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TOKYO

South Korean dance show aims for the eyes, not the ears

by Nobuko Tanaka

Special To The Japan Times

South Korean entertainment is excelling in a lot of disciplines, and stage performance is one of them. Now a groundbreaking action-drawing show, “Hero,” will take its turn trying to impress Japanese audiences.

“Hero” embarks on a monthlong run at the Roppongi Blue Theater in Tokyo from Jan. 26.

In Seoul, several theater sectors are now flourishing by targeting different audiences. One area of the city, Daehangno, is host to around 200 small theaters with no more than 300 seats each at affordable prices. These attract many experimental companies and a younger audience. Meanwhile, the city center is filled with major theaters that stage the kinds of homegrown musicals that are usually taken on tour overseas, as well as Western ones; while other venues host larger productions such as traditional Korean operas and plays by William Shakespeare.

“Hero” has attracted a wide variety of visitors, including tourists who don’t need to understand the language to get in on the fun. The 80-minute show consists of four performers who dance and draw portraits of world-famous personalities — including pop stars and historical figures.

At one point in the show, the performers pour oil-based inks into a pool of water to create swirling images of flowers; while at another point in the show they start to paint seemingly unrelated pictures on canvas before bringing them all together to form one wonderful work.

“Hero” runs from Jan. 26 until Feb. 24 at the Roppongi Blue Theater in Minato-ku, Tokyo. Tickets cost ¥7,200 (¥5,000 for high school students, and ¥3,500 for children aged 3 to 12. Performance times vary. For more information, call 03-5414-3255 or visit www.hero2013.jp.