Friday, July 15, 2011

Mirong Performance

July 13th, 2011
Wednesday is the day I don't have to teach at Dankook University. I was still plenty busy. I went to Joong-ang University and met professor Im Janghyeok again, he had some research center publications (not sold in bookstores, just like reports) I wanted to photocopy that he'd had at home the first time I went to see him. I think I like him (esp. after he suggested I should come to Joong-ang for a post-doc).

I went to meet Hilary Finchum-Sung to watch a performance of 미롱 "Mirong: Joseon Dynasty Dance Theatre" or something like that. It's not the type of show I normally go see (or Hilary) but 광대 The Gwangdae (one of 허창열 Heo Changyeol's groups) are a major part of the show, so we chose to go to support them. It was a love story between the adopted son of a court dance troupe and the female lead. The adopted father is pissed off by the love and cuts off the penis of the adopted son (played by 영욱 Yeong-uk one of the awesome Gwangdae players). The girl (who also sings) then cuts off her tongue after he leaves. The adopted son ends up joining the Gwangdae group and after the adopted father dies (of a stroke many years later) the two lovers meet by chance one more time. Yes, the story was that simple and since there was virtually no dialogue… and the court dance was boring- not much to look at, I was almost falling asleep except for when the Gwangdae were performing. And it was almost two hours long and 30,000 won (or 20,000 for students). I don't see why Koreans think this type of show is the way to go. The story could barely hold things together and part of the acting sections (such as when father is angry at the dancers for not doing it right and only praising the one girl) were just annoying. I don't want to listen to someone ragging on someone else for that long. It's just not pleasant. They couldn't really do much court dance, and what they did was most like 춘앵전 Chunaengjeon which is a freaking boring dance under any conditions. For the price I honestly think that most people just go the Gwangdae's performance out of it, and they could have done the performance themselves with their own (more complex) story and no wasted boring time on the court dance.

Anyway it's a 17 day run so I think it means the Gwangdae get a decent paycheck, and that's what I care about. After the show we ended up having dinner with Changyeol. It was good to be able to see Hilary and Changyeol, even if the show was a bit of a dud.

I had to go to the train station to pick up cupcakes (fresh baked and vegan!) sent me by Georgy (what a great friend), and as I was transferring trains I ran into 영훈 Yeonghun, a guy who lived two floors below me in 2003-4 school year at Lanzhou University!!! That was random and bizarre.

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