Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bongsan Talchum with an Ear Ache

November 15th, 2010
I felt mostly better during the day at home, so I decided I simply couldn’t have four days without active research (I was still trying to deal with photos and videos and the upcoming powerpoint and revise some interview questions despite the pain in my head, but I felt like I was having too much time off).

I headed out to 봉산탈춤 Bongsan Talchum class, and immediately started to feel intense pain in my head again. By the time I was halfway there I knew I wouldn’t be dancing (although I had my 한삼 hansam, 미투리 mituri slippers, loose pants and a t-shirt). It was intense. When I got to the office I just wanted to crawl into a dark hole and stay there. Instead I went to the practice room, sat next to 김은주 Kim Eunju and wrote notes about what I was seeing. I made notes about how individual students were doing, something I usually only see incidentally, some are so stiff, others are quite good. Kim Eunju spent quite a bit of time firming up the pronunciation and enunciation of the new monologues we learned while 장용일 Jang Yongil was running class. “If you don’t say it precisely, no one will hear you through the mask.” She pointed out (several times in different ways). During breaks Kim Eunju would talk and joke and make people who were late doing the basic exercises, unlike Jang who would mostly just sit and wait for everyone to take their break. Kim Eunju asked for more hansam movement during monk 4’s part, and worked with everyone on the final part where we all dance our own solos for 10 jangdan at the same time as the others dance something different, then do a collective dance at the end. She also reviewed the 사자춤 sajachum with us.

I felt horrible on the walk back to the subway, almost like I was caught in slow-motion where every moment was painful, but after I got home and warmed up I started to feel better. I went to bed happy because my ear has started to express large amounts of goop. I think that’s a sign of healing. I want to believe it is.

I finally made an excerpt video of Bongsan Talchum from the festival, it’s uploaded here: link.

Cell photos: Kim Eunju (pink shirt) demonstrates while the class watches, and the class practicing.

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