and a guitar workshop with guitarist Kim Kwang-seok and also a camp for children called “The DoBe Art Camp,” scheduled to take place at the festival venue from Aug. 6-8.

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If you are a doll-lover or a fan of puppetry, the Puppet Festival Chuncheon is a must-see event. The annual Puppet Festival Chuncheon will kick off on August 11 for six days in the streets and theaters of the city. Since 1989, when the festival first took place, it has been recognized as an important event in the puppeteer community. Over 70 troupes from in and outside the country, including six troupes from Australia, France, Japan and the United States, are invited to join the event this year. The admission fee is 2,000 won.

Puppet Festival Chuncheon (photo: Yonhap News)On Aug. 13, the Japanese puppetry troupe “Triangle” will present “Four Seasons” at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the grand theater of the Chuncheon Puppet Theater, where performers will show put on creative shows to represent the four seasons by using a lot of colorful triangle shapes.

French puppeteer Barbara Melois will perform “Diaphnie” on Aug. 15 at 12:30, 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. at the same theater. It is also where Czech singer and marionettist Pavel Vangeli will show “Swinging Marionette” on Aug. 16 at 12:30, 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. Melois will create a stained glass-like fantastic world of fairytales by using colorful cellophane paper, while Vangeli will play swing music, and show his masterful skills at marionette performances.

Among the Korean puppet troupes, Seesaw will perform “Samnyeon-gogae” on Aug. 14 at 12:30, 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. at Chuncheon Puppet Theater. This performance, first staged in 2003, is based on a Korean traditional fairytale and is designed to show the unique humor and sentiment that fills Koreans’ lives.

Click here to know more about how to get to Chuncheon. For general travel enquiries, call Korea Travel Phone 02-1330 (English, Chinese, Japanese language assistance available around the clock).

By Yoon Sojung
Korea.net Staff Writer

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