In class on Tuesday I really enjoyed getting to experience some of the elements of the Wind and Stream performance hands-on. Although some of the women did not have very large roles, I could really sense that they were passionate about their work and studies from the way that they enthusiastically pursued their endeavors and sang wholeheartedly. And although they could not speak much English, they were kind when instructing those of us who sang with the fishing net, and when assisting other students in creating hats. It was very interesting to me how kindness exceeds even the language barrier, and how a smile says so much.
One element I really appreciated about getting to meet the performers from Jindo in class before watching them on stage was that I got to be even more excited when they sang songs that I recognized. The day of the performance, I showed all of the students in my Chinese class the Arirang song, and by the end of class everyone was singing it. Due to that, when the Dance Traditions students began to sing Arirang during the show it had much more of a significance for me than it would have if I hadn’t been exposed to it in the private setting before hand. Now, I printed out the lyrics, and I am determined to memorize the solo versus because they are so fun!
In addition, I did not expect to see Professor Park sing! It was so interesting. During the show my friend Samantha turned to me and asked, “When did she have time to work on this? Didn’t they just arrive from Jindo?” In fact, I am still curious about when she had the time to learn all of the choreography, music, and lighting but it was exciting nonetheless. Prof. Park and all of the other performers were very convincing: when they were sad they wailed, and when they were happy they danced and I really got to feel like I was in a small town in Korea.
In addition, I appreciated how everything had significance in one way or another. If I am to choose my two favorite scenes they would be the scene of the woman dancing, and the scene where Professor Kang and the man from Jindo sat down and played instruments while singing a tale. I would have to choose those two because of how meticulously prepared they seemed and due to their well execution. The dancers feet for example, were what really made the dance interesting for me (in the least creepy way possible). She would perfectly flex her foot and move in a fluid way where our eyes were caught in a balance between watching the flow of her dress and the strong lines of her feet while she danced. She was graceful, and a lot of emotion was conveyed even though nothing was said. And the way that you played that instrument (was it a harp?) was awesome. I appreciate how cultured everyone in the performance was and I learned a lot. In terms of critique, I would only hope that it could be in a location more accessible to students. Luckily, I found a ride, but the bus would have be 40 minutes there and back from campus. This is a performance I believe a lot of students on campus could benefit from but may not know about, or be able to travel for, but aside from that it was splendid!