6th Daegu Int'l Musical Festival to start next week
By Kwon Mee-yoo
The sixth Daegu International Musical Festival (DIMF) will heat up the southeastern city of Daegu with musical performances from five countries from June 15 to July 9.
Beginning in 2006, the DIMF is one of the biggest musical theater festivals in Korea. The festival aims to bridge musical creators and market by supporting homegrown works.
“We invited more musicals and increased subsidiary events to enhance the quality of the festival. We are getting closer to our aim of becoming the best musical festival in Asia,” Kang Shin Sung-il, director of the DIMF, said in a statement. “We tried to discover more homegrown works than expensive licensed ones and young aspiring talent and established theater stars.”
The DIMF signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) last year and the two festivals have strengthened ties. The NYMF, usually held in September, moved up its schedule to July to highlight the connection between the two. The Daegu festival also plans to bring the winning homegrown work to the New York one as well.
“Arirang Fantasy,” a local musical reflecting Korean multicultural society, has been chosen for the opening of this year’s DIMF on June 16-18. Musical divas Choi Jung-won and Hong Ji-min will take the lead role.
Musical “Turandot,” a musical version of the famed opera of the same name, will be performed from June 26 to July 1. Other local musicals “Looking for Family” (June 29-July 1) and “Sherlock Holmes: Secret of the Anderson Family” (June 28-July 1) are also invited.
From July 6 to 8, “Central Avenue Breakdown,” a musical full of jazz music from swing to bebop, which swept the United States in the 1930s, will be staged. The performance won five awards at the 2011 NYMF.
Acronote Company from France will present “Jongle-Jingle-Jangle,” a musical combining physical dance, hip-hop and tap dance on June 16 and 17. “Holstomer” of Russia is based on the namesake novel written by Leo Tolstoy on July 6 to 8. The musical employs gypsy-like music to stage the life of a horse. Chinese musical “Fallen Bridge” will close the festival on July 7.
The DIMF also puts effort in nurturing new musicals. “Special Letter” and “Looking for Family,” both premiered as a part of the DIMF, are now performed in Seoul and “Bungee Jumping of Their Own,” another DIMF selection, is waiting for its Seoul run in July.
For this year’s DIMF Grantee Premiere Homegrown Musicals, “A Scoop of My Life,” “Saem,” “Fly, Mrs. Park,” “Jugeuri Useuri” and “Deja vu” will be staged.
“Gwanghwamun Younga” and “Underneath Memory” will also participate in the festival.
“Daegu is a city with few tourist attractions and DIMF was held in the city’s aim to become a performing arts city like Edinburgh, Scotland,” a DIMF official said.
Tickets are available at Interpark Ticket (ticket.interpark.com). For more information about the festival, visit www.dimf.or.kr or call (053) 622-1945. A foreign language version of the website, including English, Japanese and Chinese, is not ready yet as of Sunday.