London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Korea Calling at the Thames Festival 2011

Korea returns to the Thames Festival this year (10-11 September) with a range of entertainments. The Taekwondo demonstrations are always popular, plus this year there’s the Sookmyung Gayageum Orchestra. If you’ve ever heard a Beatles number performed on massed Gayageums, you were probably listening to these ladies. They’ve also been known to accompany B-boys, which is always good to watch. And from the Edinburgh Fringe, where they deservedly got 5 star reviews comes Babbling Comedy. Clowning doesn’t get much better than this.

Sookmyung Gayageum Orchestra
Sookmyung Gayageum Orchestra

This year the Korean Village is near the OXO Tower, and will include information stalls from different parts of the peninsula. Pushing their campaign to be included in the final New 7 Wonders of the World will be Jeju Island. Also there will be Yeosu, giving some advance publicity of their World Expo next Year. And the stall I’ll be at: Sancheong County, a beautiful but little-known tourist destination at the foot of Jiri Mountain, famous for the best herbal medicine in Korea. In 2013 they will be hosting an international exhibition honouring the definitive encyclopaedia of Oriental Medicine, the Donguibogam (published 400 years ago). They will be promoting their festival, their expertise in traditional medicine, and some of the tourist destinations in their County.

The full programme for Korea’s participation in the Thames Festival is set out below:

Korea Calling: Thames Festival poster

Returning to the Festival for a 5th year, the Korean Cultural Centre UK present Korea Calling, a celebration of Korean culture. Korea Calling is a family event and includes a whole host of activities and workshops for children of all ages

Sookmyung Gayageum Orchestra
Saturday 1.30pm; Sunday 1.30pm & 6.30pm
The first of its kind for blending traditional Korean instrumentation with cross-cultural twists – expect Korean and world folk songs, with classical and contemporary European re-workings. Also, expect a B-boy.

Babbling Comedy – Perfordian Factory
Saturday & Sunday 2.30pm
Fresh from performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Perfordian Factory from South Korea reveals an amazing show that embraces clowning, mime, magic, juggling and beat-box.

Taekwondo – Kukkiwon Demonstration Team
Saturday & Sunday 12 noon & 5.30pm
The Korean martial art of Taekwondo is arguably the country’s best known cultural export, and Kukkiwon is one of Korea’s premiere demonstration teams.

Moby Duck: Bong-SoonMoby Duck Bong Soon (A Windy Tale)
Saturday & Sunday 4pm
In a unique collaboration, UK-based Moby Duck theatre group have teamed up with Korea’s best known children’s theatre group, Sadari Theatre, to produce this combination of storytelling, live music, puppetry and wild, exuberant Korean humour.

Silent Film: Crossroads of Youth
Saturday 8pm
Crossroads of Youth (1934), by director Ahn Jong-hwa, is the oldest Korean film in existence, and one of only two surviving Korean silent films. It brings to life a bygone era of early Korean cinema by means of a byunsa who provides live narration alongside live musical accompaniment.

Saturday 6.30pm
Our open-air K-Pop summer party is an awesome opportunity for K-pop fans to strut their stuff on stage amongst fellow K-poppers to hits spun by our DJ.

Also featuring:

  • Taste of Korea: Dr Yoon Sook-ja spreads the delicious flavours of Korea
  • Kimchi Cult: East meets West in a kimchi burger bun. Yum.
  • Sancheong County: Mountains, pure rivers and home of Korea’s traditional herbal medicine
  • Yeosu: Picturesque port city and host of the 2012 World Expo
  • Jeju Island: Shortlist for New7Wonders of Nature

Workshop Programme
(Saturday & Sunday)

1pm Taekwondo open workshop
2.30pm Sookmyung Gayageum Orchestra open workshop with traditional instruments
3.30pm Juggling Workshop
5pm Story-telling and Puppetry open workshops
6:30pm Taekwondo open workshop
7.30pm (Sun only) Sookmyung Gayageum Orchestra open workshop with traditional instruments

As in previous years, there’s a separate programme of family oriented events at the KCC all weekend. The highlight is always Sef Townsend’s storytelling sessions.


(automatically generated) Read LKL’s review of this event here.

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