Sunday, January 23, 2011

Performance for Week 1

January 22nd, 2010
I woke up extra early and made pancakes for everyone. There was also kimchi stew that 민기 Min'gi made, so some people ate a lot of pancakes and some just had a taste while sticking to more conventional Korean food. The pancakes were so popular that Min'gi even wrote down complete recipe and directions while others paid attention and seemed to be trying to just memorize it (it's easy, really, since it's 1 cup of (soy) milk, to 1 egg, to one cup of flour, plus baking soda and vinegar, stir and fry).

Before the performances began we had a 고사 gosa ceremony to bless the masks and the performers and performance space. 이재훈 Yi Jaehun, one of the jeonsugyoyuk jogyo (2nd ranked) oversaw the preparations and lectured the students on how to perform the ceremony properly. He is a total character, and normally dances the part of the old wife. The altar was set up at one end of the room with fruit, dried fish, snacks, candles, etc. on it (no boiled pig's head which would be a lot of expense for just a student performance without much of an audience). The officiants were talked through the ceremony (pouring 막걸리 makgeolli, lighting incense, reading an address, etc.) by Yi and the rest of the group (all lined up facing the altar in white 민복 minbok (peasant garb which is worn under costumes for things like mask dance drama performances) bowed (head to the floorboards) when we were told to bow.

The mixed team performed first. There were a few snafus, but it wasn't bad at all, some of the scenes were quite good. I did notice, however, that the detailed explanation of how to act the part of the old wife that I had heard being given only to the KNUA old wife (인선 Inseon) by 김동수 Kim Dongsu the previous night, had definitely not been given to the mixed team old wife at some other time. Then the KNUA team performed, by the time they started even more of the teachers had arrived, at the high point there were perhaps 10 teachers in the room, although they also wandered back out during the performance so that the final act had less teachers than the third act did. It was well done, better by far than the mixed team. Large differences between the two teams included the fact that 경진 Gyeongjin had performed the monk's dance (originally it was supposed to be 가은 Ga'eun but she's rather short and the really long sleeves of the costume were dragging on the floor even when she held her arms straight out from her shoulders to the side, she claimed that she wasn't disappointed not to do it, though. Gyeongjin is an excellent dancer, she did a great job. The Bibi scene was also much better in terms of use of the environment- they didn't just run around in circles within the space allotted- the 양반 yangban character at one point hit behind me, for example. And I already mentioned that Inseon got special training on dialogue delivery for the old wife, and she did a good job utilizing what she'd been taught, a lot of which was to vary ways that repetitive things are said. Variation in delivery and variation in certain gestures allowed her character to come alive to a greater degree. The first and second scene, however, seemed to be about of equivalent caliber, especially the first scene which was performed by the 27 year-old office worker who had practiced Goseong Ogwangdae since she was in college and had been to the training center four or more times before.







Gosa Ceremony:

Mundung:

Bibi:

Monk:

Old Wife:

Group

After the performances ended there was a short ceremony with a speech by Yi Yunseok, then I directly walked to the bus station and left for 대구 Daegu. In Daegu I was able to relax with Georgy, eating a delicious dinner, talking a lot, washing every stitch of clothes I was wearing and so on.

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