June 2008


It is so hard to describe the experience exactly in mere words.

They say the best writers can make words come alive and let the readers see what they see, what they think, what they feel.

But is it even remotely possible in this case?

How could you ever understand what we felt, how we felt?

You weren’t even there.

You didn’t feel the beat of the deafening music blasting from the sound system of the Esplanade theatre thumping on the tympanic membrane of your eardrum, threatening to burst it.

You didn’t see the smooth moves of the crew members, defying gravity, defying Newton all together. Bodies bent in ways you never thought a human body could without breaking any part.

You didn’t feel the energy of the crew radiating from the stage, penetrating everyone in the audience, through their skin, into their muscles and bloodstream. The sudden urge to jump off their seats and start grooving to the music.

You didn’t feel the adrenaline rushing in your bloodstream through your blood vessels. Your heart thumping. Your breath quickening. Your pupils dilating.

And that’s all because you didn’t catch the “B-Boyz & Ballerina” at the Esplanade.

What a shame. What a waste. What an incredible loss.

Because who knows when the Korean team would ever land on the shores of our tiny island ever again.

 

Well, I shall leave you alone to hang your head low in shame and regret…

 

…because I caught the performance last Saturday night, and in simple words, it was FREAKING AWESOME!!!

The Ballerina and her B-Boy

I didn’t take any photograph of the show because it was too good and thus too difficult to pry my eyes away from the stage to use my camera, which I did faithfully bring along though. However I did find many lovely images from the website of the crew which contributes to all the following images that I would post.

It was eighty minutes of exhilarating and jubilant fun and energy, and lighthearted humour scattered appropriately throughout the show. All amazingly accomplished without words, except for a few words thrown out now and then, like “ballet!” and “let’s party!”. Exaggerated movements and hilarious gestures contributed to the humour factor. It was seriously eighty minutes too short! It should have been two hours! But I guess that would risk having the crew members collapsing to the ground dehydrated and exhausted before the curtains even closed.

Well, now, they are toooo cute for me to want that.

“B-Boyz & Ballerina” is a new concept in performing arts, a non-verbal performance featuring breath-taking dance routines that unfolds the storyline, and it has drawn considerable attention internationally. The cast of the show is formed by members of the Gorilla Crew who are well known throughout the world due to their success in many world competitions. The Gorilla Crew is made up by two different crews, Able Crew and Brooklyn Monkeys, marked by their different styles. If I’m not wrong, the Able Crew mainly does breakdancing (ie the b-boys) while the Brooklyn Monkeys specialises in new-school hip-hop. The former plays the good guys in the show while the latter are the baddies, the villains.

The very adorable b-boys of Able Crew

who do insanely cool gravity-defying breakdance moves

again and again!

I can’t decide who I love more. I think I love them all! The b-boys were all so energetic and lovable, amusing the audience with adorable antics and performing heart-stopping freezes and power moves almost non-stop as if they never run out of energy. Every time they did a stunt-like move, everyone in the audience clapped and cheered. As for the villains, who were the rich boys in the show (rich = evil? LOL), it was amazing how obnoxious those cute Koreans managed to make themselves look with their loud hairstyles and gaudy attires (completed with bling-blings)! It was even more amazing how they managed to be obnoxious and likeable at the same time! When the music came on and they started dancing, everyone forgot that they were the baddies! Those guys were superb! Krump, popping, you name it, they had it. They are the Mount Everest of coolness.

The Brooklyn Monkeys

Putting the cute Korean boys aside, the performance was highly enjoyable and easy to understand. There were a total of four acts, out of which Act 3 (Mystery and Eternity) surprised me the most. The ballerina was confused by the new affection for the b-boy and his dance, and dreamt about demons tormenting her. The b-boys first came on stage as the first set of demons, all dressed in black pants (and nothing else! topless!! woot!!) and a glow-in-the-dark mask. One of them was in a long white robe with very long, billowing sleeves, complete with a white cape over his head and a white mask. Very intriguing freaky. It was a form of modern contemporary dance, but if you had looked carefully, even though the dancers were moving and crawling on the floor really slowly, they were actually breaking. It was BRILLIANT. I really don’t like and don’t get contemporary dance, but to hide hip-hop behind its curtains, that was just awe-inspiring for me.

