Sunday, 30th September '07

Bum Communication

I would love to start writing this entry without this need to self-vindicate my own "cleverness", but I really can't help it. What the heck, it's my blog, and I'll cry(myownpraises) if I want to:

Check out the duality in that entry title, and with a little applied literature skills, I think you'll figure out why the words "Bum Communication" describe both yesterday and today rather aptly, albeit in different ways.

The following is all written with tongue firmly in cheek, by the way.

JAMUAN Bisu ...Paradis_e...

I reproduce the title of the performance piece EXACTLY as it was written on the posters, programme booklets and other assorted paraphernalia. I do so, so that you might see exactly how ATAS this performance was. When you notice that the producers of the piece see fit to insert two triples of periods and an underscore into the a title that's already a mix of the Indonesian words for "silent devotion" and one English word, you should also expect to be watching something not quite palatable for the layman.

The incomprehensible title (seeing as most Singaporeans don't speak Indonesian, or commonly use "..." and "_" in their written language in such fashion) also resulted in a grand total of TWELVE tickets being sold for the one-night-only, finale performance of the Dance Reflections series of concerts. TWELVE. Out of a UCC Hall that seats about, say, 1200 people?

This therefore explains how the motley crew of us, Jiamei, Jess, Amy, Ali, Glen, Jennifer and I, ended up with complimentary tickets to the show. CFA cannot sell tickets so give away free lor.

Here's an estimated timeline of how things went down that day:

1900hrs -- Time dictated that we should collect tickets for show to begin at 2000hrs. No one turns up on time, obviously.

1920hrs -- Arrive to pick up tickets for Amy, Jiamei and me. See Virgenia hard at work in UCC Usher gear. Think Virgenia very funny-looking, in a good, cute sort of way. Goes to pick up tickets at FOH counter. Bump into Chun, also picking up tickets under Blast! reservations.

1922hrs -- Chun and I espy Zaini and Adi at Nicole's. Arrival of Zaki and Anthony the Costumes Man. Feel small and unimportant. Proceed to discover how food at Nicole's is "very not nice".

1938hrs -- Note arrival of minor celebrity (at least where we're from), Jeffrey. He probably doesn't remember that I dance in his item three The Next Waves ago. Oh well. Internal squeal anyway.

1945hrs -- No sign of Amy or Jiamei, even though Amy supposed to be able to make it on time. Oh dear.

1950hrs -- Last call for getting in the doors. Proceed to leave Jiamei's ticket at the counter since Amy barely arrving.

1952hrs -- Spot Ali, Glen, Jenn and Jess. Company! Whoohoo.

1953hrs -- Glen creates a flurry of activity at the FOH counter trying to exchange tickets so we're all together-gether. In the meantime Jess, Amy and I do the mad females-all-move-in-packs dash to the toilet. Jess takes significantly longer to emerge. Amy and I decide we pee faster when wearing skirts. We RUN to the doors. End up at wrong door. Run back to right doot. Pant.

1957hrs -- Arrival of Jiamei in the nick of time. But her ticket's already been replaced at the FOH! Gasp. Jiamei runs to collect ticket.

2000hrs -- Show time! After all the drama that's already unfolded, don't know how much more the show can add to the excitement.

2001hrs -- Man and woman on stage. Spotlight. Typically atas contemporary, writhing, twisty arm movements emanating from torso. Dramatic incomprehensible music. Very uncomfortable to watch, especially since Tall Man in Red Sports Jersey sitting right in front of me and I have to sort of stick my neck into Amy's headspace to watch. More writhing and some man-crawling-through-woman's-legs sort of moves.

2007hrs -- Writing continues. Think this piece is Possessed by the Soul of Juraimy. wink Though uncomfortable to watch, is not unenjoyable either. Clearly, man and woman dynamic is the theme, and it's got to do with the struggle for dominance. Woman wins first, man wins eventually. Woman crawls of stage in rather creepy fashion. Crane neck to see, because Tall Man still in front, dammit.

