Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dongdaemun Market and KOUS

April 27th, 2011
Karjam and I took mom to 동대문시장 Dongdaemun Market, Karjam bought her a modernized 한복 hanbok vest, it's really cool. We walked back along the 청계천 Cheonggyecheon, the awesome streamside park in central Seoul. Then in the evening I took mom to another performance, again dance at KOUS. It was so much less interesting than the previous week, but armed with her knitting (she hardly needs to ever look at it) mom stayed wide awake. I was struck by 진옥섭 Jin Okseop adopting a slightly more serious attitude, there were less jokes and more straightforward introductions to the pieces. Maybe he was just in a bad mood, I don't know.

The first piece, by 김진수 was really odd. First of all he was introduced as doing 봉산탈춤 Bongsan Talchum but when I had first seen the poster for the series I was with 김은주 (Bongsan Talchum isuja) who looked at the poster photo (looking pretty much like Bongsan Talchum) and stated "I have no idea who this guy is." Neither the costume nor the mask looked quite 'right' to me and the motions were pretty different. Afterwards I ran into 고석진 in the hallway and I asked who he had come to see (김진수 and 최종실) so I asked him where 김진수 had learned Bongsan Talchum. He leaned in close to me and said "you know there are two types, the official and the unofficial." I would have asked more questions but right then another friend of his tapped him on the other shoulder, and mom was waiting.

Several were entirely forgettable but then 이민아 performed 승무 seungmu and I felt that she was powerful and expressive. The best two acts, though, were the last performed an exquisite 입춤 ipchum, she was very saucy, as though she was making love to the audience. And 최종실 Choi Jongshil, professor of percussion at 중앙대 Jungang University, was awesome. I intend to interview him before long, it just hasn't happened yet. He performed 소고춤 sogochum which is a lot more exciting than it sounds when you see someone do it really well! He would crouch and hit the sogo and the stick on the floor, as well as hit the sogo with the stick, it was very dynamic. All sorts of awesome turns and twists and perfectly timed hits on the sogo. I had met about 9 of his students on the subway, all freshmen. Their department takes 15 a year, and only one was not doing traditional percussion (she was doing Western drum set style). Two of those on the subway were doing 상모/소고 sangmo/sogo as their specialty.  

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