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Performances at the Cheonan World Dance Festival
Oct 21, 2019

One of the most unique aspects of the Cheonan World Dance Festival, something that sets it apart from most other festivals in Korea, is that it is an international event.  This does not just mean that there ware a few non-Korean foods or one or two dancers from a neighboring country sprinkled into the mix. This year there were performers from 18 different nations being represented stretching as far away as Bolivia and Poland.  Each nation brought with them their culture and heritage through an array of different dance styles and costumes. Add in the myriad of Korea teams and you’ve got yourself a spectacular event well worth going back to.

One of the greatest aspects of the dance festival is the abundance of stages spread throughout the park.  There are three main stages as well as a host of smaller platforms that allow for more intimate shows and experiences. No matter what you are doing, the sheer number and varied locations of the stages, added along with the talent of the performers, make it so there’s always something interesting to see or hear- a good recipe for any festival.

The Main Stage – 흥타령 극장

The biggest stage (흥타령 극장, named after a type of traditional Korean music) is a giant amphitheater that can easily be enjoyed by a few thousand spectators.  This stage holds the main performances, including the opening and closing ceremonies [link here], the preliminaries and finals for each group and even the coveted dance finals for both local and international groups on the last day of the festival.

The Walnut Tree Stage – 호두나무 극장

The second-largest stage is the walnutreet stage (호두나무 극장). This is an indoor stage located near the World Culture Exhibit.  Although it was the second biggest stage, it was still quite a bit smaller than the main stage and therefore hosted smaller talents instead of the large dance groups.  The close proximity seating also gave the performances here a much more personal feel. 

Even though this isn’t the main attraction of the dance festival, the performances here are equally as talented and some even more so.  One such display featured a Korean lady flaunting the electric cello. She came out and got the crowd going to a unique rendition of ‘We Will Rock You’ by Queen and then followed it up with a very catch and upbeat version of the Can-can.  She had a mesmerizing stage presence and was able to cover an impressive range of songs with just one instrument. Another amazing performance showed off a Korean, opera-singing duet. Each side of the duo sang an inspiring solo aria in flawless Italian before coming together and doing a romantic third piece together.

The Willow Tree Stage – 버드나무 극장

The Willow Tree Stage (버드나무 극장) is the third-largest stage and is located behind the kid’s zone. Here you can find a medley of different performances ranging all the way from cheer-leading competitions to traditional Korean dances. They even have a song festival featuring people with disabilities.

The Willow Tree Stage is also where you can find the Funny Dance Competition.  Here ordinary people are encouraged to come up on stage in order to strut their stuff.  Between the ridiculous outfits and the outrageous dance moves, this hilarious dance contest is a good time to relax and enjoy a good laugh before returning your attention back to the more serious performances.


The other, more minor stages are also well worth stopping by. And because these stages are much smaller than the main ones, some having around only 60 seats, spectators are able to get right up next to the artists  This year for example. The Lake Stage (호수극장) held a very private-feeling show played by a professional orchestra. Another stage in the art section of the festival allowed viewers a different experience as they were treated to a small rock show. Even the World Culture and Food area had music as those enjoying their meals were treated to some indigenous music.

How to get there?