September 13th, 2010
In the morning Karjam went off to his Korean class and came back happy. I hung out in Starbucks and read and made notes for future interview questions and especially prepared for a big meeting on Thursday.
In the evening I had 봉산탈춤 Bongsan Talchum practice. It was pretty good, we really concentrated because there weren’t any rank beginners and so we just powered through all the 먹중 meokjung monk parts (except 1 which is rarely rehearsed, it’s so hard). The French-Canadian was absent, thanks be. That helped class stay on track. 김은주 Kim Eunju laughed a lot as she taught us, keeping everyone in good spirits, even 원중 Won Jung who hurt his foot Saturday and had to just watch today. 미행 Mihaeng made some lotion and gave me a little jar with strict commands to give her honest feedback about it. I like the smell, so far that’s all I know. We spent from 8:25-9:00 sitting in a circle around Kim Eunju as she drew an evocative picture with her words of the traditional performance environment, making clear many things that may not have been easily understood during practice. I’ve heard her say it all before, but she’s a very involved story teller, and if every performance began like that, it would be great. It wasn’t just her talking though, she talked us through some of the dialogue and we practiced it, answer and repeat. I already know that part of the dialogue (it’s the only part I really know) but it was good to practice it properly. At the end of the class (we kept practicing until after 9) we ran through the most dynamic part of the Play of the Eight Dark-Faced Monks, the scene where everyone dances at once. I danced the part of monk 3, my favorite. I stayed after a bit to talk with 종민 Jongmin, one of the other students. I am slowly getting to know everyone in the class, and what they do and how they came to practice Bongsan Talchum. Jongmin works for a company that produces newsletters for places like hospitals. He also takes modern dance classes, so he usually only comes to Bongsan Talchum once a week. Mihaeng works as a civil engineer (she says everyone she works with is a man, but she fights with all of them, so she still can’t find a boyfriend).
When I got home the landlady, one of her brothers (she’s 7th of 8 children) and Karjam had replaced the two screens that were horribly ripped perhaps at last we can have practically no mosquitoes. Maybe later we can stop sleeping in our mosquito net tent.