2009hrs -- More women come around writhing and doing weird moves. Music becomes very, um, atmospheric. Sounds of flies buzzing around carrion object makes me want to swat at something I know clearly isn't there. Am forcefully reminded of Dolby Digital Sound advertisements in the cinema. Consider that UCC sound system surprisingly versatile, considering the UCC folk otherwise behave, as Dan calls it, as if they were running the "University Cannot Cannot". Writhing movements become less fluid and a little more... frenetic, perhaps. Am liking the style of Short Haired Angmoh Dancer from Spain. Fierce. But otherwise, still not very comprehensible.

2011hrs -- Two females do a two person bit. For several minutes. Suddenly at the end they jump, and EJECT WHAT I CAN ONLY IMAGINE TO BE VOMITERS out of their mouths in perfect unison. Audience gasps appreciatively. The stuff splats on the floor. My Highlight of the Night.

2017hrs -- Decide to just enjoy art for art's sake. Comprehension is for the Philistines! *deadpan laugh*

2019hrs -- Man walks out on stage and writhes. Jess makes whispered comment, "HERE COMES MAYA". Much giggling expresses agreement. Turns into pas de deux with two men, one wearing an Javanese? headgear which Ali later teaches me represents status. The programme booklet seems to say it represents suffering and burden. Like I said, blush no comprendo, amigo. Pas de deux actually visually quite stimulating, and their musicality (especially since music very very strange and beatless) is impressive.

2022hrs -- Ali is strangely motionless. Amy leans over to ask, "Is he still awake?" I look over and Ali makes sudden movement. I reply, "I think so."

2023hrs -- Amy says, "It's very Juraimy, hor?" I nod enthusiastically.

2039hrs -- Finally some ensemble work. Very much more palatable. Still failing to understand the story, Amy and I decide to analyse why the single Japanese female dancer in the group looked like she didn't belong. Funny images appear on segmented screen at the back of the stage. Begin to be reminded of mixed media work during the The Necessary Stage TFYE days and how much I hated it when they tried to bring video and pictorial imagery to stagework.

2041hrs -- A kettle emerges, and someone pours something into a guy's mouth. Kettle later used in ironing motion, and I can only assume this to be a commentary about enslaving of women.

2043hrs -- Glen falls asleep. crazy For real.

2045hrs -- Ensemble work continues, but focus on 4 females dancing, while the strange Jap girl sort of walks in weirdly and walks out again twice. Amy makes a few remarks about that. razz

2053hrs -- Jap girl comes out with kettle, and proceeds to pour what's either salt or rice on stage floor. I suggest maybe her diminished role in the previous segment was going to be made up for by a solo. Amy disagrees. Jap girl is joined by all the others, and Amy says she told me so. Jap girl pours salt/rice in a circle and everyone gathers around the circle and dances traditionally in oriental looking ways.

2057hrs -- Projector screen focuses in again an zooms out to an image of the Earth from outerspace. Earth spins slowly. As dancers slow down and lights fade, spinning Earth comes to a stop with Indonesia facing the audience.

2059hrs -- Curtain call, lights up. Applause.

2100hrs -- Glen says in excitement, "So Juraimy!!". I agree this is the perfect way to sum up the hour.

Well, cut back to the outside and we're all trying to make some sense of it. Ali proves (to me at least) why he's the Literature major and I'm the unartistic lawyer. I wonder why "Juraimy" seems to be the only descriptor we can find to express our identification with the piece. Is it because he's been our only exposure to this genre of, oh I don't know, theatre/dance stuff? Perhaps we're all so used to flowing music and pretty movements we only see this style and immediately lump them all together under a convenient heading we all can (by virtue of a shared history) relate to. Or maybe there's some subconscious element of storytelling or what'sits that we're sensing that made this work strike us in the Juraimy sense. Or maybe we just use it as a term for whatever we don't understand. Only further exposure will tell.

Which I why I decide to, inspite of our immensely fun hanging out at the 2amdesserbar till rather late, turn up for the Gerard Mosterd masterclass on Saturday.

Gerard Mosterd Masterclass

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 12:26 am
[well, the pictures aren't going to take themselves!]

Saturday, 29th September '07

Freaky Chinese Horoscope!