The Brooklyn Monkeys were the second set of demons in an all black ensemble. They also did modern hip-hop in the contemporary style. Very cool. My only gripe was that they were having their tops on. However, children and timid girls like my girl friend might get all freaked out by this part of the show which did remind me of Ju-on. My friend looked like she was about to shriek any second. I didn’t dare to even speak to her. Any sudden movement and I think she would scream.

It was really cute at the end of the show when one of the dancers attempted to speak to the audience in English. He (one of the baddies) was adorable. He managed to start off with a “Thank you, Singapore” and “I, I, I…” before pausing for a really long time, and you could see his face crumbling as he struggled to find some other English phrase which he knew. He was so cute. Some people in the audience giggled. I was trying not to laugh at his futile attempt. His crew were already laughing madly. Then he remembered and said proudly, “I can’t speak English” with a strong Korean accent. Everyone in the audience roared with laughter. Then, god knows where he learnt it from but alas, boys will be boys, he said something along the line of “wanna come to the hotel with me?” that earned more laughter. I was holding my head in my hands and trying to stop my head from nodding. Hey, girls will be girls too. Small eyes, hot bods, easily my type. Throughout the rest of the ending part, I was randomly shouting “Hotel!” now and then which made Diz giggle like mad.

The Brooklyn Monkeys once again proved that bad boys are cool.

Overall, the entire performance put up by the Koreans was superb, nothing to complain about. They have managed to blend theatre and street-dancing, two seemingly different things, perfectly in a visually stunning way that is both artistic and entertaining. If there was anything that displeased me that night, it would be the stupid Sistic booking system. I don’t understand why Sistic won’t let us choose our own seats when we do have to pay an extra fee to Sistic. Instead the very smart system had to do its so-called best seat allocation, which didn’t turn out to be as ideal. Our seats were at the R row which actually wasn’t as bad as it seemed. We had a relatively close view of the stage. The thing is that the some five or six rows in front of ours were vacant! If no one had booked those seats, why didn’t Sistic give those to us? It was pretty maddening. I could have a closer view of those six packs and firm pecs! 

And did I say the Korean b-boys were cute? I did?

Another problem which I saw for myself once again, a problem which organisers themselves fear, is the Singaporean attitude. Singaporeans go into the theatre before the show starts, park our butts comfortably on the seats and there the butts stay (except during intermission but for this show, it was too short to have one) until the end of the show. During the performance, you could see that the dancers really wanted the audience to stand up and cheer on their feet. They were gesturing for us to get on our feet. I was like “hey they want us to stand up!”, but the typical Singaporeans thought the dancers wanted us to clap and so, clap they did.

I was fairly embarrassed. It was clear that everyone in the audience enjoyed the performance immensely. Everyone clapped and cheered loudly at every chance they could. But to stand up? Now, every Singaporean started to get shy. Why?? I really don’t understand. Are we that bad at expressing our emotions? The same goes for every single concert I’ve been to. Singaporeans don’t stand up and move to the beat until the encore. It’s so hard to get us to warm up that I swear the performers feel embarrassed sometimes. Why do we get all shy suddenly when the typical Singaporean won’t even blush as they push their way like barbarians into the MRT train before the passengers alight?

Nothing surprising when the first in the audience whom I spotted standing up were two lovely Caucasian ladies in the middle block at the front. I admit they looked awkward when everyone else still refused to stand up but I applaud their courage. I really wanted to stand up. I kept telling Diz that we should get on our feet, but there was this voice in my head that kept warning me otherwise. I swore it was Singaporean. It kept telling me how silly I would look standing up alone and how those sitting behind me would curse because I would be blocking their view.

Yes, yes, I am ashamed of myself, telling Singaporeans off when I was guilty of the same crime. But I did rush to get up at the end of the performance when all the dancers were on stage, randomly doing their thang on the stage that earned hoots and woots, while urging the audience to stand up once again. This time round, I could see people all the way at the front standing up so I got up immediately. Maybe it’s the Singaporean in me again. Kiasu-ness.   

I am soooo glad that I went for the show because there might never be a second chance. This is of course all thanks to SPH Foundation which brought the team to our shores before they continue with their tour to America, Japan, China and Spain. They should really continue to bring such different and entertaining performances to our own Esplanade, other than the usual modern contemporary stuff which I really doubt that the average Singaporean has an interest in. You don’t have to be a Picasso or Beethoven to inspire. Graffiti, street art, street dance, the whole hip-hop culture can invoke creativity in youths as well.  

