Saturday, October 21, 2006
It's been a real busy week! It's friday night, and I just got back from a Brazillian Dance Perfomance at the Esplanade. The event is called Parabelo and Lecuona by the Grup Corpo, and is part of the "dains" festival 2006. It's sponsered by Credit Suisse, so we got free VIP tickets! Yayyyyyyy!!! I love freebies. Gimme gimme!
Hehe, we also got an autographed copy of the programme and a free dvd!
Anyway, feeling a little guilty that I had not spent much of the week with my family, I agreed to attend the event even though my mum gave few clues as to what I should expect. I was on the way to the gym one evening, when she called me up, and said, "Friday night you free? Want to go see Brazillian dance?". I was about to say no, but I thought better, and set aside Friday for the family.
That plan was foiled slightly by the fact that my parents had decided against attending at the last minute. Nonetheless, it still had all semblance of a family outing with the two monkeys (Jiawen and Jiayi, L to R in photo), and my brother and sister in law, dawn.
By pure coincidence, I also met Tom and Xin Jin, my friends from the LSE at the event! It was a pleasant surprise to see them both, and having attended a recent alumni event, I had wondered how they were doing. In case anyone reading my blog is wondering, Tom is now working with DCM at Credit Suisse, and Xin Jin is with HSBC on their management associate programme! Such high fliers ah!
Enough blabber, what about the show then? Well I really had no expectations whatsoever. When my mum had mentioned Brazillian dance, the first image that had come to mind was Dustin Hoffman in Meet the Fockers doing his Brazillian "cock fight" (Don't ask me why).
There were two separate shows coregraphed by one person, Roderigo Pedernerias, suuposedly an award winning dance coreographer.
Parabelo, the first of the two shows, had a modern twist to it, that was alien, yet at times beautiful to behold. It involved a number of group dance routines. The background had images projected on black screens, the main installment, being five skin heads shouting out ... (Contemporary culture is wierd). It started out oddly, with the dance troupe on their backs and thrusting backwards and forwards on their arms and legs. It got better though, and the colours of the outfits exuded vibrancy. The movement was clearly spectacular and quite something to behold. The sheer energy taken to execute one dance routine is just staggering, and the movements in tune with the music, which had a modern kind of "loungy" feel to it. You know, the kind of thing you might expect in Buddha bar. I thought it was decent, and tried my best to appreciate it.
The second show, titled Lecuona, and inspired by Cuba's own "Gershwin" opened after the interval. That was DA BOMB, and the reason why I'm even blogging about this dance troupe. The dance had a mixture of influences I could actually identify with, i.e., Flamenco, Tango, Salsa, the Waltz, and of course some modern tricks here and there. Each set comprised of just two dancers, and they danced to the tune of Opera music, which was simply heavenly. There's something about opera music. It may be in a foreign language, but unlike other genres of music, you don't need to understand the lyrics to feel the song. It reaches out to you. The dances were coreographed perfectly to each song and singer, and the dance routines were absoloutely mesmerising. When two become one like that, and blend effortlessly into the music and the stage, that's the time you appreciate dance, and as a language it touches you (Ah ben, your education begins soon!).
The finale was simply the icing on the cake. "Mirrors" of a sort came down on either side of pairs of dancers, the beautiful ladies dressed in white gowns and the men dressed smartly in black, and they started waltzing. The multiplicity of images had the desired effect, and their routines were regal and calm (as exemplified by the waltz), in contrast to the earlier "courtship" routines which had demonstrated elements of the "tug of war" reality of relationships.
Afterwards, we were ushered out to a private reception where we were to meet the dancers. Me and the monkeys were pretty psyched out about this exclusive opportunity, but after fifteen minutes, only some of the guy dancers had come out, and I certainly was not standing around for guys in spandex. Some of those female dancers were soooo beautiful, it's not even funny, but we left, happy with our night and freebies. On the way out I got the soundtrack for Lecuona. Opera music filled my XC90 all the way home!