November 1st, 2010
The day centered on 봉산탈춤 Bongsan Talchum practice, I went early, with Karjam. 장용일 Jang Yongil would be teaching us again, and he’d said anyone who came at six could learn 사자춤 Sajachum (lion dance). When we got to the building there was a performance starting at 6, so I told Karjam to meet me in the practice room at 7. Unfortunately Jang was not in the practice room yet, although 정현 Jeonghyeon showed up after a few minutes (to practice singing, not sajachum). Eventually I got tired of waiting and went to find Jang, who was in the office. He taught sajachum for about half an hour before it was time to start regular class. 병호 Byeongho and the other guy that Jang has initiated coming to practice dancing (not the guy who was drumming last Thursday) are a sajachum team- Byeongho is the front of the lion (the shorter person is the front). I followed along with the dance as well as I could, it’s really interesting without holding the mask out at arm’s length, I think it might be too hard for me with the mask (although I hate to admit that).
Karjam arrived and sat on the floor in the back and filmed, hopefully getting a lot of Jang’s more abrasive teaching style (compared to 김은주 Kim Eunju) as well as the twinkle in his eye. During class we worked through each of the monk parts, in order, spending extra time on the 대사 daesa (monologue) for monk 4. It’s really frustratingly hard to remember, I have no real idea what it means except for one passage that Jang explained to me. After we finished monk 8 we went back to practicing sajachum but it was only a few minutes before class ended and we were all exhausted.
Karjam and I had a very late dinner in a restaurant on the way home. I hope to post a video with sajachum in performance and a bit of footage from our practice so that you can get an idea what I’m talking about. Maybe even some video from the entire evening of practice. I even interviewed a couple people at the end, so it’s almost like a mini-documentary.