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Busan performing arts fest kicks off with 41 productions from home and abroad

By No Kyung-min

Published : June 2, 2023 - 17:26

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Yllana Production's Yllana Production's "Maestrissimo" (BIPAF Organizing Committee)

The 20th Busan International Performing Arts Festival kicked off in Busan on Friday with 41 productions by artists from 11 countries presenting their work over the 17-day festival.

A special performance titled "1945," presented by theater company Dongnyok, will be staged at Busan Citizen's Hall from Friday to Sunday. "1945" tells the story of forgotten individuals who embark on a return journey to Korea after the country’s independence from Japanese colonial rule in 1945.

The official opening performance of the festival, "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by theater company Sadari Movement Laboratory, will be staged June 9-10. The production presents a stage rendition that combines elements of "talchum" -- a traditional Korean mask dance -- with those of Italian commedia dell'arte.

The Spanish theater troupe Yllana Production will close the festival with a performance of "Maestrissimo" -- a show that’s halfway between a chamber concert and satirical comedy -- from June 16 to 18. “Maestrissimo” addresses social issues and reflects on epochal moments in the history of classical music.

Both shows will be staged at Busan Cinema Center.

The festival also offers interactive programs such as Dynamic Street Fringe, artist talks and master classes. These programs aim to engage visitors in various forms of theatrical presentations, foster a communicative platform for discussing performing arts, and delve into theatrical principles and aesthetic compositions.

Other stage productions from abroad include "Manu or The Illusion of Time" from Colombia; "Rooman" performed by artists from Australia, Britain and Italy; and "The Nature of Forgetting" featuring artists from Britain, Iceland and Brazil.

The festival is organized by the BIPAF Organizing Committee, Busan Cinema Center and the Busan city government.