Monday, March 7, 2011

Songpa Sunday

March 6th, 2011
I woke up, made 된장찌게 bean paste stew for our breakfast and headed to 송파산대놀이 Songpa Sandae Noli class, again. Aimee, however, went to tour some of Seoul's awesome historic sites.

At Songpa we had class with 강차욱 Gang Cha'uk drumming and professor 이병옥 Yi Byeong-ok leading the movements and then a lecture and dialogue practice session. Yi rehearsed the movements in a different order than 안병인 Ahn Byeong'in but it was an even smoother transition from one movement to another. We practiced looking forward at the mirror first, with Yi in front of us (also facing the mirror). After that we worked in a circle, to do the movements as we continually moved clockwise (or occasionally counter-clockwise). Yi had us all stop, sit down, and taught us more Songpa history. This was really engaging, especially because he'd brought his first book (based on his MA dissertation) and it had photos which he talked to us about at length (through that we learned about the former practice space and how things were run then). He also told us that his wedding was the first traditional wedding ever at Korea House. He had the wedding there when no one was having traditional weddings, and it gave Korea House the idea to start holding traditional weddings. (At present they hold real weddings that are usually open to whatever tourists wander by and they hold reenactments when there are no real marriages to take place, so that there are weddings every Saturday and Sunday during the warm weather months). At Yi's wedding there was a congratulatory performance of three of the scenes from Songpa Sandae Noli, ending with the birth of 취발이 Chuibali's son. At that time Yi was usually Chuibali, but not on that day. It was supposed to make sure that he had a son in his marriage, and he had two, so he called it quite effective (the one of his sons that I know practiced with us on Sunday, too). Because I had practiced Act 3 the previous day, Yi decided we should all do Act 3 again. However we didn't have time to stand up and do it, we only practiced the dialogue while sitting down.

After class we had a really good lunch in Lotte Department Store (we being Yi, Gang, 김영숙 Kim Yeongsuk, Yi's son, the student from Ewha and 탄종원 Tahn Jongwon). It was a fun conversation, with awesome people. The Ewha student and I took the subway together. She is in her third year as a 타악 percussion major, interestingly they really have to learn all kinds, not just Korean percussion and with the Korean stuff they are required to be good on all the instruments, not to have a major instrument like the 풍물 pungmul students at KNUA do.

When I got home (still feeling sick) I wanted to take a nap, but the moment I closed my eyes Kim Yeongsuk called me to talk to me about a wide variety of Songpa and arts policy things related to my meeting on Friday with director 엄승용 Eom Seungyong.

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