The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

Andong Maskdance Festival, held annually, showcases Korean and International mask culture

Written By: herbrunbridge - Oct• 10•12

The butcher and the cow, from a popular Hahoe mask performance

Andong, a city in eastern South Korea, hosts the annual Andong Maskdance Festival of mask and dance, with a heavy musical component as well. It’s held beginning the last Friday of September and lasts through Sunday of the following week.  The festival offers a wonderful opportunity to see the Hahoe Maskdance in Hahoe Village, a few km outside of town. Hahoe masks, in particular, represent wonderful expressions of the art of maksmaking. When no performance is scheduled, visitors can walk around and enjoy viewing the traditional houses in the village. In addition to performances held in Hahoe Village, a number of other performances are held at the Festival Site right inside the city of Andong itself. There are 5 stages at the festival site, but we recommend sticking with what’s going on at the Maskdance Theatre.

At the Maskdance Theatre, we here at WoWasis saw a magnificent performance of the Dongrae Maskdance as well as a number of other performances by international performing groups, most of which utilize masks as elements in their dance programs. In the 2012 fetsival, countries represented included Uzbekistan, Mexico, Croatia, and Indonesia.

One of the main characters in the Dongrae maskdance

If you go, it’s essential to pick up a Festival program, which you can buy at one of the tourist information tables located at the Festival site. It’s bilingual-English, so you can read about every group that’s performing, then pick your venue and date to plan it all out. This festival is inexpensive (all-day tickets to the Maskdance theatre were $7 USD), hotel rooms are cheap and plentiful in Andong, and the city is only 3.5 hours away from Seoul by train or bus.


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