Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Curtains Up 2010 at PJLA

It's a delayed post due to all sorts of reasons. Nevertheless, it's here!!!

It has been months since we started prepraring and thinking of our concert that took place on 24th July 2010. At first, we started with Jia Le's so-called Japanese dance (she mistaken the song as a Japanese song, and since we didn't have a name for it we referred it like that).

As we slowly progressed, edited the music, choreographed our steps and so on, another dance instructor of ours, Farah finally had some free time to spare with us to choreograph our second dance. Initially, we planned to do hip hop. But of course, it wasn't easy with just, what, only three of us? Hip hop needs a big group of dancers where everyone goes all out and takes turn to lose their breath while doing stunts. Naturally, 3 is not the right number. So after weeks of trial and errors, we scrapped the plan and thought of doing a hip hop and ballet fusion on pointe shoes.

While we were working on our second dance, our third and forth started swiftly one after another. We would go to the studio on Sunday afternoons to learn our Mongolia dance; while on Saturday, we would spend our morning on the second dance and during noon, we would choreograph a group dance with some kids around my sister's age.

The schedule was so packed. I had to bring my sis to the studio at 10am, where I would warmed up while waiting for her to practice her Sailor Dance. At 11am, I would go to the other room to do my Dark Swan with Jia Le and Farah, and later around 11.30am we would start practising our group dance named Step Up. When Step Up's practice session ends, I would continue my Dark Swan until it's 3pm. In between, the most I had was a bun from the bakery.

It wasn't easy, but it was fun, and tiring. Due to my schedule, I can't even have a break to chill out with some crazy humans out there as I wished, which was rather cruel as it was my first uni sem break!! Urgh.

Costumes & Props
As time passes, we began to finalised our steps, designed our costumes and prepared our make ups.

Mongolian costume (rent)
Ballet soft shoes
High pony tail

Om Pak Pak:
White chiffon top
Black leotard
Black leggings
Bare feet
White make up on the eyes
Exaggerating eye liner

Dark Swan
Black tutu
Black leotard
Sparkly top
Black shoes with black ribbons

Step Up:
White top x 2 layers
Black pants
White gloves
White lipstick

Money is, and has always been a serious issue for everyone of us. With some brainstorm and research, we tried to get some of the costumes at the cheapest price available and diy ourselves.

Can you believe I made my own, very first tutu? All we used were 2 meters of thick black ribbon, less than 4 meters of tulle, some shiny sequins and Uhu glue!! It's so much cheaper than renting one!!! And I get to keep it!! Which is the problem here since I don't think I'll be using it that often so...hmmmm... I need to find a hole and keep it unseen. If anyone out there needs to use it I'd be glad to do a favour to whoever it is...

I'm not wearing this for the performance!! I just need the fake plastic hair attached to the ends of the hair band. WHY? Because I need to tie a very high pony tail like the ones you see in those Samurai show or something... With my short hair, I rather die than to dance on stage with a coconut tree sticking up on my head. With a pair of scissors and some rubber bands, my hair extension was done!!

We also went looking for some colourful hair extension we could clip onto our hair for the Dark Swan performance, but the ones in Bonita was so freaking expensive than we decided to diy. So to the haberdashery again. With a fine shiny silver rope, we ripped it thread by thread until it becomes so fine that we can clip on our hair without looking stupid. Definitely not an easy task.

The Rehearsal
We should have started it earlier. It was scheduled to end at 3 but after making some changes doing more practices to get the position correct, we ended up leaving PJLA near 5. Urgh.

Arrived at PJLA around 11.30am with my mum, sis & bro, grandparents, aunt and cousin. We went to Oversea Restaurant first to have lunch (light ones for me and my sis). While waiting for the dishes to arrive, we ran up to have a look at the stage first.

Another group of dancers were rehearsing the Chinese Fan Dance when we entered.

Noticed the differences of the floor? The area near the audience was rather rough unlike the area where the dancer in pink stands which was shinier, and smoother. Probably designed to prevent dancers from slipping off the stage and crashing onto the audience.

The hall was small, the chairs were not your typical cinema comfy red sofa and the backstage was terribly small. No point hiding my disappointment. But it's not such a big let down since we were informed and the stage was considerably a lot deeper (in size) than we anticipated. Particularly, the spotlights were more professional compared to the ones in the Security Commission Auditorium. Now that's awesome.

Rehearsing for Mongolia.
I tried tying the fake hair onto my pathetic coconut tree on my head. As expected, you can't noticed the fake hair at all if you're off stage. Karyn thought I didn't put it on, just imagine how perfect it was on me? xD

Mmmmmm~ The Dark Swan.
This dance was the most exhausting dance of all. Unlike group dance where dancers can take turns to steal a breath while others shine under the limelight, we only have three on stage so we have really limited rest time.

This, is rehearsal exclusive only.
We used to do this (after the pose up there) until we changed it before we finished our rehearsal.

