2021

We are in 2021 … a bit of a precipice-and-see-how-we-go time.

Singapore Dance Theatre’s first show, Coppelia, has had to be cancelled – guidelines from the National Arts Council must be followed, and the one guideline that might be an issue (amongst a fair number of others including number of masked versus unmasked performers) is “Performers should maintain at least 1m safe distance from others, although transient contact between performers during a performance is acceptable”.

In the meantime, One@The Ballet goes on, with care. Quiet snippets, like these, we share; because perhaps not everyone can be there (did I purposely rhyme? would I dare?).

And also! They seem to have gone on to put the next show on video – Peter and Blue’s School Holiday, a new Peter and Blue for the kids – Peter being the boy and Blue being the dog, despite Peter’s costume being Blue. This also conclusively answers the question of whether it should be Peter’s and Blue’s, or Peter and Blue’s (the latter unless we are talking about two different things, like Peter’s and Blue’s examination marks, I suppose – but then again..who knows; but wait, we were talking not about grammar, but about shows).

….and that is it! for where we are now.

Here is the latest collab of one’s dreams — Claudia Dean and Maria Khoreva. I’ve stopped at the point I can’t continue with at night, the part where Maria Khoreva mentions some very old studio where the door bangs suddenly..yep.

Singapore Dance Theatre – Season 2021: Dance From Within

We didn’t do any predictions this round since the world is exceptionally unpredictable right now.

Let’s go! There’s a minor chance we’ll get the names of the dancers for the posters wrong, but we are thrilled by a modicum of risk.

Coppelia opens the year – Minegishi Kana against a backdrop of Chua Bi Ru. I think having a dance performance would be superb – we don’t even know if we can hope for an orchestra even, but just imagining it..! Somehow, live music brings in this crazy new dimension to the music that a recording cannot. There are depths to the sound that stir the soul like a spoon in your teh. Coppelia is a cute light frothy happy favourite and it would be lovely if it did get staged. Previous models for the Coppelia doll (those I can recall) were Uchida Chihiro and Nakahama Akira.

Peter & Blue – School Holiday

This would be an all-new Peter & Blue, a fourth one. That is Jeremie Gan as the new Peter. I’ve always been mildly confused because Peter wears blue. I did think the boy was called Blue, for a while. Blue and the Peter.

Ballet Under the Stars

Classical weekend consists of Balanchine’s Serenade plus Theme and Variations, and Paquita by Marius Petipa. Contemporary weekend has Edmund Stripe’s Piano Concerto No. 2 (aka Shostakovich), Nils Christe’s Symphony in Three Movements (the piece about war), and Edwaard Liang’s Opus 25. This is a nice poster – Kwok Min Yi in a Serenade costume, with Elaine Heng as the backdrop. It is in July. The 7th lunar month is in August, coinciding with National Day, which allows us to sing that old parody of the national day song – “There’s a spirit in the air; it’s a feeling , that seventh month feeling we all share”.

Masterpiece in Motion

Timothy Rushton’s Quiver (a world premiere from he who choreographed Evening Voices), the company premiere of Ibsen’s House by Val Caniparoli, and then Nils Christe’s Organ Concerto, which is a solid piece of work. Chihiro and Kenya (I can’t confidently say the costume is from Organ Concerto instead of Symphony in Three Movements, but I can say it hesitantly), with May Yen Cheah in the background.

Passages

New works by Timothy Harbour (Linea Adora, etc), Natalie Weir (Jabula, etc), and NZ Royal Ballet’s Choreographer-in-Residence Loughlan Prior, and Ezikiel Oliveri whom I am asking my friend Google about. The poster shows (I think) Huo Liang – that is Etienne Ferrère in the background. I feel my powers of identification being tested; are those the trousers from Lambarena?

Nutcracker!! Akira and Etienne, with (I believe) Jason Carter as a soldier toy in the background. And such a pretty Xmas tree.

