March 28, 2013

3 Years After..

Today, my friends and I went to a Karaoke nearby.
When I arrived, they were already there and had already sang a couple of songs.
Most of it began with Backstreet Boys and a couple of Malay songs. As I was singing along to one of the songs, I saw one friend chose Christina Aguilera's Hurt. I stiffened a little, but then decided that I'd be okay as long as I didn't sing.

Well you guessed it. I got passed the mic to sing with one of my friends. Knowing that they'd bug me if I didn't sing, I took the mic quietly and sang.
I tried not to pay too much attention to the lyrics, and even then, I felt my throat tighten a little.
Then came the bridge.

"You know it's so hard to say goodbye when it comes to this 
Would you tell me I was wrong? Would you help me understand? Are you looking down upon me? Are you proud of who I am? There's nothing I wouldn't do, To have just one more chance To look into your eyes and see you looking back"

"You know it's so hard to say goodbye when it comes to this... "

I choked.

I couldn't sing it.

I felt my tear ducts fill and hurriedly blinked it away before it could spill.

I pretended to be distracted with something, and just passed the mic over to another friend.

Most of the time, I realise, whenever I think of Gino, I get so upset because I miss how things were.

There have been so many things that have changed since Gino's passing, and I have to admit that I miss the old times. A LOT.

Back then, I guess you could say that I was more 'involved'. I had classes 2-3 times a week, and although it was professionally very little, I loved it. I also loved the company. The friends. That close bond we had.

Yes, HAD.

There have been so many who have gone their different ways that I feel I'm somewhat losing touch of the 'old memories'. Even those who are still here now have seemed to have sort of gotten over the grief a long time ago.

All I have is my blog to reminisce about the old memories; because I'm not boring anyone to death with my stories; anyone reading this can just close my page if they don't like what they're reading. And at this rate, I feel as if I'm the only one who still cries every time I hear songs that relate to him, and feel saddened even at the mere mention of him. I feel like I seem to be the only one who's heart breaks whenever I think back on those times.

Because everyone seemed to have moved on.

I dunno. Maybe it's just me and my 'attachment' issue. 

Then again, back at the old studio was where most of my happy memories of dancing came from. 

The old times.

I know change can be good in life. 
Everyone needs a change now and then. 

But this change has... disconnected me, if you will.

Priorities have changed. I daresay that some of the 'joy' has even... evaporated due to the change.

Now there is so much I've been missing out on, that I've become left behind. Different circumstances have also made me unable to keep up.

I left uni to come back and teach. And I know that in my current situation, I have to be patient, but...

I guess you could say I've lost touch. I am not needed to be as involved as I was. And back then, all I knew WAS being involved.

And all because I lack financially.


If I was financially able, I would have learnt the new syllabus. I would have taken the qualification needed to take a teaching course. I would be able to pay my way through the course what with travel expenses and all. I would be able to get my certificate and be a certified teacher.

But I can't.

And it hurts me so fucking much.

I'm not getting any younger. The odds are getting thinner at me getting anything close to a dance career. And I don't mean in just ballet.

But of course, if it's possible I want a proper teacher; one with credible and proper experience; not those who just learn from music videos. 


I've started rambling and going way out of the point now. 

I guess all I'm trying to say is... I miss how things were. I miss my participation, and I miss the old company. It's just not the same.

March 21, 2013

The HEARTBEAT of Dance.

Sometimes in your life, you get stricken by unbelievably good luck that you wonder how on earth you got so lucky.

Like today, I found out that international choreographer Joshuah Michael had followed me on twitter.
Yeah ok, ok... it might not mean much to some of you, but hey, an international choreographer actually came across my twitter and followed me. That's a pretty big thing for a dancer in a small town, if you asked me.

Also the time Cathy from Dance Moms actually replied my tweetsAnd when Sophia Lucia favourited one of my tweets.

Alright, alright... that's not my point. (Then again some part of it is...  photo 16.gif)

So anyway, one day, I received an email regarding one music composer's intent to 'work with me' regarding his new piece which was about to be turned into a full fledged concert. Thinking it was one of those spam emails, I disregarded it.

But about a week or so after, I got another email from the same person, voicing his wish to collaborate with me. I gave it some thought, and finally decided to accept.

It has been nothing short of pleasant after that. So this post will be of my interview with singer/songwriter George Woods, and his project/concert called 'Heartbeat', a full fledged Modern Ballet/Rock Concert, and which tells a love story.

I admit, I couldn't believe my luck. What are the odds of a songwriter coming across MY little blog, out of all the other dance blogs out there, and choosing MY blog (once again) to correspond to? 

But I was honoured.

