Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Seoul to Jinju and Back to Seoul

May 29th, 2011
I woke up and took a bus to Jinju, where I met Heike, my German friend who is the chair of the poli-sci department at the local university. We had a long talk, watched some performance, wandered, look at Jinju fortress, etc.

A little after 5 the 송파산대놀이 Songpa Sandae Noli team showed up. Everyone was surprised to see me, except perhaps the office manager who knew I'd be going and hadn't invited me to ride down with them. Of course if I had done that I wouldn't have had a nice long talk with Heike. The performance was the standard 1 hour version.  강차욱 was missing to 함완식 introduced the group, the instruments and the art, then they went through the acts with, I noticed, two new 소무 Somu masks. Hmmm. The noses didn't look even a little Korean, are the masks catching up to the plastic surgery craze? (That's a joke since the people in the group are hardly the type to do plastic surgery, I think it was just poor construction). After the show 이영식 led the audience to learn the motions, I got some great photos of everyone in the crowd with their arms up.

The office manager had invited me to ride back, so I did.

May 30th, 2011
On Monday Karjam had another day of recording in the studio. We recorded until around 4, although he lost his voice around noon, again.

Then I went and met 황종욱 Hwang Jong'uk, the manager of 고성오광대 Goseong Ogwangdae. If I asked him about A he told me about A-F, including tangents. He was an excellent interviewee in the sense that I hardly had to say half a question before he just expounded at length. He's also very opinionated and knowledgeable. I had no idea about his entire background, but now that I know more I'm even more impressed. I also think he puts a bit of an act on to be more brusque and for lack of a better word, more of a hick, than in fact he is. However I pay the amazing woman who transcribes my interviews into written Korean by the hour of material she transcribes, and his interview was long (two hours) and often heading in directions that I didn't really need. Also by the time it ended I was already late for 봉산탈춤 Bongsan Talchum class.

At Bongsan Talchum we were all exhausted. All of us. We looked like asking us to dance was the end of the world. After going through each of the monks once (and I was late so I only went through 6 of them) 김은주 Kim Eunju took us (병호, 하연, 연식, 세준, 수미) to dinner at a nearby restaurant. Only 연식 had already had dinner. 

May 31st, 2011
I went to meet Professor 전경욱 Jeon Gyeong'uk at Korea University (he's a noted mask dance expert) and talked with him as well as some of his students, sometimes interviewing him and had dinner with him. I was there from around 4 until 8. 상모 sangmo had been cancelled again, so I had that kind of time. 

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