July 8th, 2011
On Friday, back in Seoul, my most important activity was to go to a performance at 풍류극장 Pungryu Theatre. Before that, however, I went to the first hour of 봉산탈춤 Bongsan Talchum class. I love it when 장용일 teaches because, I realized, he's much harder on me and on all of us, so my skills progress faster when he's teaching than the rest of the time. He had ordered (on Monday) that all the new people needed to show up early and that 병호 Byeongho had to show up early and teach them. But then as they mostly were doing pretty well, another guy showed up who didn't know anything. I taught him, which was good practice for my upcoming class. He learned super super fast, too, as he's a theatre major with some movement background. We ran through the first several monks (in order with monologue) and then I had to leave for the Pungryu Theatre downstairs.
They're currently staging a mask dance drama series, organized around themes. The theme for Friday was lion dance, and the main performance was by 북청사자놀음 Bukcheong Saja Noleum's preservation association. Eunyul Talchum and Bongsan Talchum also joined them on stage a little. As the Bukcheong Saja Noleum friends were performing they kept noticing me in my center front seat and nodding or giving me a grin. I really have gotten to know quite a lot of them. After the show I went to their office and congratulated everyone.