First time at Notting Hill Carnival

I was the “resident photographer” (whoa, prancy prancy title) for Jamboulay Carnival Arts Promotion (JCAP) during Notting Hill Carnival 2010. Sunday was the kids day which was fun enough for me to take pictures – under the sun, in the rain. Sadly I had to miss the adult day on Monday as I needed that time to fill in job applications instead… I would happily do it again if I got the chance!

This is my favourite picture of the day because of the colours. One of the older performers was adjusting her head piece, while I noticed the sign “Mind Your Head” above her from my perspective. I wished the sign was clearer though!

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Malaysia * dance(r)(s) = ????

For a long while, I felt very disconnected from the Malaysian dance scene. Can that be justified – because I am too busy living life in London, or trying to start my career in England?

I am regaining this connection..

  • When I had a conversation with my dad about what (contemporary) dance is and how, in my opinion, it can be developed in Malaysia;
  • When Google Analytics showed that one of my very few visitors arrived at this blog by googling “Malaysia freelance dancer”;
  • When I received a hard copy of AsiaDanceChannel magazine in the post from my dad;
  • When I read about the upcoming MDF (Malaysia Dance Festival) 2011 and MyPAM (Malaysia Performing Arts Market) 2011.
  • When I found a blog by Malaysian dancer / choreographer Jack;
  • When I started messaging Joie, my currently full-time professional photographer and dancer/theatre-kaki (“kaki” means “buddy” in Malay) in Penang.

Then emerge the questions and more questions, to which I have no answer but want to try to find whilst I blog:

  1. Where are the Malaysia-trained dancers/choreographers? If they are in Malaysia and in the industry, what are they doing? If they are overseas, is “home” to them still Malaysia? Do they want to go home? And what are their aspirations?
  2. How should dance in Malaysia develop? In what direction, supported by whom, what are the current resources, what is lacking?
  3. How exactly is dance industry in Malaysia? It is small for sure. But is it fragmented (as I saw a comment about it before)? In what sense (is it ethnicity-based, genre-based, or even language-based)? Is there a need to be united (1Malaysia?!)?
  4. What can I do?

Finding out the answers in itself is a huge project, a long journey. I won’t be able to do it alone, but I shall take my first step… perhaps as part of my Initiative180.

Good things come to those who wait… (Part 1)

Good things do come to those who (actively) wait. Am truly blessed.

The Rose, written by Amanda McBroom is one of those songs which simply touch my heart tenderly, always. It has been covered by various artists, but my favourite version is by Bette Midler and LeAnn Rimes. Just read the lyrics.. there are only three verses. Just read..

Last verse

And the night has been too lonely,
And the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong,
Just remember, in the winter, far beneath the brittle snow,
Lies a seed, with the sun’s love, in the spring
Becomes a rose

You can of course say that I love the song because am in love now, like a rose. Truth is, it feels that I – the seed – have been waiting for the sun. I can’t rush love to come to me, neither can I force it to happen.

However it is not just sitting there and hope for the best.

Second verse

It’s the heart afraid of breaking that never learns to dance
It’s the dream afraid of waking that never takes the chance
It’s the one who won’t be taken who cannot seem to give
And the soul afraid of dying that never learnt to live.

I have had the flings and crushes who I tried to give, normally as much as I can. Most of the time it hurts, sometimes it just dies down, but by now I could just smile over them, because if it weren’t for these stubborn acts in giving (in the name of “love”), dare I say I would not have been so happy with Tyas now.

Not to mention that love is not everything in life – I live a good, busy life when I was single. So the “wait” was not at all passive. I call it active waiting.

(I twitted about active waiting and Article19 replied, “Is it like moving stillness?” *smile* something like that, it’s a Chinese dance thing!)

And one should never stop believing in the good energy that love brings…

First verse

Some say love it is a river that drowns the tender reed
Some say love it is a razor that leads your soul to bleed
Some say love it is a hunger – an endless aching need
I say love it is a flower – and you, is only seed.

(I promise Part 2 will not be about love per se!)

Like a Boss

Now I am not feeling solid about my career. Being able to intern for my dream dance company and learn from the producer is a dream which I have not properly thought that would have come true. It will be the most stupidest thing I could have done if I do not use this opportunity well  in terms of increasing my career prospects and professional development.

What should I do to make myself valuable through this experience? I have been thinking. So far I felt that I am completing tasks, but that is not good enough. So I thought I should go that extra mile next time when I step into the office.

After hearing my ramblings, Tyas just told me one thing:

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What do you do on the bus?

Those who know me for a while must have heard me said before:

“I fall asleep in any moving close-space after about 10 minutes. And I have motion sickness.”

That means my natural reaction whilst on buses, trains, tubes and planes is to sleep. Forget about reading a book or listening to music. I have to try hard to not fall asleep.

But I swear… I don’t do this:

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