[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Saturday, August 18, 2007

[If there are seasons ...]
1. I attended the premiere performance of the Chinese musical 'If there are seasons...' last night. In Chinese, the title is 'when it is cold, come home'. It was skilfully done and the audience responded warmly. Since leaving MITA (now MICA), I've not had much time to attend cultural performances. When Practice Theatre sent me the invitation, I checked my diary and found to my delight that I had a free evening. I wanted to see the production by Kuo Pao Kun's elder daughter Jian Hong. It would also be nice to see how HK playwright Raymond To rendered Liang Wern Fook's songs into a musical.

2. It was an emotional return to the arts scene for me, seeing so many familiar faces from the post. I was happy to see Wern Fook again after so many years. Pao Kun's wife, Lay Kuan, was in fine spirit, giving me her assessment of the way a younger generation of artistes is maturing. She said that every generation must find its own footing, adding that Pao Kun's legacy should not be a burden on their daughters. The younger daughter, Jing Hong, was responsible for the choreography.

3. The musical was a story about the hopes and dreams of Singapore artistes in the last few few decades. Many went to the West to find themselves, not sure whether to come home to a Singapore that was changing rapidly. Some have, of course, and the growing vitality of our cultural life is partly the result of that return flow.

4. It is good that we now have an MP, Baey Yam Keng, who is from our arts community and can articulate their views and aspirations in Parliament. I told him that I was going to attend last night's performance. He could not be there because of MPS but his wife, who is also active in the arts, was. Yam Keng explained to me how the xinyao movement of the 80's had spawned a whole generation of singers and composers, a few of whom have made it big time. I remember watching with fascination the xinyao performances put up by Chinese schoolboys and girls then at the Bras Basah Book Complex. That movement was intensely local and authentic, springing from the depths of our history and culture.

Do also read my posts on Beyond SG


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