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While we’re at it, Akira’s in a Singapore Tourism Board video encouraging Japanese tourists to visit SG (when things are better) 🙂 She mentions how, other than the Merlion or MBS, there are nice places like the Botanic Gardens, East Coast Park, and Dempsey Hill. I do miss going out to places. Haha.

From time to time, I also watch videos by Ghib Ojisan, a Japanese chap living in Singapore (he married a Singaporean) who has definitely been to more parts of SG than I have.

Closing off with the song that I’m looping quite a bit right now. It is a truly incredible buzzy song that makes you feel like doing a thousand creative things. It can also power household chores like washing dishes and chopping vegetables.

The other song I’m quite fond of is from Tokyo Jihen – the ending theme for the drama “Watashitachi wa Douka Shiteiru”, which may have been a kinda sleeper hit, I don’t know – a thrilling plotline involving wagashi (traditional Japanese confectionery), an old murder, and romance. This one sounds lovely and mysterious and dark, like a dagger in a sleeve.

World Ballet Day, articles, videos

Here’s SDT’s video for World Ballet Day 2020 Live! Video commentary (not easy at all!) by Elaine Heng starts at 55:40 – it’s a bit soft but gets clearer soon after. Being part of World Ballet Day 2020 is cool (here’s the full list for World Ballet Day 2020 – 40 companies). A few years ago, SDT started with a guest spot on The Australian Ballet’s video, so it’s great they had a full class up for World Ballet Day 2020. I’m a layhuman, I like watching the grand allegro (1:04:26 – Elaine mentions it) part best – all the huge jumps.

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There are some lovely articles in Japanese and English by Ms Yasuko Yeung on the Japanese Association of Singapore website, here. They really make us feel like we’re back at the theatre again, and bring back the joy of watching Singapore Dance Theatre perform live 🙂 Lots of gorgeous pictures in the articles, too. At this time we can’t watch or review anything, so it’s always great to see new articles.

There are also lots of little snippets about ballet on her instagram – from what we can tell, her husband, Marcus Yeung, was the Lord Montague of Romeo and Juliet earlier this year! (We listen quite a bit to the R&J music right now, so we know exactly when he appears, dragging his giant broadsword, to face off against Lord Capulet (Mohamed Noor Sarman, the SDT ballet master.)

There are also interviews up on the Singapore Dance Theatre instagram page.

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A cheerful little piece by May Yen Cheah – to music by Nakamura Kiyora (Kenya and Chihiro’s little girl, who turns 1 today, hurray! happy birthday).

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and i was looking forward to the halloween videos from SDT, and here we are! this has great merit in costumes and in the dancing. you can’t help smiling when you watch it.

Reviews, or lack thereof (but otherwise humming along gently)

Eh..we must say that in these Covid times, and since I’m not made of steel (see the last part of the Swan Lake 2019 review) and I live with elderly people, even if there are performances (which I hope there are!) I don’t know when I’ll be seeing them. We must test the waters and see how things work out. I should like to make my own arrangements for this. We will see how this works out.

Right now where we are, I did miss From Here On, not just because of Covid, but because the day before, I went for an operation. That’s what this list of shows/books was for. None of which I have actually finished. That’s okay. I have a short attention span, anyway.

Yes, so what was I saying again…

Let’s see how the new year goes. We can quietly follow the instagram of Singapore Dance Theatre – they have nice videos like Meet Me on Monday (latest video being with Satoru) and various ballet / stretching/ etc videos (which I can’t do for now).