Anyway here are some remarkable performances by:

Gorilla Crew:

They showed segments of this video at the start of the show. Everyone was truly impressed even before we saw the guys themselves.

Able Crew’s performance at BOTY 2007 Korea:

This is similar to Act 3 of the performance. You have to see for yourself. It’s really very cool.

 

WE WELCOME YOU BACK TO OUR SHORES ANYTIME, GORILLA CREW! YOU GUYS ARE DOPE!

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The hospital will be holding its audit in a couple of weeks’ time and it’s so annoying. There are so many things to memorise in case we suay suay bump into one of the auditors during the audit period and they ask us questions we never bother to think about. For me, it’s extra difficult because in the first place, I don’t even belong here! I am under another institution which has its headquarters in another hospital. I’m just one of those few who are posted here because our bosses are here. Hence for this upcoming audit, I have not receive any information about it nor have I been bugged by anyone to prepare for it.

In a way, I’m having an easier life than other colleagues because their managers and supervisors have been pestering them to read the Audit Bible (seriously, a manager called it the bible) and all the email updates on the audit, memorise every single bit of the bible and even test them on the facts now and then. It’s like school all over again! I have been spared of all this additional work but the unfortunate thing is that should I be faced with an auditor, I’m sure that I would flunk the entire affair! That is why my plans for the three crisis days will be to 1) take annual leave, 2) hide all day in my office where the auditors won’t come in (most likely be in the wards) or 3) activate my “flight or fight” mode (I prefer “flight“), i.e. learn to spot an auditor from far and run.

I have to give it to the committee in charge though. They were pretty creative in trying to make it easier for the staff to remember the crucial points. They even used mnemonics for some cases. My colleagues and I had great fun twisting the thing around haha. For example, the mnemonic for fire safety is RACES – namely rescue (people), (raise) alarm, call (the appropriate unit), extinguish (fire) and shut (down gas supply). We made up our own fire safety rules of

Run for your life!!!!!
Ahhhhhhhh!!!! (the typical sound one makes in the throat in times of fear)
Call the Fire Station (995) while running away
Escapes successfully
Sibeh heng!

See! Told you I’ll definitely fail the audit!

YEAH!!!~ We are going to catch a performance tomorrow!!!~

Yes, it’s the “B-Boyz & Ballerina“, formerly known as “The Ballerina Who Loves a B-boy”.

Interestingly, what first caught my notice on Korean breakdancing crews performing in Singapore was a The Bag Page feature in Urban, Straits Times, on one of the b-boys. However, this dancer actually comes from a different crew from the one in B-boyz & Ballerina, and this internationally renowned crew, Last For One, has another dance performance “Spin Odyssey“, also at the Esplanade.

Unfortunately by the time I realised that I would want to catch the performance, it was showing the very weekend which was too rushed for me to gather the girls. Furthermore, we weren’t free. Imagine my delight when I soon discovered that we had another option: 

There’s quite a loadful of videos on this dance performance on YouTube as it is very famous in Korea itself. Which will probably bring the question to some of you: Why are we spending over S$50 to watch something which we can catch on the Internet? To which I will reply irritably: For the experience lah, duh. How could something that’s taken by people in the audience, using probably the video recording function of a digital camera, be compared to the real live performance itself? You can’t feel the vibe, you can’t hear the music blasting from the sound system, you can’t even see the dancers clearly, for goodness sake, because so many of the videos are not exactly taken by professionals!

Here are some snaphots from the pamplet:

And here’s a video to let you have a brief feeling of what we will be experiencing tomorrow:

I’m soooooooo excited! 🙂

More updates after the performance!

…when you receive your bonus which is the hugest lump sum of money you have ever seen in your life so far, and you think about how much you can put aside and save.

S-a-v-e. I’m actually trying to save. Quite unbelievable.

Previously, the only S-word I could do to my money was to spend.

Now I actually take out a piece of paper and a pen, write down the inevitable expenditure for the coming month like the credit card bill, the study and tuition fee loans, medical-related bills, calculate the balance and decide to save more than 85% of it.

I’m actually worrying about bills and other unavoidable costs incurring in the daily life!!!

I’m actually planning to save!!!

Gosh, I feel sooooo adult.    

My goodness, what’s next then?

Knitting???

 

 

On a sidenote, a colleague after subtracting her numerous installment payments for her credit cards, revealed that she only has $200 left to spend! Credit cards are EVIL!!! 

