Monday, October 24, 2011

Dancing to the light

Sometimes I forget how much I love being on stage till I’m there dancing.


The costumes, the light, the makeup, the transformation into character, how can I not like dancing?

The week long dance programme is finally over together with all its drama. The drama didn’t really affect me as I knew it was going to happen but what was surprising was the number of people who knew it was going to happen. Now that was surprising and I so wish someone had told me earlier. Seriously like one person? Arggggg well at least it provided laughs and disbelief for some ;)

But it was the actions of everyone after it that touched my heart. KLPAC went out of its way to ensure things ran smoothly for us, so many people had lovely words to tell us and most importantly it helped us get over things fast and focus on our dance.


The dance has been choreographed to be different each night as parts of the dance are about the channelling of emotions in the drama style of Bharatanatyam. Since the dancers weren’t trained in the style, I took essences of the dance and created a piece that is neither contemporary nor traditional. It’s fully traditional in concept just not in execution but neither is it contemporary or fusion.

I had wanted a very specific look for the dance and I must say each gal looked like a devi with her red kunkumam shinning on the forehead and their red hands blazing in the light. And our black skirts with red underlining twirled and twirled just like I wanted them to occasionally giving the audience a glimpse of red as we did our turns.


This was my second Short and Sweet and I truly love the festival simply because it brings so many people together and you meet such lovely people. The Aswara dancers are so talented yet such humble people. Medula touched us with the story behind his dance. So were the zombies from a local Univ I so cannot remember now. We had lovely roomies once again with ours being the out of the world room with the Kazakstan dancer, our Brazilian group and us with our Indian dance.

The moment we finished dancing we’d head straight to the green room for dinner as we could never eat before our dance. That’s where we would meet and talk with the rest of the dancers. Oh since we share the room with the other bigger hall as well, we ended up meeting with the lovely group of sweet old men of the quarters and sean ghazi and a few more people. I must say he is pretty cute ;p

Conversations in the green room ranged from silly nonsense to conversations on how art can heal. Art can definitely shape you to be more confident and mend many things. I am who I am thanks to all my years in the art world.


I think our biggest fan was the husband of our sweet Kazakstan dancer, everyday he will tell her something about our dance or notice something new and the next day she will relate all of it back to us. From the emotions to the choreography to the lighting, he had so many praises for us. We finally met him on Sunday when we were there to watch the gala night and once again he was full of praises. 


To me emotions are a very important part of dance. The audience needs to be able to feel the emotion of a dance and that’s why I am absolutely satisfied with the results. The first night I was standing out there looking for the director, someone stopped me to tell me how powerful our dance and message was, then they showed me their voting slips to show that they were supporting us. Every night someone stops us to thank us for the thought provoking dance. One Chinese man stopped one of the gals and told her
“at first it was so simple, and then you gave me a scare and then when I realised the message it made me so sad and I understood the pain,”

Another couple said “our concentration was so great it was as if we were living each character”

 u and your girls evoked every emotion in me at the was still in awe!!well done!!

Some people would applaud us as we walked out to go home and thanked us for the experience.

Others would give us smiles of acknowledgement.

So many people have wanted to know where I got the inspiration or how. That is a story on its on and I shall leave it for later.


Of course to carry on the conversation I’d ask people were you scared? Some would admit it but some wouldn’t. The tech guys were the best they’d be like are you adding more screams? Isn’t it scary already? Heheh for that I added my own scream into the dance coz it needed to be done and also to scare the people who were watching it everyday. The first night the gals got a shock when they heard it even though I had already pre-warned them about it. When we came out the other dancers were wondering was the scream recorded or live. Yeah it is one loud eerie scream of pain. The second night I drained myself with the scream.

The dance was physically and emotionally draining. Each of us had a role to play and we each lived it for that less than 6 minutes of the dance. For me I felt the pain of the loss each time a death took place and that’s why the scream was one of such pain. The anger that followed was in effect of that pain. I remember I checked with the tech guys if I was sitting in the right spot for the light and he goes oh yes we saw mother earth boiling.

People walked up to my mom and asked for our contact as they want the dance to be performed again. I’m truly honoured but I will only be open to performing it again if it was a dance programme or an event that matches the message of the dance. I do wish it could be performed again as the environmental message of the dance is so strong and it’s been done in such a simple manner anyone will be able to understand it.

Most of our friends and family turned up on Saturday so it was like a party for us and for the cast itself as the gala night finalist were announced that night. As soon as curtain call ended, we said our hi’s to everyone as the cast started dancing away at the centre of the stage. That’s when we spotted our monkey boys (which one of my gals wants to bring home – lol) and I called the gals to the dance floor to join them. We were gonna do a kuttu on the dance floor to some pop song ;p

The moment the phrase we were waiting for began we dashed into the centre much to the delight of the group who roared their approval only for the light to come on as one of the monkey boys went tsunami tsunami – tsunami masuk je lagu stop (the moment tsunami came in the music stopped) ;p

I had told the gals earlier lets pack up early so that we can go outside and join our friends and family. So the moment we were done, we headed back in to pick up our things only to find some of the cast inside our room waiting to say goodbye to us. Yes I think we were generally liked by all since we were always laughing around. Each time we were waiting for our turns, we’d wish good luck to all the groups and they vice versa. That’s why this was such a beautiful time.

People were still waiting outside as we got out while I went to get our brownie. I had ordered the most amazing brownie from my friend as a treat for the gals and our friends and family but once again I had forgotten the spoon so I was wondering how to give it to them. At one point someone wanted a group photo of us and wanted us to give our scary stares and scream. I said are you sure you want a scream and they all replied yes. So I said don’t tell me I didn’t warn you ;p

On the count of three, the gals and I roared and for a moment the whole foyer went silent ;p

Good times indeed. ;)

As people finally started leaving, I found a makeshift spoon in the form of a tiny coffee spoon and we finally had our brownie party. People couldn’t believe how good it was as in a matter of minute ¾ of the brownie was gulped down by all.

So another year another dance. I am extremely proud of the dance, what it means and how it has come out. Once I get it running on youtube, I will post it up with the story behind the dance, its inspiration and the message.  

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