Since we cannot watch shows, here are 2 videos. The first is a piece choreographed and danced by Chihiro to music composed and performed by the Lorong Boys. It was released a while back, really. We just.. are slow…

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❤︎ Very memorable experience creating this piece along with the beautiful music composed by Lorong Boys. I know one day when everything goes back to normal I’ll look back on this moment in life and remind myself that I should never take things for granted. @singaporedancetheatre @lorongboys ・ この自粛生活中に、シンガポールのミュージシャンの方々との、コラボ企画のお話をいただきました。素敵なメロディにインスパイアされて、自分で考えた振り付けで踊らせていただきました。これから先、普段の生活に戻った時、この動画を見直したら、きっと色んなことを思い出すのだと思います。大切にしたいです。良かったらご覧ください。 𖤐 監督は、憲哉くん 𖤐 潔良は、お昼寝中でした ・ #ballerinalife #singaporelife #momlife #balletmom #バレリーナ #おうちバレエ #ママライフ #シンガポール生活

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The second is a rehearsal of Sync from 2018 (I think the first girl disappearing off front is May Yen Cheah and then Chihiro follows her, but honestly…it’s so fast I can’t say for sure; and the couple dancing in front are Shan Del Vecchio and Li Jie).

Things I’ve learnt – green papaya and fish soup (which I had at the hospital) is truly amazing and settles the tummy; not to watch very intense shows at all, because the effect of GA plus intense shows results in a sleepless hour before bed – that said, I did enjoy the Thai drama “The Gifted”, which I had managed to skim through previously, and ended up rewatching the last episodes of. It’s a show about equality and the education system, and the sequel is showing now. But Gordon Ramsay cooking fast food is probably better for the system. Oh! and TwoSetViolin, last night; I watch them in spurts and they are dreadfully addictive. This morning, I’m also watching Love on the Spectrum – when I’m better, maybe I’ll do some crafts (poorly, but it’s calming) and bake. No Chinese herbs until everything is put together again; only goji berries, red dates, and yummy dried longans. Had my first caffeine today, and I am pleased.

there is no title for this post

this puts the “et cetera” again in the URL – please excuse this non-ballet post again..

because once upon a time we were all young and ‘Be With You’ (the Japanese original – いま、会いにゆきます) remains one of the best movies I have ever watched.

there are things we can’t bring ourselves to write about yet in a year of passings, but this terrible news, it needs shouting from the rooftops because it was Takeuchi Yuko, the Takeuchi Yuko – to me a goddess, a legend (Strawberry Nights! Miss Sherlock! Batista! and most recently for us, Confidence Man JP…) – who passed away. She brought to mind those other screen goddesses Matsu Takako and Amami Yuki. An untouchable, brilliant actress who brought a spark of life and light to any screen.

Rest in peace, Takeuchi Yuko (1 Apr 1980 – 27 Sept 2020). Here’s the song from the movie. The original MV brings back too many memories. I can’t believe it still…

花びらのように散りゆく中で
夢みたいに 君に出逢えたキセキ

(now we remember that Be With You is possibly where we first saw Asari Yosuke, who is a fine and underrated actor now given more than sufficient airtime (I hope) on the magnificent, deeply generous and intelligent police drama Aibou, as “the man who is afraid of the police”.)

From Here On – 23 Sept 2020

Here’s a review from Bak Chor Mee Boy about the recent show by Singapore Dance Theatre. We’re so glad someone reviewed it! (There was a typo in the previous post, corrected – not sure why I typed Sleeping Beauty instead of Nutcracker, heh.)

Here, have some photographs from the official Singapore Dance Theatre instagram. Hopefully, there’ll be more official ones sometime. It’s good to see the dancers performing again, though only 6 got to dance this time.

Another one from Min Yi’s instagram. Ah, makes us miss being in the audience.

SDT with National Arts Council, STB and SSO

This is a supremely beautiful video – made with NAC, Singapore Tourism Board and Singapore Symphony Orchestra. Tickets for the next show (50 seats for 2 performances) were apparently snapped up pretty fast when registration opened on 16 Sept. So far 3 of the 4 performances have been mentioned – Configurations pas de deux (Chihiro, Kenya); Nutcracker Sleeping Beauty Pas de deux (Akira, Etienne); Don Q pas de deux (Min Yi, Satoru). Excited – hope all goes well.

From Here On (SDT)

Hurrah – very cautious opening of live shows by SDT (for unfortunately, their shows have been cancelled up to Nov). See below. The tickets are free but folk are encouraged to donate.

