47 Troupes Participate in Keochang Int? Festival of Theatre
47 Troupes Participate in Keochang Int? Festival of Theatre
  • Oh Nam-seok
  • 승인 2007.07.26 15:05
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Have you ever heard of the Keochang International Festival of Theatre (KIFT)? This year, the 18th KIFT opened on July 28th and ran until August 16 at Suseungdae, Wicheon-myon, Keochang-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do. Under the slogan "My inner passion draws the world", forty-seven teams around the world participated in the festival to express their love and passion for 'nature, human, and theatre'. KIFT has grown one of best theatre festivals in Korea, combining a local festival with drama performances. Spectators can take a rest in a cool shadow of the scenic mountain valley and also watch performances in indoor and outdoor theaters. Although Keochang is a small county, there is a sufficient reason why the festival has grown to be famous. Thanks to the pleasant natural environment, it is the best place to act and enjoy the festival. There are great scenic views and wide natural spaces unique to Suseungdae from which the envoys of Baekjae Kingdom departed to Silla during the ancient three kingdoms period.
  There were twelve stages for performances, and spectators can even watch drama performed in the cool stream. Among them, the Mujigae theatre, a water stage, the Wicheon theatre, the Pavilion, and the Geobuk theatre in the old memorial hall are unique settings from the theatrical point of view. Under the 500-year maidenhair tree, the outdoor cafe is an excellent place for having beer or conversations with friends.
Several foreign troupes came to take part in the festival; they were from Germany, Ecuador, Belarus, Ukraine, France, Rumania, Russia, Japan, and Serbia. To my surprise, Serbia produced five works. There were twenty invited Korean works by KIFT, and eighteen domestic works took part in drama competition. In addition, there were a total of 47 troupes scheduled to perform about 208 times in all throughout the end of the festival. Those who watched foreign invited works may taste unfamiliar flavors. All of the foreign works are full of mimes, music, dance and images. 
The best example for such flavors and unfamiliarity is Stabfiquren's performance. Stabfiquren is a street performance troupe from Germany. The team consists of five members who take charge of each part of a puppet's body. They performed two works 'Eumel' and 'Magic Man'. In "Eumel", controlling the puppet, they met spectators with handshakes, hugs and dances. The subtitle of "Emuel" means 'I want to be a man'. So the audience can see the puppet
which moves just like a man. 'Magic man' is similar to 'Eumel'. But it comes along with much music. And the puppet's arms, legs and even body can be separated, and the puppet changes its shape into another living thing, while narrating a different story. It is esteemed as a good performance by spectators because it does not belong to a typical category of dramatic performance. Such shows not only stimulates viewers?interest attention but also imagination.

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