Destination: Wild Women’s Performing Arts Festival 2010

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While the name may conjure up an image of debauchery and drunkenness, the event was surprisingly subdued. The event raised funds for the Korean Women’s Associations United, an umbrella organization supporting 27 well-deserving organizations. Off to Club Monghwan in Sinchon we go – supposedly closing soon, but reopening in Hongdae some time in the future.

Pay the 15,000 won to get in, then prepare for the onslaught of people – three floors wall-to-wall full of people made it difficult to get around. There was plenty to see – a silent auction, along with brochures and items for sale from various organizations took up much of the ground floor.

While the name may conjure up an image of debauchery and drunkenness, the event was surprisingly subdued. The event raised funds for the Korean Women’s Associations United, an umbrella organization supporting 27 well-deserving organizations. Off to Club Monghwan in Sinchon we go – supposedly closing soon, but reopening in Hongdae some time in the future.

Pay the 15,000 won to get in, then prepare for the onslaught of people – three floors wall-to-wall full of people made it difficult to get around. There was plenty to see – a silent auction, along with brochures and items for sale from various organizations took up much of the ground floor.

The downstairs venue was dominated by musical acts – this one being Orgeltanz.

Head upstairs for a more laidback scene, brought to you by spoken word artist Chloe Lee. Take off your shoes, find a seat, get comfy, and enjoy the show – don’t forget about the performance art being made in the background.

To say the room was full was an understatement – not a lot of room for getting close up with the flash, and not much light for non-flash pictures.

Heading back downstairs we find Carlite Ecton – another excellent band wowing the oversized crowd.

Presenting three-fifths of the quintet Oriental Lucy. The two instruments not pictured were a violinist and acoustic guitarist – a nicer, more mellow sound to chill out with.

One highlight of the evening: modern / African dancing (May Tribal Fusion). The dancing duo featured an active style that used the entire floor open to them – including an area with a broken tile.

The solo dance was primarily an African-inspired dance – if I joined a few dances like these, I’d have burned off the drinks I had that night.

Time for the audience participation part – after grabbing a few people from the audience, she taught the volunteers a few moves while the music played in the background.

Next up in the basement was 3rd Line Butterfly – another excellent band with a sexy dancer / singer / keep-the-crowd-watching-person. I’ll admit to not knowing the music scene as well as, say, traveling or the sights of Korea – but quite a few fans seemed to be out to watch these guys.

Heading back upstairs one last time, we had Jyung-Ah, a self-described Korean-Texan performing one of the ‘Vagina Monologues’. It wasn’t overly shocking – and not exactly unexpected. Considering the crowd of (mostly) women, the multiple cheers of support when she forgot parts of the monologue weren’t overly surprising either.

Downstairs one last time to hear a bit of Vidulgi Oo-yoo (‘pigeon milk’ in English – thanks to Milk Milk Lemonade for an excellent write-up about the band). The crowd stayed – perhaps shifting from one room to the other, or to the ground floor for another drink, but most didn’t leave.

Compared to last year’s show, the better venue helped bring in a larger crowd, to say the least. If the fire marshal were here, however, they’d have shut the place down. The goal of putting some ‘wild women’ on a large stage to perform succeeded – best of all, the event didn’t put the social agenda above the music. If you wanted to get involved with the social rights / activists those opportunities were easy to find and almost as easy to approach. If you simply wanted to come and enjoy the music that was just as easy to do. Neither was waved in the face of the other, although it was just as easy to miss one because of the other. Next time, I hope the venue can handle the crowd that’s bound to be there.

Ratings (out of 5 taeguks):

Ease to arrive:

Foreigner-friendly:

Convenience facilities:

Worth the visit:

Creative Commons License © Chris Backe – 2010

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