[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

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

[The Architecture of Silence]
I attended my first dance performance last week. It was a ballet style cum orchestra performance with the theme along the lines of life and death.

Strangely, it's titled The Architecture of Silence and that was what intrigued me. Of course, the President and several ministers were also invited so I thought it must be a good one to catch.

The story unfolds in silence with dance moves executed swift and sharp. Slowly, each pair of dancers take their turn to bask in the limelight. And then the music starts.

Mozart's Requiem KV 622 and Polish composer Zbigniew Preisber's Requiem for my friend take centrestage in The Architecture of Silence. Together the dancers, backed by the 80-strong live choir and orchestra, this dry water ballet takes shape.

Presented by Slovene National Theatres Opera & Ballet Maribor and Ljubljana as well as a festival orchestra specially put together, this piece choreographed by Edward Clug is about fish. Fish live their lives in silence and this is how the theme of life and death is portrayed throughout the performance.

At first, the moves come fast and furious. Dancers dressed in suits interchange in a haphazard manner on stage. They run. They do somersaults. But there's always one dancer that's the odd one out in the whole group. I guess this sort of portrays the imperfections in life - that someone is always a step away from the crowd.

Photo credit: http://singaporeartsfest.wordpress.com/

It then moves into a slow-paced performance. The dancers have now stipped bare to presumably shiny leather tights. A lady dressed in white saunters along the stage leaving a white trail. Is that the angel? It sure looked like one. During this point, the dry water elements are taken a step further - you literally seen and hear the water. There's the plomp of pebbles in water juxtaposed against the singing soparanos on the ledge of the Esplanade Theatre.

The show reaches its peak when the dancers charge ahead and fall flat on the ground. Flashes of lights appear and disappear. The central character in white makes her way across the stage sprinkling water to signify baptism. The water, splashed against the bright white lights creates a spectacular sparkle.

It's a baptism of fire for me - watching my first dance performance.


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