Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Weekend-- Dentist, Giant Ceremony, Seminar, Ahn Eunme

June 11th, 2011
This is the definition of busy: to meet my really awesome friend 김월덕 Kim Woldeok and her new husband 주원 Juwon we actually went to the dentist. Juwon is getting an implant. This trip to the dentist ended up being very expensive. 750,000 won.

I left and headed home for a couple minutes and grabbed my camera to go to 경복궁 Gyeongbok Palace for a huge ceremony and spectacle. Not an actual performance per se. What happened was that France took these dynastic records 150 years ago and they were finally returning the records to Korea, so the government decided to add some pomp and ceremony, sort of Joseon Dynasty style.  

The important part for me was that 임실필봉농악 Imshil Pilbong Nongak, 고성오광대 Goseong Ogwangdae, 봉산탈춤 Bongsan Talchum and 송파산대놀이 Songpa Sandae Noli all had to parade out and dance around. It was a chance to do a favor by taking photos and bow to a lot of people. Curiously the Pilbong crew was all college kids, or even high school kids like Hyeonseok—I mean they were people I've studied with, not under. I didn't see one person I know to be an isuja even. This is in contrast to the people from Goseong who came even farther, all of them, even the really fairly elderly farmers.

Photos of Bongsan Talchum are ready first because they already asked me why I hadn't given them the photos yet...
Kim Eunju in the front


Sometimes the lion attacks and eats a hapless bystander. This little girl got away. 




June 12th, 2011
I met this professor, 조경만 Jo Gyeongman, through FB (we have a mutual FB "friend"), and he invited me to a small seminar that he was presiding over. I went to the seminar not because I thought the topic would work well for me, but because I suspected some other members might be good contacts. It was really tough—everyone had read and prepared, and they were discussing very highly theoretical concepts (about eco-anthropology) in Korean. I mean, how well can you discuss the Panopticon in English? Okay, now try to explain it in Korean. No, I didn't do that, but Prof. Jo explained it to the rest of the people. If I wasn't familiar with Foucault, trust me I would have missed the entire point. It was all 75cent vocabulary with the occasional equivalent of "a" "however"  "if" etc. thrown in.  Okay, maybe I exaggerate a tiny bit. But seriously, if I'd done the same reading it still would have been tough for me to keep up (much less add to the discussion). On the other hand there was another member I've arranged to meet next Sunday.

After that I hurried to my neighborhood to watch Ahn Eunme company rehearsing Princess Bari. They'll be doing a 17 minute version later this week via-Skype. They have to do it in the middle of the night because the other side is watching it around noon in Toronto! It was really interesting and fun, especially the mix of 민요 minyo with 판소리pansori that they're using as the major auditory color of the piece. There are four singers- two men and two women, with one singer of each genre a man and one a woman.

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