Jazz Step Up took us the longest time to rehearse. With around 10 (or more, sorry if I missed out someone) dancers on the stage, it's no easy task to make sure everyone hits the correct beat or spins on the correct spot. So we had at least 5 rehearsals, for us to correct our positions, changes our moves, switch partners and etc. Phew. By the time we finalised Step Up's routine, Jia Le, Farah and I practised our Dark Swan (the part which we changed) at backstage since we couldn't wait any longer to use the stage which was still being used.

Should I be happy or sad. By the time we reached home, it was about 5pm. We had to repack our costumes again, bath (oh gawd how I stink!), eat Maggi Mee, tie my hair, get the Success Physics Book (for Vincy) and tickets and etc...

Lastly, we had to make up. So while the clock ticked by, we were like Captain Hook groaning at the sound of every tick of the clock from the crocodile's stomach. It was 6.30pm and we're supposed to gather at 6pm. Oh we were so late. Finally it was done and in a flash, we were there.

My heart nearly stop thumping when an aunty told me, 'They started chor lor...'

But it wasn't 7.30pm yet, so how can they start. So we were glad to find out that the aunty wasn't accurate. I don't know what she was trying to tell me back then but I couldn't bother to go asking her, but the good news was they were only practising the finale part instead of starting the concert as I thought. Aunty you need to speak clearly, or one day someone will get a heart attack. So off we went to arrange our stuffs neatly for easy access and dressing up for our first performance.

The Concert
Finally, 7.30pm arrived and curtains up!! The first two dances were performed by kiddies, and the third one, Mongolia by us.

There you go, my sister. Somehow my mum gave me lousy excuses about me not standing at the right place so she couldn't at first and didn't bother later to take any nice shots of me. How cruel. Urgh.

After Mongolia, we rushed to the backstage and prepared for the next performance. After helping my sis with her Sailor Dance costume and watching her off, I changed into mine.

Well, despite the early preparations and everything, I just had to take off my gloves and do something which I've forgotten what it was. When I was just about to reach the curtains, I remembered that my hands are bare and so I hurried back to wear my gloves. But I wasn't the only forgetful one, Athena was running back to the so-called 'changing room' to get hers while I returned to the side of the stage.

Jazz Step Up.
Can you see me playing a cello?? xD

Definitely one of the most successful performances of the night!! As I said before, the lighting equipment was superb. It was really bright and even and we totally shine like stars on the stage. Even though it was unbelievably hot on the stage with all the lights shining like the tube in the oven, the lights were so bright on the stage that we couldn't see the audience's face, at all.

Well, this scene was supposed to involve two dancers only, with Jia Le carrying Sureena, but she couldn't do it alone so my sis and I joined in~

I don't know whether my gaze met yours, but believe me I was looking for a familiar face to stare at. But everyone's face was so dark and blur down there that in the end, I just sorted of develop a kind of 'don't see, don't know, don't care' feeling. We can't see everyone's facial expression, so when I finally got used to it, I just couldn't care less of what others might think and show on their faces and just dance to the beat as if nobody is around.

Nice pose, nice lighting, nice shot. Personally I like this shot very much, but the bitterness of my mum not having a decent photo (not even one!!!! The blurred ones don't count!) of me kicks in everytime I stare at this. And that's me behind. But no, my mum was on the other side so she couldn't see me and it was my fault for not posing somewhere close to her. Bleh.

Clarybelle in her Solo performance.
Not the best name for a Frenchy ballet performance. Not sure who's idea was that...but...hmmm...there's an error in the tittle of our next performance as well...

So, while Mother and Child and Solo were going on, Jia Le and I were in the toilet busy changing.

Three eggs.
Can you see what we're trying to picture? xD

Taken by my mum.
I loooooove the black shoes and ribbons!! It was so gothic with our black tops and tutus~ xD But gah, I was in such a rush that I totally forgot to cut the extra ribbons on my shoes... T____T And guess what, I was so lazy to sew the ribbons on, after a little brain storming, I used duct tape to stick it on!!!!!!!!! Go duct tape go!!! It's such a wonderful creation!!

Hacthing swans~
Ok, that's Farah up there. Does the name ring a bell? No? Go google 'Farah Hanan So You Think You Can Dance Malaysia', or just click here, here or here. She's our dance choreographer for the Dark Swan and Step Up!! xD

It's not called the Dark Swan for nothing!

It really feels different. The practices, rehearsals, and the real thing. When it's not the real thing, my mind would keep on telling me to 'point my toes', 'stretch my hands', 'turn my head', 'bend really low', 'look', 'smile', 'push', and so on. But when the time comes, my mind simply went blank after running a few cycles and I couldn't think anymore. It's like my body took over and I couldn't recall what I have done or didn't do during the whole dance.


Now this...happens when the performers are still preparing.

What happened you ask? Well, as Jia Le and I had to perform the Dark Swan up there and another performance, Om Pak Pak later with only one performance, Chinese Fan Dance in between, we have very very limited time to change and make up.

