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The Synopsis


DANCE INSTALLATION

Ombak Naik, Tuah Menurun

Choreographer: Aida Redza
Music Composer: Tan Sooi Beng
Supported by: Ho Sheau Fung as Video Designer &
Leonard S.
Gurunathan as Sound Designer


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This dance choreography takes on an almost metaphysical quality with 6 dancers and one furtive story teller unfolding concepts of generational curses and the burden of guilt and the significance these ‘sins of the past’ play in mapping the future.

The dancers begin as stateless beings until the wind calls and the monsoons are stirred. Through this frenzy the dancers are trans-navigated to their past and are forced to confront ‘skeletons in the cupboard’ – the darker side of existence.

Haunting reminders of hidden legacies are evoked through the interplay of raw traditional and electronic instrumentation and vocal chanting. Secrets are revealed haltingly through jolted videography playing on dancers bodies and on wooden crates within which secrets are stowed away.

As confessions are made, the provocative and destructive nature of these hidden curses emerge and the carriers are finally faced with choices to seek redemption or forever carry the burden.


DRAMA
Sonata Tropika

Director: Janet Pillai

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This 3 person drama makes a ‘stereotypical’ comment on how addicted television viewers respond to the ‘stereotypical’ plots and images propagated in serial soap operas. The 3 actors become obsessed with the bold and brazen risks taken by the fashion-flaunting soap opera characters. They lip-sinc the songs, discuss the complicated affairs, and anxiously await the outcomes the of cliff-hanging episodes.

The high emotions stirred by screen romance are carried into their daily lives and colour their otherwise mundane reality. A triangular affair begins where the 3 characters fantasize about each other and try to live out passionate moments shown on screen, but with disastrous results.

The drama features Mandarin songbird Ho Sheau Fung who plays a karaoke-crazy wife, fiery dancer Aida Redza who plays a pent-up foreign maid and mature comedy actor Ang Ban Siang who plays the penultimate pot-bellied husband ; all in search of ROMANCE. The play tells it all in 3 farcical episodes which lasts all of 15 minutes.


MUSIC
Letter From The Bird Community

Composer and Musical Director: Tan Sooi Beng

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“…to let nature and its myriad beauties bloom in the brilliant sun” – Usman Awang

Beginning with the jovial interplay of bird calls using live vocals, flute, violin and erhu, this original music composition unravels the poetic brilliance of Usman Awang’s ‘Surat dari Masyarakat Burung’. Paralleling the poet’s original appeal to humankind to hear the many voices of the natural world, the piece juxtaposes a variety of bird calls as a plea to the mayor of the city to keep the city green. Nevertheless, development continues, represented by the resonating percussion comprising interlocking rhythms by various traditional drums and found objects. The bird calls become dissonant as the city’s mud turns to concrete. The woodpecker is crushed under a felled tree, the turtle dove is conned by the name ‘Padang Merbuk’ and the birds are imprisoned in boxes that humans call cages!


Lord Mayor

though we had no hand in electing you

since franchise is not for the feathered

still we honoured you for your promise

OF A GREEN CITY.

Alas, they have desecrated THE GREEN of nature

to worship THE GREEN of dollars

since the city's mud turned to concrete

we birds have been the silent sufferers

the late Belatuk was crushed under a felled tree

Merbuk was conned by the name Padang Merbuk

While he and his kind were cooped in cages

This letter requests that in your wisdom

you will protect each branch, each root,

each leaf, each petal, each bower,

for these have been our homes through the centuries,

and it would also be for the good of man,

his health and happiness, his peace of mind,

to let nature and its myriad beauties bloom

in the brilliant sun.




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