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Art museums incorporate live performances to attract visitors

Aug. 8, 2018 - 16:46 By Shim Woo-hyun
Museums are more than exhibition spaces for art these days, as they increasingly add various kinds of live performances to attract more visitors, as well as to offer a better museum experience.

The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art’s Seoul branch, for example, is hosting ballet performances and lectures from Friday to Saturday.

Members of the Korea National Ballet perform at an outdoor space at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art’s Seoul branch (MMCA)

Members from the Korea National Ballet will perform two productions at Seoul Box, a communal space located inside the MMCA’s Seoul branch.

In addition to the ballet performances, ballet master Park Il will hold on-site sessions to teach about the very basics of ballet. Park will discuss different types of ballet and introduce a brief historical background to how ballet movements have evolved over time. Visitors will also have opportunities to learn from the members of the KNB the wing movements from “Swan Lake,” with a piano accompaniment.

Before the ballet performances and lecture sessions, there will also be curator Kim In-hye’s explanations on the MMCA’s latest exhibition, which highlights late monochrome painter Yun Hyong-keun.

On Aug. 24, the MMCA will also invite B-Boying crew Gambler and members of the KNB, who will offer their live performances at the museum’s outdoor courtyard.

Some museums are turning to music performances.

Lotte Museum of Art on Aug. 21 will invite jazz pianist Cho Yoon-seung for a performance at a cafe next to the museum. There will also be docent tours of the Alex Katz exhibition that runs through Aug. 26.

Flamenco dancer Domingo Ortega's performance at Lotte Museum of Art in June (LMoA)

Under the title “Museum Night,” LMoA previously invited flamenco dancer Domingo Ortega in June and local rap musician Maniac to give live performances.

Suwon iPark Museum of Art -- located in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province -- is offering theater work and concerts over the weekend. Featured on Friday at the lobby space of the museum is “Brush” by Brush Theater, a local company specializing in works for children and family audiences.

On the following day, Koh Sang-ji, one of few bandoneon players in the country, will hold two concerts at the museum.

By Shim Woo-hyun (