That was no joke. We were already sweating all over and we had to changed real fast, wipe our sweat and make up. Not fun at all.

And that's it.
The last performance, end of the concert.

Finale & Backstage
Without Ms. Ng (lady in glasses and dress), none of this would be possible. So she certainly deserve a big thank you from everyone!

Me and my dance pals~

Must have more faith in them.
Of course, while I was busy packing my things and worrying about not being able to see them before they leave, they came bombarding to the backstage as if it belongs to them. As a reward, everyone got a sweaty hug from me. =P

Where's my Peanut? I thought we finally had a happy family photo, but apparently Peanut was missing...

Not forgetting the highschool pals, Wan Hui, Vincy and Rachy! And oh, Tze Horng was a highschool friend also! xD And yes, nice to see Peanut here.

Had my dipper (dinner+supper) at Wendy's later with the highschool female trios after that. I was so busy chatting and scooping my potato that I forgot to take photos... T^T

Anyway, the excitement didn't end on my journey back home. It started with my maid, Savy debating with my cousin.

'That's a girl she hugged.' Said my cousin.
'No he's a guy,' my maid argued.
'She can't be!' Went my cousin.
'He is he is!' And they continued.

So I was sitting there, thinking of what to do when I get back when they started it. Curious, I asked what are they debating. So these two women started questioning me whether a certain someone is a girl or guy. I asked, 'which one?' They started describing the traits and looks of that certain person whom I hugged. In the end, I was so puzzled at their words.

White jacket, and a guy. Who wears white jacket just now? Mr. Pay? No wait, he was wearing his blue stripy top! It can't be!! Oh yeah, wearing specs as well... Who was wearing spectacles?? Jiri? I know he wears glasses... But no, he was wearing a purple shirt...I think...but certainly no white jacket! Who's that...?

Of course, I remembered, who's the 'guy' in white and wearing glasses. It must be Annie. Pfffffft.

These people had mistaken Annie as a hot guy from Korea. Surprise surprise. I told you so. LOL I remember the days when Annie had her hair cut again and added some highlights to it, Chelsia and I kept on saying that Annie looks like some Korean hot star!!! With her calm demeanour, cool androgynous look, brilliant brain, not too muscular yet not too flabby figure and her knack for fashion sense, she's someone a girl would die for.

Like I always said, 'if Annie's a guy I'd marry her, or him immediately.' If and only if. Too bad ne. I'm not saying that Annie's not a good wo...let's stop here before this turns into an Annie's Characteristic Analysis Report...lol

And yeah, my cousin and maid has yet to overcome the shocking revelation of Anni's gender.

Final Thoughts
It was a great night for me. The lights, the music, the costumes, the moves, friends and family was a fantastic combination form of ecstasy. Looking back at the video and photos, I know I did some mistakes despite going all out on the stage. However, those little things don't matter since it is over and no one knows (except you who read)! Wish I was there with you guys watching myself performing, sadly I can't be in two places at the same time. It's such a pity to missed out some of your crazy reactions, I'd love to see them and laugh at it.

As for those compliments, I don't really deserve them all, but seeing you guys all so hyped makes me believe that I'm awesome. Feeling awesome is good, even if those feelings burst like a bubble after I watched my own performance. Aaaaaaaaahhhhh mistakes!!!!!!!!! I see mistakes everywhere!!!!!!!!!!!! But I'm not telling you muahahahahahaha!!!! No doubt, the most surprising compliment I got was from Annie's sister, saying that I'm the s*xiest dancer on stage. That came as a big shock to me. lol Wow, me sexy? Maybe Angelia took out her contact lens for a while and mistaken someone else as me, or maybe it's just me experiencing severe inferiority complex.

I really appreciate all the support I received. As most (if not all) you know, I'm flying to Perth somewhere around Feb next year, so I might stop dancing for some time. It could be forever or just temporary, but I don't know, so this could be my last concert with my dance friends. It was a great experience and I really enjoyed every moment I went through...well, maybe not those hell-ish moment I experienced during the practices... xD

Will this be my last concert? I certainly hope not. Hopefully, I can get back in time from Perth during my sem break to join the future concert in 2012. xD

Ps: Just for this post, I suggest that you comment in the comment box below instead of cbox. Because I'd like to keep a record of this event. :D


Pluto said...


Annie said...

can't believe you actually posted my gender debate here as a record. T.T

Cerlyn Tong said...

DONT WORRYYY ANNIE TAN! ur still hot and super cool :D

nice post! glad to have been there to watch you! dont forget me when ur all rich and famous and invite me for ur next event(there better BE A NEXT EVENT) :D take care babeee! :)

Cerlyn Tong said...

DONT WORRYYY ANNIE TAN! ur still hot and super cool :D

nice post! glad to have been there to watch you! dont forget me when ur all rich and famous and invite me for ur next event(there better BE A NEXT EVENT) :D take care babeee! :)

Annie said...

thanks for the compliments cerlyn :)
but we cant deny that je hui was the spotlight that night XD