Monday, August 31, 2009

The face of a Malaysian

THe face of a Malaysian

We were standing in a fishing village in Kuantan, Pahang watching the sunrise as fisherman set out to sea.

We exchanged casual greetings and went back to doing our own things.

A lone figure was walking towards us in the distance. As he got closer, I realized he was a peculiar old malay man, wearing a suit perhaps to protect himself from the slight morning chill.

He greeted us and I smiled back. Grinning away he asked us where we were from, who we were, about the family, why I wasn’t married yet ;p, about dad and everything under the sun. He was a bit perplexed on why I wanted his photo. I chuckled to myself, thinking I wasn’t about to give away my obsession to shooting and chatting up older people. He walked us back to our car still chatting away.

Fridays incident that rocked the country wasn’t as shocking as everyone thinks. There will always be racist s and politically motivated people trying to steer trouble and disrespect others. But that in no way reflects the people or a religion.

Years ago when I stepped into the same primary school I had attended to send of my cousin, it had occurred to me that her generation was missing the integration that we had as youngsters. Trouble could brew in the near future.

Merdeka Happy 52nd Independance day Malaysia

This independence day, I’m reminded of the old man, he is the face of the many Malaysians I know. Just over the last weekend we were in a perhaps 99% Malay populated village and later a 90% populated Chinese village, both times we were greeted by some and cautiously looked at by some. And I think the cautious looks had nothing to do with my religion or skin colour.

It’s easier to dwell on the negativity than to look at the positive side of things. Mom used to tell us stories from 1969, stories which to me told how a community helped each other regardless of race in one of the most tragic moments this country has seen. On one side my mom’s family would cook in abundance for the bachelors who were stuck in curfew without food and they in return would purchase whatever possible to be cooked by the family. They knew some of the lives that were lost in those months yet in the worst of times they still lived in harmony helping each other survive.

Perhaps my vision is impaired but to me Malaysia will always be home and I will always be proud to be a Malaysian.

Happy 52nd Independence to all Malaysians.

Happy Merdeka Malaysia.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Happy Birthday MJ

Happy Birthday MJ, you're still missed 2 months down the road. You would have been 51today. A kid told me today he wants to grow up and be you. I decided not to dash his dreams and tell him no one's gonna replace you.

I know you're rocking the afterworld. ;p

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Drama in the skies

wow what a day yesterday. I went sunset chasing yesterday, looking for blue skies and perhaps more and what a reward. It was just so beautiful ;)

Skies turn red

Drama in the skies Blue Blue KL

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Blue blue KL

Blue Blue KL

KL was a blaze in blue yesterday a sight we haven't seen for a long time. It is day's like this that you realise how lucky we are to be able to enjoy such little wonders of life. It makes you grateful to be alive and well, loved and happy despite everything we go through daily.

Be thankful life bestows you with little pleasures and you have sight to see such wonders.

Ignore the people who hurt you or push you to the brink look up to the sky and smile - it is your life and live it to the max.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Weird flirting

You have got to listen to this ;p Omg lol who is he?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I saved a kid

.... on Tuesday.

We were swimming in the hotel pool in Kuantan. Another family with 2 little kids were swimming next to us. The children were fairly good swimmers and were swimming in the adult pool. The mother tells the kids to swim safely and goes of swimming.
We were minding our own business coz they weren’t friendly people and kinda gave us cold stares. Then I heard the sister call the brother as he started screaming mummy mummy.

I wasn’t sure if the kid was ok and asked him if he was ok. The kid wasn’t responding and seemed to be struggling in the water. I quickly moved towards the kid and realized he was struggling to stay afloat. I lifted the kid out of the water and handed him to his father.

The father reluctantly said thank you and looked away.

Err what the heck?

Minutes later the mom was briefed and we were still getting cold stares. I mean your kids life ain’t my responsibility, but you could at least be a bit sincere when you thank me right?

The funny thing is the family was Indian.

We were staying at the Swiss Garden Kuantan. The hotel is usually filled with foreigners and a few Malaysians. Usually we’re the only Indian family there and occasionally when an Indian family does turn up, they’re super high nose and give us the cold shoulders.

The foreigners will usually nod at us or smile. We became friends with a Malay family who arrived at the same time as us. Well I made their super cute naughty daughter cry coz I refused to let her run as she wished. She got teased by her parents for crying crocodile tears.

And then there was that family, they arrived on our second day there and gave us the cold shoulders. They would stare and if we caught them looking they’d frown and look away. They were giving us the – you shouldn’t be here look and we’re better than you look.

I forgot all about the familys reaction till I began telling the story to a friend and realized how rude they were. I should have smacked them for their attitude and tell them that’s our 5th stay at the hotel. They should either learn how to behave in public or never come out of their little coconut shells!

First you were so irresponsible to leave young kids unattended in an adult pool and then you made the person who saved your kid feel uncomfortable. These kind of people regard other Indians as below them and are ashamed of being Indians. They need to learn that no one is better off then anyone. Well I guess god decided to teach them a lesson and tell them treat your fellow beings well for you never known when you will need their help.

God may have tried but I don’t think they got the message.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Produced Flash Mob Dance

I just got back from our beach holiday in Kuantan with a strict regime of shooting, swiming, eating, sleepig, swimming, eating, sleeping and repeating everything for 3 days ;p Too many photos to edit, reviews to right, posts for the blog - I now want another holiday!