50 people in the huge Esplanade Theatre – presumably the one where they hold the full-lengths. That’s a little terrifying because it reminds you of reality, but this is such a special and important performance.

4 pas de deux, 6 dancers. Ooh, Nutcracker.

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・ Happy Friday⭐️ So happy to announce that we will be back on stage after 6 months!!! It will be a pilot trial performance following safe management measures, so shorter performance with 4 pas de deux, 6 dancers and 50 audience members😊✨ I will be dancing The Nutcracker pas de deux with @etienneferrere 🌹 Thank you @nacsingapore @esplanadesingapore and @singaporedancetheatre for making this happen ❤️ ・ Date: 23rd September Time: 3-4pm / 7.30-8.30pm Location: Esplanade Theatre Seating: 50 per show ・ 9月23日にシンガポール政府のサポートで試験的な公演が出来る事になりました😭✨出演者の数やお客様の数も限られていますが、とにかく私達にとっては大きな一歩!🥺 半年振りの公演、嬉しさ、興奮、緊張、不安、、色々な感情がありますが出来る限りの準備をして臨みたいと思います😌 ・ 📷: @jacey_wacey #singaporedancetheatre #supportsdt

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A little late, but I liked this video! It made me kind of happy. I think I shall go watch something uplifting now. I like cold, rainy nights, but then when they bump into moody blues…Oh, I rather like two of Moody Blues’ songs – “Wildest Dreams” and “I know you’re out there somewhere (somewhere, somewhere)”.

Snippets

We don’t know if Ballet Under the Stars is going ahead – end of this month and start of next.

Meantime, I do rather like this snippet of R&J – watching it reminds me of the graceful charming R&J, of how intensely drenched with joy their pas de deux was…how one got completely swept up in their happiness and the lived happily ever after that they envisioned for themselves. Also I love very much that one instrument that we can hear very close-by the camera-person. It’s one of my favourite parts of the pas de deux, this instrument … something about it just adds the perfect finishing touch to the music.

Here’s another video… Chihiro’s unforgettable delightful, lovable, delicate, girlish Giselle.

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For my own reference…

List of chill things to complete/ gently binge

Don’t know what to make of the new WordPress format, but okay as long as it turns out looking like the usual.

  1. One Piece, stuck at Chapt 432 and then found the mangaka thinks he can go on for another five years. He’s up to Chapt 988, according to wiki.
  2. Haikyuu!! A volleyball anime / manga. I didn’t expect to start and to get hooked, but the humour is right up my alley, and it’s delightfully chill and exciting at the same time. Am on the anime, will read the manga where the anime finishes off. Too bad the manga has come to an end.
  3. Continue the Nureyev book (by Julie Kavanagh) if I can find it on the library app
  4. Nigel Slater: cosy and comforting food writing. I’m reading his Eating for England right now.
  5. Vanity Fair, by Tina Brown. Glossy with the gossip, beautifully-written. I can’t find my hardcover copy, to my dismay. I’ll have to borrow it on the app until I unearth it.
  6. Rita, on Netflix. Very enjoyable.
  7. Kissing Booth 2 – watch without the brain, just chill.
  8. To All the Boys 2 – very chill and quite impressive at parts.
  9. Restless Creature – encouraging.

Things that I’ll consider, if I have the energy to go through them

  1. Riverdale, if I’ve the stomach for it (crazy plot; ridiculously good-looking cast, etc)
  2. Peaky Blinders, if I’ve the stomach for it (very intense, most excellent)
  3. On My Block – stressful, but I love it.
  4. Romance is a Bonus Book – quite a chill show. I don’t really watch K-dramas, but since everyone is promised a happy ending here…
  5. The Half of It – not chill cos it’s essentially Cyrano de Bergerac
  6. Love on the Spectrum
  7. Never Have I Ever. Not chill, a bit stressful, but very fun.
  8. ETA: Starting Murder Mountain.