As many of you folks would know, I am not like dear old Babs or Gnet in certain ways. Mainly, I'm an insufferable cynic when it comes to fortune telling or palm reading or astrology-type ideas.

But this latest Facebook horoscope thing is freakishly accurate:

"It would be necessary that you lead a more quiet life and respect a sufficient time of sleep. Energetic and optimistic, you'll be decided to cope with your professional difficulties frontally and to make an effort at realism in order to solve concrete problems better. You'll have difficulty letting yourself go in your amorous exercises; know that the education you received is largely responsible for it. Learn to love reading, don't let television impede this beautiful activity."

Every single thing it says is something I have thought about in recent days. Mannnn.

In other news, 2amdessertbar tonight was a good bit of fun. Chilling with the girls (Dong, Seetoh and Shuang) was very much the relaxed re-easing into law school life after The Next Wave that I needed. And the dancers, hilarious as always. smile

Oh and Babs, my friend was one of the ones that hit your last year's The Next Wave blog. He somehow thinks I was your teacher 'cos you kept calling me "Miss Enz". Hahaha. *raises eyebrow*.

And anyone feeling particularly kind and friendly can also help this friend of mine, with a little survey. He's buying Facebook drinks in return. *deadpan laugh*

I need to find better blog topics. As always, PLC leaves me with little inspiration. I'll review the "JAMUAN Bisu Paradis_e" show after tomorrow's masterclass.

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 02:16 am
[1 photograph developed.]

Thursday, 20th September '07

The Next Wave 2007: Fifteen

Well. Precious little blogged about this one compared to past years, I know. Selling tickets like a some manic street preacher on speed to everyone you bump into over the past couple of weeks tends to leave you with nothing left to say on the blog. All my lyrical waxing has been, well, waxed out.

But watching that Dance Reflections Hybrid Moves Samsara piece last weekend really gave me pause. I've never watched a DR show before since it's a biannual thing and the last round I was in off roaming Canada, but I never expected to be so shocked by how good our representatives were. Amy and I were so totally the embodiment of proud parents, sitting in the audience bitching about everyone else's "kids", and then being utterly blown away and so very very proud of what our own baby had to show. Don't tell me all NUS dance groups are created equal because they aren't, and boy am I stoked I found myself on the right end of the spectrum.

Here's part of the review from the DR, and another satisfied customer indeed. From an article by Addison Thomas Wong. I actually wonder if that's the dude's real name. His mother must have thought she was pretty funny. :|

In anycase, well done, guys.


In other TNW related news... I again need to learn to take a chill pill. One item and already i get myself worked up. The unwritten MC script is another problem. Sometimes I think I'm an insufferable worrywart. That's one thing I think I learnt from Glen today - that's a person I'll never be, in the sense that he at the very least seems to have a lot of things in balance (3 items, VP, a show to produce and presentation slides for tomorrow grossly undone. And we share one same choreographer who still, despite our best efforts, thinks we suck). But he seems to take it in stride in a way I never will. I think this realisation hit me when he ran in to talk cock and nearly missed a cue, cursed colourfully, and went out and did the job anyway. It's not that I'm saying it's a good or bad thing to be, it's a personality thing - and me, I just think too much. I operate on the slow burn principle and well, gotta live with it lah. The TC, Ave, Aud, Siti, Beq and the other TFYE people probably knew that from a long time ago. Hurhur. Well, it's too late to try and phrase this thought even remotely coherently.

And I have Nat Morris' statement of defence to deal with, a client to advise by tomorrow, and a CPCM brief to write. A bunch of choreographers to talk to and I need to FIND A FREAKING WAY TO EMO OUT MY ITEM. Seriously, I've never been so frustrated with the lack of accurate emo in a dance before. At any one point it's always been: I know what he wants, it's just a matter of giving it at the right time. Now it's: I STILL DUNNO WHAT SHE WANTS. At least the long talk with Shahrin and Yuzhu in the car tonight helped some. Not a whole lot, but some.

Panic! at the Disco.

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 01:08 am
[1 photograph developed.]