Thursday, 6 October 2011

Another Semester, Another Concert

I'm finally back from the little dark hole that I buried myself in. For those who are wondering, for the last 3 months I was stuck in this little time black hole called EMCC (just take it as another Dance BLAST! concert). This concert is a little different from the previous one (SUAD earlier this year) in a couple of ways.

Firstly, it's my first concert as a non-freshie (meaning I get to do items other than the freshie item O=). Secondly, got the chance to perform in two items under 2+1 different choreographers (interestingly, all of which never choreographed stage performances before). So yeah, during the slow periods I was already putting 4x2 hours/week into practices. By the time we hit the crunch period, I was dedicating twice that amount of time. Throw all that on top of 2 other normal CCAs and the additional responsibility of being an inexperienced club president ON TOP OF my regular studies as a (by right lifeless) computing student and you'll understand my disappearance from the face from the Internet.

Looking back now, the feelings I had after this concert are interestingly quite different from those I had post-SUAD. After SUAD, I was simply left in awe after stepping into the world of dancing at a university level. However, now I've actually naturalised into what it's like to be a BLAST!ard so the shock value is much milder. Don't get me wrong, I still find it amazing how good the items look and I certainly enjoyed watching the bits and pieces of the concert which I managed to see.

However, did I have any life-changing moments of inspiration from this concert? Honestly, no. To be fair, EMCC is a much smaller scale production compared to SUAD (esp since the last SUAD was the 10th anniversary of BLAST!) so I felt that this concert was more like a platform budding choreographers and dancers rather than a performance to exhibit pure awesomeness.

Did I learn more from this concert? Definitely yes. I suppose this also has something to do with the fact that I just choreographed SoC Rag just before participating in EMCC. Rather than focusing solely on levelling up my skills as a dancer, I was more interested with how the choreographers conceived the big picture of the item. Story, music editing, blocking, levels, layering, musicality. I found myself inadvertently deconstructing the choreos to see what makes an item awesome beyond just steps.

It also helped me a lot being under three different choreographers. It was interesting how different people interpret music differently, be it beats, counts, lyrics, backing instruments or just random sound bites. So as a dancer trying to be a choreographer, I think it's definitely a plus to learn new ways to interpret music. Aside from that, I also learnt how each choreographer managed their dancers and their training sessions which again will be very helpful when I try to choreograph next year's SoC Rag.

At the end of it all, I think that this concert was quite a humbling experience. Every so often I get my ego let the best of me and I end up thinking that I'm the best dancer around, that I should be given more solos, given chances to choreograph items. Then I sit through the concert and see how awesome the choreos are, how awesome the real soloists are and I suddenly think to myself, "Shit, I could never do that." So yeah, I've learnt to shut my ego up and let my dancing do the talking for me.

Do I think I'm good enough to perform solos? Do I think I'm good enough to choreograph items for a BLAST! concert? I can honestly tell myself, "No way in hell. Not now." There are dancers and choreographers in BLAST! who are FAR better than I am and any concert-goer deserves at very least a level of quality that only they can offer. Nevertheless, this also gives me a goal to reach. To be able to one day reach the level of awesomeness that the only BLAST zhai-squad can offer. To improve till one day I actually become that awesome.

These past few months really helped me grow as a dancer and from this experience, I've gained some headway on my goals as a dancer. So from here on, the only way to go is forward. To one day become so awesome that I finally impress myself.

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