Saturday, May 23, 2009

2009 Chuncheon International Mime Festival May 24-31

Julianne and I were thinking about going to check out the Chuncheon International Mime Festival as it opens today but after doing some research on the Net it looks like most of the real events take place during week days and/or evenings in theaters . . .

The mime festival website for 2009 says the opening ceremony is from 1-5pm in front of the M department store in downtown Myeongdong. Julianne and I will go check this out, but I suspect that the weekday events are not going to be possible--we might get to go to one or two evening events but we'll have to see how the week goes. As for during the week days Julianne is chained to her public school desk, and I'm also at work too.

From the mime festival website,

"The Opening Performance on Sunday takes place in busy downtown location, with a special production combining guest artists from the festival with other invited performers. Our goal is to transform daily working space into a festival environment where fantasy and audience participation are encouraged."

The mime festival website is almost entirely useless . . . when I clicked on Festival Information I got to see "Enjoy the Chuncheon"--that's it. The history of the festival webpage has some information and is actually all in English. The Performance Program has little descriptions in English of each event but lacks info about times and places. The Fringe part of the festival line up looks like there are some cool performers . . . but again there are no times or locations. The Experience Program is entirely written in Korean . . .

The 'best' part of the "English" website for this INTERNATIONAL festival is the "Calendar and Tickets" and "Map" webpages . . . they're all in Korean which is so useful for tourists and foreigners who don't have high enough Korean language reading skills to decipher the info.

Lastly there is a tab on the website titled CIMF 2009 that leads to information for about the "Activating Critical Writing for Interdisciplinary Arts and Building a Network" (uhm, okay, and this is ...?) event that will take place on May 25 from 12-6pm though whether this will be held in English (very likely NOT) is not specified.

The photogallery on the mime festival website has a few interesting pics (look at pages 4 and 5 for the better pics).

Art'n'about in Korea blog has a post they wrote, 2009 Chuncheon International Mime Festival May 24-31, with info.

Another website called,
KadmusArts - travel the world of dance, music, theatre festivals

has some info too. It gives a brief description and history of the festival,

Festival Story:

The Chuncheon International Mime Festival (CIMF) is an annual performing arts festival focusing on contemporary mime, physical, movement, object and visual theatre, street theatre, installation performance, and site-specific performance. The CIMF is a unique Asian contemporary visual theatre festival, in which the artists utilize physical expressions and gestures as well as show new and experimental performances. The CIMF started out as the first Korea Mime Festival in 1989, and has developed into an international festival. Many mime groups from Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Switzerland, Thailand, the Netherlands, the U.S.A. and Korea have participated in the CIMF since 1994. The CIMF, which will present its 18th festival in 2006, has been recognized as an Excellent Culture and Tour Festival, and honored as one of the best Korean Festivals for 6 years in a row since 2001 by the The CIMF is the headquarters of the Asia Mime Federation founded in 2002, which is a network organization for Asian mime and related artists to develop Asian mime, to exchange artistic information between Asian countries, and to promote Asian traditional movement. The CIMF is a full member of Association of Asian Performing Arts Festivals which aims to foster understanding, exchange and co-operation among Asian festivals within the fields of artistic direction, marketing, touring and operational and administrative planning.

The Korea Times has an article about the festival too: Chuncheon Mime Festival Ready to Heat Up. Perhaps more importantly this article includes TIMES, DATES, and LOCATIONS in English.

"The festival also offers up some co-productions, with companies joining forces for spectacular results. These include "Blik" by Korea's Homo Ludens Company and France's The Company Monsieur et Madame O at 7 p.m. on May 28 to 29, at Chuncheon Culture & Art Center, ``Maids'' by Korea's Sadari Movement Lab and the Macao Cultural Center at 9 p.m. on May 25-26 at Bomnae Theatre, and "Why Not" by Fringe Mime and Movement Lab, two groups from Hong Kong at 10:30 p.m. on May 27-28 at Mime House.

This year's festival also presents various events for visitors. ``Ah! Surajang'' on May 25 in downtown Chuncheon will change ordinary city spaces into spots of art and fun. In a venue called Udamari on Goseumdochi Island, visitors can look forward to enthusiastic all-night performances and events. "

Unfortunately it looks like some of the more interesting events will be held outside of downtown Myeongdong in Chuncheon. I've never been to Goseumdochi Island--maybe Julianne and I will try to head out there . . .

