Sunday, 20 April 2008
chaos in unison by hands percussion
i have always enjoyed watching bits and pieces by this very talented group of performers, at the boh cameronian awards, most usually, and in spite of this weekend being the most activity filled one my phone calendar has seen in a while, i'm glad i made it to KL pac last night.
one other thing i'm patting myself on the back for is for FINALLY dragging myself off to watch a performance at KLpac since i moved into the neighbourhood last hari raya. effendi keeps reminding me that the main reason i chose to have a town pad at sentul west in the first place WAS to be next to the theatre. isn't that so typical though.
anyway. it was raining rather heavily so its very acceptable that the show started 10 mins late. i made this a big family night out with my mom and brother nick who loves drums, carol's kid erin, my 2 kids, and the husband got dragged in too of course.
the show opened with a solitary person sitting on the stage drumming sticks onto the floor. i loved the lighting and set, very minimal and effective. especially loved what looked like the "all-seeing eye" dangling from the ceiling on stage left. the drumming continues, and after a minute one drummer walks onstage, carrying in a drum, places it onstage and walks off. in between, we are introduced to a very slender guy in red baggy shorts who starts to do his stretching and warm-ups. he's in no hurry to get going. the drummers walk on and off stage for what feels like about 10 minutes now of zero action. i'm watching my kids, they're shifting restlessly in their seats by now.
when i caught my son dani's eye, he can't help himself but grumble a little louder than i wish he did. "mom...these guys aren't even ready yet, why did they start the show?" the guys sitting behind us couldn't hold back a giggle upon hearing that.
the guy in the red shorts was all stretched and warmed up by now, and he started running in circles around the "set". he goes on running and running for about 15 or 20 minutes okay, and i'm getting really worried by now because he really did look very convincing as an absolutely exhausted marathon runner. i must say i couldn't find my artistic side last night though cos i couldn't make out the story in the long silent opening, the marathon man and what was going on on stage, for the whole first half.
once the drummers actually got going though, i knew this was what i came here for in the 1st place. the hands percussion team are made up of a young, vibrant, and very passionate bunch of boys and girls. their energy and enthusiasm was very catching, for me. in acting terms, we would say they "committed" to the roles and the stories they tried to tell, more successfully in the second half than in the first though, i must admit. and when a stage performer "commits" himself, he has to absolutely believe in what he is trying to convey, then once the audience buys what he sees, he invests his emotions in the performer and wants to follow his or her story, whatever it is he wants to share.
as a producer,i'm asking myself how i would have edited it myself. i think i would have trimmed the fat - the very trying "arty" bits at the beginning, and stayed with the action and with what the team are best at. i'm also thinking how i might incorporate something more visual and physical and entertaining just to add color and a change of "texture", but that's me and probably not in tandem with the artistic director's vision.
i can see from their perfect synchronization and timing, that a lot of time has been invested in rehearsing their act. in live performance, there's no faking effort and discipline. whether you put in 2 days' effort, or 2 months of work, that's exactly what will show onstage.
they absolutely deserve the cameronian nomination for this year and i hope to see the team up on stage receiving the recognition for a job well done.