Today is such a delightful day that I shall not blog for the rest of the day! Ok, that doesn’t make sense but well, happy people don’t make sense sometimes. Too much endorphins.

Reasons why I’m happy today:

  1. It’s a rainy day!!! I like gloomy days with skies laced with looming dark clouds, threatening Armageddon. Bolts of lightning flashing across the sky are beautiful. I can do without the heart-stopping thunder though.
  2. I had a yummy, fulfilling Western breakfast of scrambled eggs, hashbrown, baked beans and sausage, complete with Earl Grey tea.
  3. It is Day Four after my Varicella zoster vaccination and I’m still feeling fine!
  4. I finished my book, A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini within a couple of days, although I should have read it eons ago after The Kite Runner. It is truly splendid!
  5. I have CardioMix later in the evening! I’ve a feeling that we’ll be doing kickboxing. 🙂

Ok, now for the real reason: We all received our bonuses today!!!!

Today is a good day to come to the hospital because everyone is really happy and will treat you really nice. 🙂

Ok, I admit. Sometimes I say the most atrociously amorous things which will make all my friends furrow their brows in mock disapproval and mild embarrassment and go “aiyoh” in unison. I say those in good humour, in all lightheartedness, to make people laugh, to entertain, but all my friends just end up thinking that I’m some kind of perv.

The pick of the day was when we bumped into the cutie from pharmacy, a temporary staff, at the cafeteria. Not my type, he’s still a boy, but my colleague (married *ahem* and a year older than myself) really has the hots for him. To the extent that she would go downstairs and pop into the pharmacy three times a day if he was on duty. After buying everything that she needed and would possibly need, she started asking everyone else if we needed anything from the pharmacy and offering to run the errands for us. LOL. I guess it all paid off because now she knew that he is studying/ has studied in Australia, can’t really speak Mandarin and is now on holidays. She also knew that his right arm was injured. (-.-)

When we met him at the cafeteria this afternoon, standing a few people behind him in the queue for payment, my colleague excitedly quipped that his right arm was still injured. To which I joked to my friends at the back of the queue, waaaaayyyy out of his hearing range, “Aiyoh, poor thing. Arm still injured. Come let me sayang sayang. Come, I give you a few kisses on the arm to make it better. Muack mauck muack muack.”

My colleagues instantly giggled and truly enough, went “aiyoh” in unison like some kind of symphony.

Great, I was just trying to be funny and entertaining, but now even my colleagues think that I’m a perv.

Having parents who are fans of 金庸 and have read every single book of his, from the first 《书剑恩仇录》to the last 《鹿鼎记》, this means that we know practically all of his works, particularly those which have been made into TV series or movies.

Having parents who are fans of 金庸, have read every single book of his, from the first 《书剑恩仇录》to the last 《鹿鼎记》, and can recite easily offhand the family tree and the love-hate relationships of ALL the characters, this means that we’ve also watched most likely ALL the TV series broadcast on local channels (although we can’t remember all), can recall the names of the lead characters in those we can remember and are definitely familiar with the martial skills and secret manuals in the shows.

All the 金庸 talk and watching has also caused us to have a great interest in 武侠片 and 功夫片. I’ve practically watched and loved the entire 黄飞鸿 series. I’m not into Bruce Lee 李小龙 though. We are so not girly.

My favourite game which I’ve invented myself is assaulting my family members with the kungfu moves used in the shows.

Ok, it’s probably not so much of an enjoyable game for my family as they are just getting hit by me, but it’s pretty fun. You all should try it on your family and friends.

It’s a fairly simple game. For example, I just hit my mum in her tummy with my palm and go “寒冰掌”. Or “黯然销魂掌”. Or poke her with my 一阳指. My favourite is of course “降龙十八掌” from《天龙八部》, because I get to hit eighteen times. I haven’t try “蛤蟆功” on anyone as yet. It’s a bit inconvenient to go on fours.

Yesterday I was kicking my sis with my “无影脚” to which my sis protested that it couldn’t really be 无影 because she could see it. So I pointed somewhere behind her and said urgently, “你看那边!”. She turned her head and I gave her another kick.  

“无影脚!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Everyone else just collapsed and started laughing.

 

*You all know that I will never kick or hit anyone to inflict pain, right? It can’t be that painful anyway. LOL.*

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