The Mayor’s Thames Festival: Korea Calling

Date: Sat 10 Sept and Sun 11 Sept 2011
Venue: The Mayor’s Thames Festival, Next to the Oxo Tower, London
Entrance: free

‘Korea Calling’ is delighted to introduce the crème de la crème of contemporary Korean culture at the 2011 Mayor’s Thames Festival.

We have an exciting programme of hand selected performances and film all of which is complimented by the tantalising delights of Korean cuisine. There’s even a chance to party at our exclusive K-Pop Night on the Saturday.

This all day event also includes a whole host of activities for children of all ages.

On the 10 and 11 September 2011, ‘Korea Calling’ brings together a programme of theatre, comedy, film and music from some of Korea’s most talented performers. We are also pleased to welcome Korea’s premier Taekwondo display team from the HQ of this martial art, the Kukkiwon Taekwondo Demonstration Team. Each event is also accompanied by a free workshop where you can learn more about the performers and take part.

What’s on at ‘Korea Calling’ at The Mayor’s Thames Festival 2011

Saturday 10th September 2011
12 pm – Kukkiwon Taekwondo Team
1:30 pm – Sookmyung Gayageum Orchestra
2:30 pm – Perfordian Factory: Babbling Comedy
4 pm – Moby Duck Theatre: Bong Soon- A Windy Tale
5:30 pm – Kukkiwon Taekwondo Team
6:30 pm – K-Pop Summer Party
8 pm – Silent film with live accompaniment: Crossroads of Youth

Sunday 11th September 2011
12 pm – Kukkiwon Taekwondo Team
1:30 pm – Sookmyung Gayageum Orchestra
2:30 pm – Perfordian Factory: Babbling Comedy
4 pm – Moby Duck Theatre: Bong Soon- A Windy Tale
5:30 – pm Kukkiwon Taekwondo Team
6:30 – pm Sookmyung Gayageum Orchestra

Accompanying Workshops after each Performance

Saturday 10th September
1 pm – Taekwondo Workshop
2:30 – pm Traditional Korean instrument experience
3:30 – pm Juggling Workshop
5 pm – Story Making Workshops
6:30 – pm Taekwondo Workshop

Sunday 11th September
1 pm – Taekwondo Workshop
2:30 – pm Traditional Korean instrument experience
3:30 – pm Juggling Workshop
5 pm – Story Making Workshops
6:30 – pm Taekwondo Workshop
7:30 –  pm Traditional Korean instrument experience

Korea Calling: the Performers

The Kukkiwon Taekwondo Demonstration Team
Promoting what is arguably Korea’s best known cultural export will be the ‘Kukkiwon Taekwondo Team.’

Established in 1974, the team functions as a diplomatic corps that is committed to globalizing Taekwondo culture. Taekwondo students and instructors with at least 5th Dan competency make up the team of 70, who take part in global demonstration tours as well as perform regular demonstrations to international visitors in Korea. The ‘Kukkiwon Taekwondo Team’ will display just how impressive the art of Taekwondo is, as a sport, a means of self defence and a means of self discipline. Taekwondo workshops will also be provided by the team throughout the weekend.

The Sookmyung Gayageum Orchestra plus Special Guest
The ‘Sookmyung Gayageum Orchestra’ will perform their blend of traditional Korean music with contemporary, cross-cultural twists at Korea Calling and will bring our Festival to a close on Sunday 11th.

The internationally acclaimed orchestra is comprised of up to 24 Gayageums; Korea’s most revered traditional instrument, and is accompanied by various Korean and Western percussion instruments.

The ensemble boasts an unconventional yet inspirational repertoire, which transcends time and cultures. It includes interpretations of Cheongak songs favoured by Korea’s Joseon Dynasty literati, contemporary Korean compositions, and arrangements of Russian, South American and Japanese folk songs. The West is represented in re-workings of both Classical and Beatles compositions.

In 2006, the ‘Sookmyung Gayageum Orchestra’ took their innovative spirit to the next level by taking part in an unprecedented collaboration with a B-Boy dance troupe. This concert will include performances by a B-Boy, who will display his impressive popping techniques throughout. ‘Sookmyung Gayageum Orchestra’ will provide traditional Korean instrument experience workshops for the duration of the festival.

