Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Korea Loses to Japan (and we weep)

January 25th, 2010
In the morning it was almost impossible to wake people up. I let 기영 Gi-yeong who had been drinking the night before but was on my cooking crew sleep, and used 태환 Taehwan to do a few things (and wash dishes from the night's party) while I made bean paste stew and a large salad. When it was time to eat I had to start yanking blankets off people, and even that didn't get everyone to the table. One, 윤만 Yunman, basically slept all day. He claims it's also because he's sick, but I'd say the only sickness is due to over drinking, because he wasn't one of the sick-ish people yesterday. And if you were under the weather, you wouldn't stay up till 3 or 4 drinking.

Before practice started there were nine presentations:
1. A member of the theatre company sang (very well, traditional)
2. the five students from Jinju University of Education had prepared a mini-play, all choreographed. It was very funny
3. The drama people interviewed 이윤석 Yi Yunseok (the National Human Treasure), the funniest thing was the opening question "When did you first fall in love?" which he side-stepped with "when I was with the girl I first kissed." The interviewer used drum stick for a 징 jing, while the other member of the team pretended to wield a video camera.
4. Another theatre company member sang 판소리 pansori (but not the same person who sang pansori on Monday). 영호 Yeongho accompanied on the 장구 janggu. Almost all the songs are accompanied by the drumming of the teachers.
5. 정운 Jeong'un sang a funny (non-traditional) song
6. The students from Gyeongsang University sang a cute little song with a bit of choreography, but the only guy in the group didn't know either, so then he was told to do it on his own, which he couldn't.
7. This guy who is from 봉천놀이마당 Bongcheong Noli Madang (so is another woman who I think is his girlfriend) sang a song, but at first he couldn't remember it. He was good once he got going.
8. "The Gwangdae" leader 안대천 An Daecheon was forced to sing for the group. He sang the song in the character of a grandmother from 제주 Jeju Island.
9. Finally 성범 Seongbeom (who always runs these things) get 황종욱 Hwang Jong'uk in the hotseat. He tries to leave the room, but is forced to sing.

Morning practice wrapped up the entire basic motion set, at lunch time we made vegetable fried rice and served it with left over soup. All this cooking was making it hard for me to find time to do interviews, although while preparing dinner (kimchi stew and 감자전potato jeon) I multi-tasked and interviewed Gi-yeong at the same time (I had her talk and I cut and chopped and washed and stirred). I'm glad that my cooking is done till Saturday breakfast.

Afternoon practice was 덧뷔기춤 deotbuigi chum and then our big group test to see if we'd mastered everything. I videotaped the session and I felt like I did a great job at the dance. I think I finally do have the entire basic motion set (and deotbuigi) memorized, although I haven't taken the time to do it on my own to check. The group dancing was a huge high, everyone was sweating and waving their hands in the air at the end as even Yi Yunseok joined us in celebration.

After dinner we all practiced again, reveling in our ability to perform the motions, as yet untroubled by the struggle to memorize the 개인무 gae-in mu that we would face the next day. I interviewed 김성범 Kim Seongbeom and later conducted a partial interview with 황종욱 Hwang Jong'uk which was very difficult because of his extensive use of regional dialect and extremely fast speech (Seongbeom also talks very quickly but because he uses standard Korean I could follow along without any difficulty). In fact, I am usually not troubled by dialect in the경상 Gyeongsang region, since I lived in Daegu for more than seven years, but Hwang is really extreme, and not just in accent and verb endings (which I understand and even speak with) but also in the use of dialectical alternative vocabulary, which I often don't know, or cannot remember. At any rate Hwang (and I) were freezing, so we'll continue the interview later.

Back at our place the Korea-Japan semifinal (Asian Cup) game was on, which tragically despite a goal in the 15th minute of the 15 minute overtime (tying the match) we did not win because the shootout went horribly wrong. The students and a few from the drama troupe and the two from Bongcheon Noli Madang all sat and drank beer and ate fried chicken through the game. Not long after (but well past 1 a.m.) I decided to go to sleep. All the rooms were frozen, the floor never heated up in any location during the night.

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