Seoul Street Arts Festival, Korea, (2017)

The long-standing relationship between XTRAX and SSAF produced a UK spotlight event

XTRAX worked with Seoul Street Arts Festival to secure a UK programme as part of the festival in October 2017. This included three companies from the UK as part of their official programme (Gobbledegook Theatre, Joli Vyann, Gandini Juggling) and further opportunities to share information about UK work.

All companies were presented in locations that gave them maximum exposure and performed a minimum of four times at the festival. In total, approx 40,000 people watched the UK shows over three days, including 142 registered professionals. Furthermore, two out of the three companies secured additional performances in Korea, to allow for a more viable tour. This was paid for by the festival, with a small contribution from XTRAX Platform 4: UK funds.

This British focus was reinforced by XTRAX taking part in a series of professional meetings organised by SSAF, and leading a seminar on UK and European outdoor arts, aimed at Korean artists wishing to tour to the UK and internationally. This workshop was organised in partnership with the Korea Street Arts Association.

During the 2017 visit, the XTRAX team also met with the British Council Korea, Korean Arts Management Service (KAMS) and visited the Seoul Street Arts Creation Center, the Seoul Namsan Gukakdang (Traditional Theater) as well as the new Oil Tank Culture Park.

At the same time, Goyang Lake Park Arts Festival had shown an interest in programming UK companies after attending the XTRAX/GDIF showcase in 2016 and presented Corey Baker Dance Company’s Phone Box in the context of their 2017 festival. As a further result of XTRAX’s showcasing activities, the British company Chipolatas was programmed at the Gwacheon Festival in South Korea.

In addition, three additional UK artists became part of the programme Connected Cities in October 2017, led by the British Council Korea, whose Creative Futures director Kyu Choi had seen the works during the XTRAX showcases (Ray Lee with Chorus, Brendan Walker/Thrill Laboratory with VR Playground, Dot Comedy with The Small Wonders Tour).

The visit to Seoul in October 2017 was the culmination of the work and relationships that XTRAX has been developing over the past 7 years.

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