I'll finish up this post with this write up on the festival by Kim So Eun on the Korea Sparkling website,

Energy, Vitality and Movement - The 2009 Chuncheon International Mime Festival (May 24—31)
This May, the picturesque city of Chuncheon in Gangwon
-do will provide the backdrop for a festival showcasing the
bewitching movements of mime with an international
flavor. The 2009 Chuncheon International Mime Festival is
an eight-day extravaganza that runs from May 24 to 31,
featuring some truly striking examples of this physical art
form. The event started out in 1989 as the Korean Mime
Festival, before opening its cultural doors to foreign mime
companies in 1995 to become the Chuncheon International
Mime Festival. This year's festivities mark the twentieth
installment since 1989,presented by the Korean Mime Council and
Chuncheon MBC, as well as the Chuncheon International Mime
Festival itself, and organized by the Mime Festival Committee.
Around 90 Korean mime companies and performing teams and 10
foreign troupes from Russia, France, Australia, Macao, Hong Kong
and Japan will be performing their mime movements in seven different
venues in Chuncheon.
These modern artistic festivities will feature various types of performance
based on body movements and artistic images, such as contemporary
mime, physical theater, movement theater, visual theater, street theater,
installation performance and site-specific theater.
Moreover, it is a festival for everyone — from families on an outing together to dedicated performance enthusiasts, from children and their parents to hip youngsters who want to hang out all night long.

★ Main Performances

Main PerformancesAmong the performances visitors can enjoy is Black Sky White’s “Astronomy for Insects” (Mon & Tue, 7pm at Chuncheon Culture & Art Center), win ner of the Herald Angel Award at the 2007 Edinburgh Festival. This is a masterpiece of total theater with acting, music, background settings and costumes that fit together perfectly. It can be a story of the small crack on the wall, the secret door to another world, indefinitely closed windows and doors, or the length of the road from the middle to the outskirts of the city. Family visitors with children should try “Cookie Cutter and Friends” (Mon—Thu, 11am at Chuncheon Puppet Theatre) by Australia’s Men of Steel. The show features three mad chefs contending with animated food in the kitchen — exploding popcorn and a forest of broccoli crashing down around them. The Cookie Cutter chefs must fight against a watermelon and flee from aggressive popcorn. This performance has met with great success, with a sold out show at the Adelaide Fringe 2008, and was selected by “Time Out London” as one of seven must-see performances for children in 2007. The festival also offers up some co-productions, with companies joining forces for spectacular results. These include “Blik” (Thu & Fri, 7pm at Chuncheon Culture & Art Center) by Korea’s Homo Ludens Company and France’s The Company Monsieur et Madame O, “Maids” (Mon & Tue, 9pm at Bomnae Theatre) by Korea’s Sadari Movement Lab and the Macao Cultural Centre, and “Why Not” (Wed & Thu, 10:30pm at Mime House) by Fringe Mime and Movement Lab, two groups from Hong Kong. And these represent only a small taste of the many worthwhile performances on offer.
★ Festival Events

Festival EventsThe first day of festival will witness ordinary city spaces transforming into spots of art, fun and nanjang (“turmoil” in Korean), thanks to an event called “Ah! Surajang” (Mon, 12pm—5pm). During this event, a myriad of street performances and fun activities will be taking place in downtown Chuncheon, near Brown 5-ga and M Department Store, starting at noon. The water-themed “Ah! Surajang” event will provide a great feast of festivities, gathering performers, staff and volunteer workers together with visitors from Korea and overseas. As the week goes on, visitors can look forward to enthusiastic all-night performances and events taking place in a venue called Udamari on Goseumdochi Island. “Friday Madness” (Fri, 11pm) will present a party for artistic types and festival lovers in an open space where they can freely express their artistic sense. On offer will be a variety of performances, with dancing, video clips, music, and acts. Everyone in the “Ah! Surajang” is welcome to hang out, regardless of age, nationality or social status. The Udamari will be hosting another all-night party on Saturday, the “Dokkaebi Nanjang” (11pm). In this event, participants will have the opportunity to leave reality behind and enjoy a more creative type of art festival. In addition to these main events, the festival will also be featuring small activities in which visitors can take part, including a street performance directing workshop and the Jungang-ro conducting program.
● Getting There
The best way to get to Chuncheon is by Korail, enjoying the nice view from the train. Take the Gyeongchun Line and disembark at Namchuncheon Station. (Chuncheon Station, the nearest station to the venue, is currently under construction.) It takes about two hours to travel from Seoul’s Cheongnyangni Station to Namchuncheon Station. You can also take an express bus from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal — it takes a little under two hours to get from Seoul to Chuncheon this way. For more information, visit, or call (033) 242-0585.
Written by Kim So Eun
Photographs courtesy of
Chuncheon International Mime Festival
The Article Courtesy of Seoul Magazine

1 comment:

Paul Ajosshi said...

I have to agree, the Chuncheon Mime Festival website is terrible. The English pages are fairly useless, but even the Korean pages don't contain enough information. My wife and I have spent a fair amount of time on the phone and searching through google maps to find out where today's performances are being held.

Finally got the information though and looking forward to watching Astronomy for Insects and The Maids tonight!

Hope you manage to see some good shows. I recommend Australia's Men of Steel, they're mostly on in the mornings, but you can catch them at the Bomnae Theatre at 9.00 on Thursday night. Really silly, really funny and a great use of household kitchen implements.