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Springtime in Seoul



It was Springtime in Seoul and everything was bursting with blooms. There were beautiful flowers planted all over the city in addition to all of the trees.

Cherry Trees
Cherry Trees
Cherry Trees
Cherry Trees
Cherry Trees
Cherry Trees
Cherry Trees
Azaleas
Azaleas
Flower Display
Pansies
Flower Display
Flower Display

Here's one of the local flower shops,

Flower Shop

and its delivery boy.

Deliver Boy

There is a stream not far from our hotel called the Cheong Gye Cheon. For a time people built makeshift houses nearby and it eventually became something of a shantytown. However, in the 1950's the city of Seoul began to clean up the area and over the years has turned it into a beautiful stream. It has a fountain at one end and then it runs below the level of the streets and is crossed by many bridges. There are also several stepping stone bridges to walk across.

Midtown Stream
Midtown Stream
Midtown Stream
Bridges Across Midtown Stream
Bridges Across Midtown Stream
Bridges Across Midtown Stream

There was some kind of a demonstration set up there the day I was there. My best guess is that it was something to get people to be kind to the environment.

Demonstration
Demonstration
Demonstration
Demonstration

Finally, after a day off exploring the city it was time to go to work. Paul, the Ballet Master, and I walked over to the theatre around 9:30. We were performing in the Sejong Cultural Center.

Sejong Cultural Center

This is one of many large performing arts centers in Seoul. This theatre was completed in 1978 and has several performance and exhibit spaces. We were to perform in the largest space which has 3,000 seats and houses the largest pipe organ in Asia.

Sejong Cultural Center - interior
Sejong Cultural Center - interior

This was a very well-equipped theatre. The crew had worked all night getting things ready for us. They had also focused most of the show so that all I had to do was set a few specials and then write the cues. Of course most of the crew didn't speak English, but we had some great support staff who spoke English very well and were really fabulous. They were all very eager to please and made sure everything looked as good as possible.

Great Support Staff

The show crew was great as well. Even though I was calling the show in English, they managed to understand everything I said and do the cues correctly. The follow spot operators were fabulous. I had met with them before the show and had the translator explain some of the more difficult moves that we wanted done, and they did everything beautifully.

Stage Crew

We had one very quick rehearsal that afternoon and then a 6:00 p.m. performance. Paul, the Ballet Master, became my right-hand man. This trip was so quick that I never had time to really learn the pieces. Once I got the lighting cues written, Paul would stand by me and tell me when to call the sound and curtain cues. All of the battens are electric and they don't move very fast. The front curtain was terribly slow for our tastes, but we managed and the audience seemed to really love the show.

Rehearsal

We had two great performances at the Center. We also had a performance across town at a large department store. They had a small stage on the top floor of one of the large Hyundai Department Stores. The stage was about 45' wide, but it was only 12' deep, so we were very limited on which pieces we could perform. We only did an hour-long show, but it was very well received.




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Irma Hale
McMurdo Station, Antarctica
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Copyright © Irma Hale. All Rights Reserved.
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