Counting Down!

After two months of rehearsals, we’ve finally arrived (at Dream Country)!

Jerms and B turned up for the Dress Rehearsal yesterday – which was really sweet because they were flying off to different parts of the world soon after.

Tonight’s Opening Night, so if you are in town, come down to the Singapore Arts Festival Village at Esplanade Park!

I’ve rambled written so much about my experience and thoughts as a performer, so now I present to you the directors, who will take you through the history of this piece, and the selection process.

Once again. Dream Country – a lost monologue is part of the Singapore Arts Festival 2012. It is a great piece produced by Michele Lim, directed by Marion D’Cruz, Anne James, Charlene Rajendran, Claire Wong, Natalie Hennedige and Zizi Azah. The piece will take place 31 May and 1 June 2012 at the Festival Village in Esplanade Park, 8pm. FREE.


Mystical Magic

I’d been wanting to catch Théâtre du Centaure ever since I saw them in the Festival Guide for Singapore Arts Festival. I’ve already had the pleasure of catching them during their rehearsals, which in their simplicity already excited me no end.

How wonderful is it that their baby gets to watch them on the side?

On Sunday, I finally had a break from rehearsal so I went to catch Flux with a couple of friends.

Mingling with the massive crowd by the darkened gardens, you get the sense that you’ve stumbled into Narnia. (‘Where’s the fawn going to appear?’ asked Jerms.) And that sense of magic and awe binds us all together – evident from the faces of the dialect-speaking grandmas and grandpas, the spellbound toddlers who have yet discovered language, and the travellers-turned-smiling-fools who had taken a wrong turn en route to the train station.

When you watch Théâtre du Centaure’s Flux, impossibility simply doesn’t exist.

You believe.

You believe in dreams and centaurs. You believe in love. You believe in peace.

You believe.

As you watch them weave amongst trees and people, run at great speeds on their stages, sit on a weathered and well-loved leather couch (!!!), you realise that Manolo Bez and Camille Galle are centaurs. There are no horses or actors present. Only centaurs.

If I were to be picky, the only bit I didn’t like was the text – spoken and projected, and in certain cases, translated even. For a performance that touches you deep within your soul, words are just superfluous.

After the show I met Mathieu, who is part of the Théâtre du Centaure team, to find out more about the music they work with, but we’ve been missing each other ever since. Hopefully I get lucky tonight so I can say a proper thank you before they leave.

If you are free, or tired, or stressed out, or uninspired… Head down to the Arts Festival Village just next to the Esplanade to catch their final performance tonight. You’ll be mesmerised and renewed… and you don’t even have to pay a cent.

Happening at the Festival Village at 8pm.

Scenes from Sunday’s Rehearsal.

Remember that first huge combined Dream Country rehearsal last Sunday that I didn’t write about? I couldn’t find the right words then. But if a picture paints a thousand words… here’s a lot for you to think about. Sunday’s Rehearsal. … Continue reading

Dream Country, Week 2: War and Art

This post is especially for those of you who still think that my rehearsals were all prancing around on grass patches a la My Little Pony, playing with water and fairy-dancing.

Yes, yes. So I’ve reminded everyone not come expecting So You Think You Can Dance kinda backflips and babyfreeze and pirouettes, but it doesn’t mean what we have been doing is not grueling at all.

If anything at all, rehearsals get more and more intense every time; even if it’s just an additional of one activity, or a variation on something we have done. Our ten-minute push/pull, throw/catch, straight/curvy warm-ups have me drenched in sweat, heaving for air, and I love it.

I still worry. I worry that what I’m doing is not good enough. That my moves are too predictable or contrived. I worry that I am doing something too similar to someone else. I worry that I come across as superficial and amateurish. I worry non-stop.

But the moment Charlene sounds her chime and we start… I lose myself. Because I have to. Because I have to invest myself fully now, and worry later. Because if I don’t risk being silly and superficial now, I always be afraid, and always just worry, wondering what could have been.

Bestie discovered a million bruises on me yesterday. And that’s excluding the abrasions that are out of public sight (thank god!). And the skin that got ripped off which I keep covered up for fear of infection.

Coincidentally, the frame I was given to work with this week was “Warrior”.

And so I shall wear these with pride.

Welcome to Dream Country, everybody!

Dream Country, Day 1: Mosquito Feed

I wrote about my involvement in the Singapore Arts Festival some time back and finally (FINALLY!), Day 1 of rehearsals has arrived.

Advance apologies to those who are hoping to see some pictures of the actual rehearsal – we were pretty much submerged in water/hurling gunnysacks at one another the whole time, so I can’t take any for now. But yes. Proper pictures will arrive soon enough.

You will, however, get to meet two new friends I made on day one.

This lil’ fella was the first to greet me at the gates of Goodman.

Lovely creature leapt over a canal to come over to me. Gorgeous.

I also met the coolest old gentleman who was fishing by the canal.

His bright blue cart caught my attention long before I arrived at the bridge. And I couldn’t help but ask to take a picture of him and his cart. He was a little shy, but he obliged anyway. Check out that smile on his face too.

His eyes had a coat of greyish white glaze over them and what remained of his teeth were mostly black and rotten, but I found him to be bursting with character. J’adore.

When I told him I loved his cart, he generously offered to let me take a look at his fish which he said were “even nicer” than the cart.

These babies can be eaten! (?!) Amazing.

I have a feeling I’ll be seeing a lot more of him, and I am certainly looking forward to it. For starters, I’ve really got to get his name.

Off to the rehearsal venue we go.

Our plot. I claimed the beautiful one with the rings second to the right that day. =D

Yes, Charlene. Roll your eyes.

Pretty, itchy sacks.

Kettles for the hot water that we didn’t use thanks to the burning sun.

So how was Rehearsal 1?

It was fun. But the fun factor also meant that it got harder to stay focussed on our own stories.

I worried. A lot.

I worried about not being as good. I worried about over thinking. I worried I was doing it all wrong. I worried that my bum was falling out of my costume. (Wore my Ribs Swimsuit. Forgot extra shorts. Bummer, indeed.)

I worried.

There were a few moments when the action got rather ‘la-la’ – it was, after all, our first improv. Even then, it frustrated and disorientated me. (I’m a perfectionist/worry-wart. Does it show?)

I’m still have lapses of consciousness and over-thinking. Fortunately, a lot less than I’d expected.

Throughout our improvisations, there were certain rhythms I gravitated towards more, and I am thankful for that.

During our quiet reflection time, I became very aware of the core of my very being for some reason and it was so confrontational that I felt extremely disconcerted. Still, I have to manage all that lest I ask myself questions to the point of insecurity.

What can I say? I am my own worst enemy.

No wait. Strike that. Because my nemesis really, were the mosquitoes.

By the end of the session I was all bumpy with bites – not a pretty sight. I’m hoping to give myself multiple coats of repellent over the weekend to combat those monsters. Wish me luck.

And yes…

Brief stalking attempt outside The Observatory’s studio.

Note to self: Must suppress fangirl/groupie split personality.

Serendipitous – Dream Country at SINGAPORE ARTS FESTIVAL babyyyy

Some time back I wrote about a fitting I went to and promised to elaborate more. So here goes… I’m going to be dancing in the Singapore Arts Festival 2012! =)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) Yes, it is a dream come true. In fact, … Continue reading