Time now for our "Life & Info" segment…where we focus on information useful for your everyday life.
It's Thursday, so we are going to focus to culture and the arts in South Korea.
To walk us through some events worth checking out, we have our Lee Min-sun in the studio.
Min-sun, what do you have for us today?
Hi Mark, before I start, I would like to ask youwhat do you usually do after work?
What about you?
For me, if I get off work early, I sometimes go and catch a movie or take in a performance.
But as everyone knows, movies or performances typically last at least a couple of hours.
That means, if you leave work at six or seven PM and spend about an hour having dinner,then it's easily 8PM when the movie or performance starts, meaning you might not get home until 11PM or even midnight.
It can be exhausting, no matter how interesting the content is.
And of course, we have to go to work early the next day.
So I'm going to introduce some shorter programs that only last an hour or sofor those of us who want to enjoy some culture, but don't want to be wiped out at work the next day.
The Seoul Arts Center in southern Seoul has an Artist Lounge program every last Wednesday of the month.
This 70-minute classical music performance is a good option for those who want some refreshment after a long day at the office.
It's mainly classical music, but also includes more popular music pieces from musicals or the jazz genre.
The performance starts at 8 p.m. and runs without an intermission.
What makes this program even more accessible is the cheap admission charge.
It's only 10,000 won per person less than 9 U.S. dollars which is the same or less than a cinema ticket.
"For many people, the Seoul Arts Center is not an easy place to visit. So, we've shortened the performance time to about an hour and we present various genres from classical, jazz and Korean traditional music. Our audience members were mostly housewives or people who lived nearby when Artist Lounge was held in the morning. It was a difficult time for people with jobs. Now, a lot more office workers are coming to enjoy the performances without feeling too pressured."
"I often come to the Seoul Arts Center. The performance starts at 8PM so there's plenty of time for me to get here even after work."
"We both work and try to enjoy cultural events as often as we can. Having a shorter performance time is great for office workers since we have to worry about going to work the next day. It ends fairly early and I can enjoy the performance without getting bored."
So, for people watching at home, when is the next Artist Lounge performance happening?
The next performance is on Wednesday July 24th. It will be a piano quartetpresenting familiar tunes like Romeo and Juliet and Swan Lake. More performances are lined up through end of the year, if you can't make that one.
Since it's only once a month and on a Wednesday evening, it might be difficult for some people to make it. Are there any other venues with these shorter programs?
Sure. A social venue, the Raum, located in Gangnam, also offers a one-hour-long music program specifically designed for office workers in their 20s and 30s.
Their Soiree program, which means evening party or gathering in French, is titled "a cup of music on the way home from work".
The concert starts at 8PM on every third Thursday of the month.
A nice touch is that, if you arrive early, you can enjoy a free drink at the outdoor cafe. The concert consists of various music genres, such as cinema music, jazz, bossa nova, and electronic.
The next performance is set for Thursday July 18th and it will present bossa nova, a music genre that combines Brazilian samba and jazz.
That outdoor cafe looks quite nice. I might go check it out. The two programs you've introduced so far are both music performances. What about cultural events for people who want something a little different?
Yes, there are contemporary dance performances coming up next week and in August that are presented for about 60 minutes.
Contemporary dance performance "Swing" will have its second show in August at Seoul Arts Center.
The rhythm and energy of swing music is expressed through modern dance moves.
Visitors can enjoy 17 swing jazz songs, including some well-known ones like 'In the Mood', 'Mack the Knife' and 'Sing Sing Sing'.
From July 19 to 21st, the Korea National Contemporary Dance Company presents "Ssang Ssang", a new piece by a Spanish choreographer.
These dance performances are being presented for three days only, so make sure to mark your calendar if you don't want to miss it.
That sounds good. Thanks for the information, Minsun.
Now let's take a quick look at some cultural events coming up in Korea.