Seoul Performing Arts Fest: The World on Stage

Seoul Performing Arts Fest: The World on Stage

Mayvika Narukatpichai

Performing artists from around the world are gearing up for an important annual event, the Seoul Performing Arts Festival (SPAF). Now in its eleventh year, it is one of the most prestigious and kaleidoscopic artistic celebrations in Asia, taking place over four weeks from 5-27 October. One of the most impressive qualities about SPAF seems to be the approach the organising team and committee have towards their art. This is not merely what they do, but also their way of life.

With continuing success each year, the festival has managed to draw more participants from all over the globe. Represented nations at this year’s SPAF include Australia, Italy, France, Romania, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands and Switzerland along with a strong domestic Korean contingent. A performance from France, Closing of Love (Clôture de l'amour) by French director, Pascal Rambert, tackles a big subject; 'Who do we love when we love?' It guarantees intense stagecraft.

Finnish director, Maiji Hirvanen, delivers Our Social Democratic Bodies, a funnily sad or sadly funny piece that asks what is the meaning of ‘we’ in current democratic times? This is an event not to be missed with so much more to offer, from contemporary performances encompassing theatre, dance, mixed-disciplines as well as chorographical approaches to express political issues.

There are 27 performances spread across different venues such as Daehangno Arts Theater, Arko Arts Theater and Dongduk Women’s University of Performing Arts. Daehangno Arts Theater is the venue for participant interactions and CAs (conversation-with-the-artists) to help the audience gain better understanding of a particular piece. SPAF has helped Seoul become a goldmine for the entertainment industry worldwide. It aims at setting an international standard in contemporary performance and commercial entertainment.

For attendees of the festival looking for a close and convenient choice, check out Dongdaemun Hotel, a Best Western affiliated, simply-furnished and comfortable selection. If that is not for you, a little further away from the festival is the 5-star Grand Ambassador Seoul Associated Pullman. Amourex Hotel is a good value-for-money choice, it offers simple and refined accommodation in Seoul.

For more information on the 2012 Seoul Performing Arts Festival, please visit;

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