Jeongdong Theater was the first modern theater of traditional vocal music and plays in Korea. It is home to the Traditional Performing Arts Series, which features dance and music, including Samulnori—a four-member drum and dancing group, and wind and string instrument concerts. Performances run from an hour to two hours. Japanese and English subtitles are provided. After the show, visitors are encouraged to join the performers on stage. Notably, this area in downtown Seoul was recently designated a cultural district. Reservations are necessary because there are only 400 seats there.
Designed by renowned architect Zaha Hadid, the Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) is one of the most iconic landmark structures in Seoul. The cutting-edge modernity of this mega-structure coupled with its unique design won Seoul city the title of World Design Capital in 2010. The structure of the building is curvaceous and fluid, devoid of any straight lines or walls. It houses as many as five spaces inside, namely an art hall, a museum, a design lab, the Oullim square and the Dongdaemun History and Culture park. Visit the DDP at night for a dazzling view of this modern wonder.
Since its establishment in 1984, Seoul Nori Madang has always attracted tourists and locals. The circular amphitheater plays host to an array of cultural events celebrating Korea's rich and affluent legacy. Shows include traditional dances, folk singing, ancient martial arts, mask plays like Songpa Sandae Nori and the ceremonious Songpa Baekjung Nori. The vibrant costumes, spirited music and riot of colors are characteristic of the country's vivid culture. Performances are free and are held on weekends.
Founded in 1987, the Seoul Arts Center offers a host of facilities all housed in one functional complex. There is an opera house, music hall, art gallery, arts library, and a calligraphy hall. Performers and artists come from around the world to perform here. So, if highbrow culture is your cup of tea, then this would certainly be a good place to visit. A nearby park is a good place to sit down and relax either before or after a performance.
Located in the heart of Seoul, this center ranks among the top ten performing arts centers in the world. It stands six stories high with three basement levels. This performing arts center offers a place to enjoy top-quality performances at an international level. At night, floodlights illuminate the building, giving it a sense of beauty, romance and mystique. It is a popular venue for symphonies, concerts, operas, ballet, and Korean traditional folk performances. Exhibitions and international conventions are held here, too.
Opened in 2009, Myeongdong NANTA Theater is one of three stages of the famous Nanta show in Seoul. It is also the first permanent theater to showcase this non-verbal, Samul nori-style comic act. Since it is a visual gag, even if you don't know the language, you will laugh your hearts out at the antics of the actors. The story is about three cooks who are time-pressed to prepare a wedding a banquet. The whole cooking scenario is enacted through drumming, acrobatics, chopping and juggling. The audience is also involved in the enthralling show. If you want to catch a show, the Myeongdong NANTA Theater is indeed the best option with two shows during the week and three in the weekends.
This theater is conveniently located on the northeastern part of Mt. Namsan, within walking distance of Seoul Tower, which overlooks the city, and Namsangol Traditional Folk Village. Come here to enjoy a variety of shows, including music, dance, and drama performances. There is a main hall and small performance halls in addition to an open-air theater (Nori-Madang). Visitors can enjoy performances all year round. You can also enjoy Pansori Seoul'd traditional singing.
Located opposite the National Theater, this institute teaches traditional Korean customs and culture. Classes offered here include tea ceremony, cooking, dancing, how to wear hanbok (Korean traditional clothes), kimchi making, and the etiquette of a traditional Korean wedding ceremony. These traditions are learned through direct participation. Tour groups are provided with special programs. The average class lasts from one to two hours and anyone is welcome to attend. A fee of KRW400,000 per lesson is charged for a group of ten.
Art art art! If you can't get enough of art, then MyungBo Art Hall is definitely the place to go. This venue has galleries, art-related performances (can you imagine a performance about drawing?) and much more.