Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bongsan Talchum Performance

December 17th, 2010
In the morning I went to Severance Hospital –again- and yet by the evening my ear was almost as painful as it’s been at any time during this whole long annoying infection. And the new pills he’s trying on me cost way too much- 70 bucks or so- if Karjam hadn’t insisted I wouldn’t have picked them up.

In the evening I went to 무형문화재선수회관의 풍류극장 the Pungryu Geukjang (theatre) at the Training Center for Intangible Cultural Heritage to see a performance of 봉산탈춤 Bongsan Talchum with 양은석 Yang Eunseok and two of his co-workers. Eunseok is a friend from summer 2009 at 임실필봉농악전수관 Imshil Pilbong Nongak Training Center. He’s amazingly talented, both as a drummer and notably as a singer of 민요 minyo. If only he would stop smoking! As usual the advertising materials existed for the performance but they’d done a horrible job of getting the word out. I didn’t even know about the performance until Monday, even though I’m in the building week after week. On the evening of the performance there were posters (even free ones for the guests) and bookmark-like cards to advertise the show around the building, but considering that the foot traffic is not the highest, such advertising materials need to go out in advance, as far in advance as possible (in my opinion). More directed advertising can focus on a few days before but passive advertising such as distributing cards needs to be out there so attendees at other shows can pick them up weeks in advance.

The performance began with an introduction by 박상운 Bak Sang-un and two musical performances- 대금산조 Daegeum Sanjo followed by a 해금 독주 Solo Haegeum piece. Both were performed by younger members of the group. The performance was 사상좌춤 Sa-sangjwa dance, 발목중춤 the scene of the 8 dark-faced monks (with solos by the 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 8th monk), 노장춤 the Old Monk’s dance and 사자춤 the lion dance. I video-taped the two middle pieces, since I don’t think I have the Old Monk’s dance and I’ve ruined previous performance videotapes of the dark-faced monks by being too excited about the performance and speaking the 대사 daesa monologues with the monks loud enough for the camera to pick up the sound. Either Bak Sang-un or in one case the National Human Treasure 김애선 Kim Aeseon spoke between acts, and their announcing was very rich—I will have to transcribe it (or get it transcribed) for future analysis- very rich indeed.

Friday morning dawned snowy. This is the view down our break-neck (esp. when icy) hill from our stairs. Karjam shows off his facial hair. I show off the clean hair on my head (if only I didn't get more water in my ear...)

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