A couple of weeks ago, we attended the Korean Ministry of National Defense 5th Marching Song Competition at KBS Hall. It was quite interesting – and long. We were there almost three hours with no intermission! The first half of the program was for civilian groups, though there was a strong patriotic theme with Korean flags everywhere and some of the groups using camo print in their outfits. Here are a few photos of first half performers:
A combo from the 8th Army Band provided a fantastic segue into the second half of the competition, which was for Korean military choruses.
The military groups all incorporated a certain amount of drama into their performances – most seemed to be reenactments of heroic battle scenes.
At the end, before the winners were announced, all the participating choruses crowded on stage and sang. It was a very impressive sight!
As for the art part of this post? Last week, Domingos and I traveled north about an hour to the Heyri Art Valley (located just a few miles away from the DMZ), a community dedicated to art of all types. It was a weekday and it seemed like not much was open, so I don’t think we got a good sense of the village. There were (of course) many cute coffee shops, sculptures and artwork all over the place, and lots of small museums. None of the maps posted around Heyri are in English, so before I make a second trip there I will do a little more advanced scouting and figure out exactly where I want to go and what I want to see.