February 18th, 2011
I had an amazing day. I woke up and all that stuff, then at 2 I went to meet 엄승용, Eom Seungyong, the Policy Director of the Cultural Heritage Administration. He is tied with three others as being the third highest ranked person in the Cultural Heritage Administration, the CHA is the governmental body that administers the law that designated and protects the traditional culture I study. Meeting him was great for three reasons 1) He's open-minded and speaks amazing English, and so he was able to share information with me like no other bureaucrat I've met in the course of my research. 2) He shared specific information on plans to amend the law which is the backbone of my research, and was open (and taking notes) when I stated some of my tentative (and not so tentative) conclusions about this law based on my 8 years researching the topic. 3) We are going to cooperate. I am going to facilitate him meeting opinionated artists to help him understand the law the way I do, and he even asked me to draft a very interesting proposal. We talked for two hours, which seemed to pass in a minute, because I had so much to say to him and everything he said to me was so valuable.
Screen capture to show you where this guy is in the scheme of the CHA:
I was able to go home for long enough to eat dinner before going to see my favorite modern dance choreographer of all time in the first night premiering her new work at the Doosan Art Center. Ahn Eunme is out of this world. I know a lot of modern dancers and choreographers. But she is peerless. I found an excerpt from my favorite of her pieces, the first I ever saw (ten years ago): Sky Pepper. I also found an excerpt from Chunhyang, freaking most awesome interpretation of that story –ever- (but obviously not shot at the two locations in Korea, both of which I watched the show at, because some of those scenes used full nudity and body paint). Tonight's show, "Dancing for Grandmother" contained the same strong musical score (she always uses the same guy, he's scored dozens of top films, but he always finds time for Eunme), the same love of color (but in light of the grandmother theme we had more prints and less solids), and even a bit of nudity (but nothing like some of Eunme's pieces which have full male and female frontal nudity including bouncing body parts). The dance, however, took the motions of grandmothers and brought them onto the stage, followed by the grandmothers on ethnographic-style film, followed by the actual grandmothers boogeying on stage! It was awesome. Okay, I just have to give you this one more link, to a performance of Louder which must have happened in Germany (at any rate my friend Clint who is American but dances in Germany (and Korea) with Eunme is the guy is sparkling pink).
I went to find and upload some old Ahn Eunme photos, but they're all TIFF files and it's 3:30 a.m.