One thing that I liked the most about George (and his correspondent Jon - yes, I'm talking about you. ;D ) was his sense of humour. Our conversations through email was very friendly, with little formality, which is what I'm comfortable with. Too much formality tends to build this.. wall, if you will, between me and the other person, which causes me to be more guarded.

So anyway... Heartbeat the Concert is made up of 12 dancers, who were picked by an open audition, where it was not necessary for the dancer to be affiliated with a studio. Which, personally, I think is a great opportunity to discover hidden talents, because I know that there are some great dancers out there who do not have the opportunity to be affiliated with a studio. (Think of The Mob from Step Up Revolution). However, a good few did come from OnStage Dance Company; choreographer Jennifer Kuhnberg's studio, who also happens to be choreographing for the concert.

Humourously, George had also admitted that the idea for the choreography of Heartbeat had come to him in a dream. In his own words, he had said:

"I had a dream about a woman dancing on stage in a black out theatre to the sound of the music of track 6 on the record, Chapter 3: The Moon. So I woke up at 5am and wrote it down, and that slowly grew into Heartbeat: A Modern Dance Rock Concert. "

When I asked George what he looked for in the dancers, he gave three criterias: Being able to connect with the song and portray the mood perfectly, their ability to catch up with the choreography that has been presented to them, and that they were able to really embody their character.

Ironically, George's first criteria also happens to be the main thing I look at when I watch someone dance: the way they portray the message. So needless to say, I was drawn in.

Another fact that I noticed when watching the videos was that the dancers were in different shapes and sizes. I don't mean to break the stereotype here, (heyy not-so-skinny dancer here myself *raises hand*) but I really do feel proud of the casting crew. Because I know that not all great dancers are the stereotyped 'skinny' size. ;)

Then when I asked what the main goal of this concert was; other than to get his music out to the public, his answers touched a place in my heart. Because as cliche as it sounds, his answer was the exact thing I hope to achieve whenever I perform:

"I really want to expand the concert goer experience beyond just a band on stage. Every song you hear has a story behind the words and the thing that has always inspired me about the work of my friends and other writers is knowing their story and seeing them work it out in song. So it's really driven me to "give legs to the lyrics" so to speak. I want to give the audience the stories behind the words. But moreover the thing I have really noticed about songs is that they have the ability to condense your personal experience in a way that makes it truly palatable and transferrable to the listener. Thats why a good song will comfort you when your feeling down or just be the perfect thing for the right moment. I really want to give that sense of togetherness to the audience with this show."

I remember just staring at that answer for a few seconds, transfixed. Almost in tears. And was secretly very disappointed that the auditions weren't held at Kuantan instead.  photo 26.gif  photo 40.gif Haha.

A bummer for dance fans in Malaysia though: it is not in Malaysia... YET. (*hint hint nudge nudge*  photo 7.gif  photo 7.gif ) Here's hoping either George or Jon will see this... and hopefully tour to Malaysia? Hee~ xD

If this write-up doesn't get you all excited, then you, sir, have a problem. (I kid, I kid.. ) But maybe just a little nudge to give you an idea of how awesome this all is, I have a few words that the dancers have wanted me to tell you all - my readers:

"To all of you reading would mean so much if you came out to see HEARTBEAT: A Modern Dance Rock Concert this Thursday, March 21st at 8:00pm. What an incredible collaboration of music and dance. Just came home from an unbelievable rehearsal with the band. WOW. Words can't describe. Here is the link to buy tickets. Worth every penny to come out and dance with us on this spring solstice. Celebrate love. Celebrate life." ~Jessica Muise, Ensemble Dancer

"People... This show is going to be incredible! The dancers are absolutely amazing! If you've got Thursday night free come to The Oberon and rock with us!" ~ Heather Smist, Vocalist

"George Woods and Jennifer Kuhnberg thanks to you I can't fall asleep! Just music and moves are all that are keeping me awake!!!" ~ Diana Pilarski, The Moon

"Yesterday morning I woke up for some reason at 6am and was wide awake, and couldnt fall back asleep due to heartbeat choreography" ~ Brenna Banister, Ensemble Dancer

If that STILL doesn't get you hyped up, I have below a video for you. My favourite parts are not the dance (though of course I LOVE them); but the interaction. I believe that the way you speak to people DO affect them, and I love how everyone is so friendly towards each other; like a family. Just see for yourself:

If y'all are interested, you can check George out at his YouTube channel (where there are more videos!) or his website.

As a last word, I have this to say to the dancers: You lot are probably the luckiest people in my eyes right now. Lol. I would LOVE to be doing what you're doing and be in your shoes. ;p