Perfordian Factory: Babbling Comedy
‘Perfordian Factory’ have been exploring the ingenious performance genre of non-verbal comedy since 2007, which uses a combination of mime, magic, clowning and music.

They will be visiting London after performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for the second consecutive year, and as part of a world tour encompassing Japan, China, Europe and the UK. After enjoying 5 star reviews at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, their new show, Babbling Comedy, promises to delight UK audiences once again with their madcap style of performance.

Moby Duck Theatre: Bong Soon- A Windy Tale
In a unique collaboration, the UK based ‘Moby Duck’ theatre group have teamed up with Korea’s popular children’s theatre group, ‘Sadari Theatre,’ to produce their own version of one of Korea’s best loved children’s stories, ‘Bong Soon: A Windy Tale.’

Combining storytelling, live music and puppetry with exuberant humour, the English language version has already played to sold-out houses in Seoul. The English language version of this Korean tale promises to be just as popular.

Korea Calling’s K-Pop Night!
One of the highlights of our programme is our K-Pop Night which will take place on Saturday at 6:30pm. In a celebration of the rise of Korean pop music, the KCCUK’s regular K-Pop Night will hit our open air stage at the Thames Festival, offering guests the chance to dance the night away to the hottest K-Pop tracks spun by a live DJ.

Our K-Pop nights began in February 2011 and have been extremely popular with UK K-Pop fans ever since, seeing 600 people through the doors each night. If you haven’t already been to one of our super fun events, now’s your chance to get involved. For the duration of the weekend, a K-Pop marquee will give visitors the chance to find out more about the music craze that’s currently sweeping the globe. We will also have an exclusive Noraebang (Singing Room) Experience for those brave enough to sing their favourite K-Pop tracks over the mic with a friend.

Silent film with live accompaniment: Crossroads of Youth
‘Crossroads of Youth,’ (1934) by director Ahn Jong-hwa is the oldest Korean film in existence, as well as one of two of the country’s surviving silent films. This recently rediscovered masterwork tells the story of characters whose paths intertwine against the backdrop of Seoul in a tragic comment on the modernisation of Korea.

The ‘Korea Calling’ screening of ‘Crossroads of Youth’ will bring to life a bygone era of early Korean cinema by means of live accompaniment. In a UK first, a ‘byunsa’ will provide narration alongside live musical performances. Providing an unabashed snapshot of a rapidly modernizing Korea as originally experienced by Korean cinema-goers in the 1930’s, this film guarantees to both fascinate and captivate audiences

Discover more about Korea and Korean food at ‘Korea Calling’

Tantalising treats in both traditional and contemporary fusion form will be on offer. Legendary chef Sook-Ja Yoon, founder of the Institute of Traditional Korean Food will be joining us all the way from Korea. Yoon is dedicated to preserving culinary traditions and promoting the rustic yet delicately balanced flavours of her native country. Yoon’s reputation as an authority on Korean cuisine has led to her appearance at numerous international food events, including the Korean Food Festival at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, our very own Mayor’s Thames Festival in 2009 and food exhibitions in Paris, Tokyo and Germany. It’s with great pleasure that we welcome one of Korea’s champion culinary artists back to The Thames Festival in 2011 where she will be dishing up samples of Korea’s finest fare.

Representing the growing global trend for Korean fusion food will be London's very own Kimchi Cult. Kimchi Cult blend traditional hot, sweet, salty and sour Korean flavours with popular western-style fast-food such as burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs and French fries in a combination that’s proving a hit with the UK public and Koreans alike. Kimchi Cult will be serving their kimchi burgers exclusively for the duration of the weekend.

There will also be opportunities to find out more about Korea’s premier holiday destination Jeju Island, the city of Sancheong; host of the World Traditional Medecine Expo 2013, and the port city of Yeosu; the site of the marine focussed Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea. The Korea Tourism Organisation and Korea Creative Content Agency will also be on hand to answer any queries you may have.

Further Family Events at the KCC during the Festival Weekend

Meanwhile, there will be family events for children at the Korean Cultural Centre UK (KCC) during the Thames Festival Sat 10-11 Sept. 11.00 -17.00. Events will include screening popular animation, storytelling for children, board games, children’s craft workshops, as well as a chance to sample some delicious Korean food.

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