Anyways apparently Maxis hired professional dancers to produce Malaysia's first flash mob dance. I don't think you can really call it Mob Dance, most of the first few dances were hired dancers, the steps were too co-ordinated and complicated for people to pick up. Sad that our first flash mob dance get's produced! But check out the last 2 dances, that's when the crowd actually joined in to a traditional Malay Dance and Billie Jean.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


How is lost perceived such when its presence was never felt

How do you lose something you didn’t want

Is it heartless to not feel this presence less lost?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

MJ rocks weddings

... well his music does

After watching the JK wedding Dance, I found a link showing thriller dance entrance - and wow people can be super innovative ;)

So here are the ones I really liked ;) enjoy.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

The Sweet experience

As I type this my hands are still dipped in red. Red dye is applied to the fingers and feet to enhance the movements as a dancer performs on stage.

When I heard about the Short & Sweet Dance festival, I was so tempted to take part and nearly wouldn’t have if Kerv hadn’t repeatedly asked me about it. The idea was to attempt a concept that I’ve thought of for years. I believe music and dance is beyond language. You don’t need to understand a language to comprehend or enjoy a musical performance.

So when I submitted my proposal I pitched the idea of dancing bharatanatyam to a western classical music and one on the sound of wind. Few weeks later I got that ever important email from KLPAC confirming the acceptance of my proposal – The Classics with an Indian Twist.

At one point I was ecstatic at the other I was afraid I may have bitten too much, there were the exhibitions to handle, my cousins arangetram, work and so many things happening at the same time. And the idea was no where easy. So first things first I decided to source for my song, had 2 choices in mind. My ever fav classical piece by Johann Strauss – The blue Danube and this amazing piece by Frank LIstz – The Hungarian Rhapsody 2. While Johann Strauss’s piece would be more familiar to most people, Listz’s masterpiece had the dynamics for an amazing war like drama dance.

But I let the music store seal my decision. I went hunting for both scores and only found Strauss. If you were a child of the 90s in Malaysia you would recognize the piece as the Dunhill ad song with swirling ballroom dancers. I still vividly remember that ad as it had such a sense of class.

Given the joy in Strauss piece I knew I was gonna do choreography on Krishna. As I was gonna perform with my cousin, I decided to play with our strengths, my dramatic anger and her cuteness. I picked my fav Krishna legends and then began choreographing and nearly went crazy!

Only then did it dawn on me how crazily unsuitable the piece was for Bharatanatyam! There was no rhythm just continues swirls. I googgled the world searching for a similar fusion and other performances of the Blue Danube. No one seemed to have attempted anything but swirls in the choreography! Week 1 went and week 2 was here and I still didn’t have a believable choreography, the hardest part was the chorus. I was that close to call KLPAC and pull out. My biggest fear was I would disappoint the people who had believed in my idea.

Finally I decided to embrace the swirls and slowly by week 3 things started falling into place and as we progressed I cleaned up the choreography added a few steps here and there and I was pretty happy with the result.

I had really wanted to catch the first weeks performance but I wasn’t free for the whole duration and then tickets were sold out for Saturday! Damn.

Our tech rehearsal day finally arrived and I was a mess. To add to all that, Lavin’s classes were ending just 30 mins before our call time. By the time we got there a few minutes after 5 we were a bunch of nerves. The familiar sweet face of the production director greeted us as I blabbed a bunch of sorries. The first look at the stage I realized the place was too small for Lavin.

The kid’s idea of one leap was equivalent to 2. So as I was charting our points I told her

“This place is not big enough for you so shorten your steps and don’t jump on the audience! ;p” the cheeky one said she will try! ;p

We started and our lights que was out for a while and mid dancing I was going Lights lights lights!

Throughout the 7 min piece I would occasionally steal a glance at the director, she had this delightful smile on her face and I sighed in relief. She liked our piece! We finished and someone clapped from the back. Yayy. The lights were sorted out in the second run and we ran out relieved.

We met our roomies during dress rehearsals. We were placed together with the ladies from Gypsies Trail and Hungry Hope and throughout the week we’ve had a blast getting ready together. One of them kept feeding us lovely toffees and chocolate. Yumm yumm
I was super nervous not coz of the performance itself, I was afraid I would cramp up because of the cold, so I spent the whole week heating myself up with the hair dryer. There was a handful of press and people during the dress rehearsal and they loved us. We got such energy performing.

My favourite night was still the opening night, people laughed where they should, they clapped in between our performances at all the right place. Wow and we got such a resounding applause at the end. That kept us going every night. I no longer was worried if people would like it, or if they would understand the piece, it was all great. My choreography was well received and I was ecstatic!

We had some lovely reviews too. Voize called us the interesting bharatanatyam

“What clearly worked that night were dialectical arrangements such as the Bharatanatyam ensemble by two dancers to the tune of the Blue Danube.” – Rachel, Voize.

“Other equally engaging pieces featured for Short+Sweet Dance include Nerds Gone Nuts (Suhaili Micheline), The Classics with an Indian Twist (Visithra Manikam) and Diaries 09 (Michael Xavier Voon)” – Anu, Malaymail.

I had done what I had always wanted to do merge new and old and give a creative perspective. We’ve had a lot of wonderful feedback, from friends, audience, friends and family of the other choreographers and the other amazing choreographers. We performed to 2 full house crowds, sat night people were sitting all over the floor!
While we didn’t get into the gala night, I’m still super happy I took part and challenged myself. We’ve had an amazing time, lovely roomies, amazing performances, a wonderful director who always had such lovely things to say to us, amazing crew who were out to ensure we had the best time and assistance in any way needed.

Congrats to everyone who made it, it was a pleasure to have performed together with everyone.

Oh how could I forget the entertainment backstage. We laughed our heads of at the antics of Dj Boy of Pentas FM. Hehhe inside joke but thanks for the entertainment.
I’m off to the Gala night in a while. I didn’t know if I was going to make it or not but I bought tickets coz I didn’t want to miss it. We’ve got some partying to do after the show ;p

Thanks to everyone for an awesome time.