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District 18: Activation 15 - Open Rehearsal

Updated: Feb 27, 2020

15 March 2019, 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

On-site at Tampines Round Market and Food Center (TRMFC)

The collaterals from Arts in Your Neighbourhood (AYN) arrived today, and the sound technicians were standing by to set up the equipment (speakers and console).


The collaterals were bigger and a lot more than expected.

There were a lot of posters and banners regarding AYN. There was a concern where it was not subtle and would give the residents an obvious indication that something was happening in TRMFC. Haizad would prefer the performance to happen out of the blue and “disappear” as suddenly as it appeared. Perhaps there was ineffective communication from both parties; where they could have clarified the details of the performance along with its artistic aspects so that the collaterals would tie in with the principles of the performance or the dance company (in this case P7:1SMA).

There was then a discussion between Daryl & Haizad and the sound technicians regarding the position of the speakers. Meanwhile, the dancers were preparing their trolleys and attaching the fairy lights. All of this was happening at around 7pm, as everyone came earlier to prepare for the show.


Setting up of AYN collaterals, discussing about the speakers, attaching the fairy lights to the trolleys.

After a while, Haizad gathered the dancers to brief them about what they will be doing before the first show at 8pm. Shangbin, Chloe and Carmen went through the duet part in Segment 3 before warming up together and practicing the co-created phrase in a circle. Haizad then went through the changes with them namely the trolleys “pushing back”, the dancers putting their heads through the trolley handles and the duet after the snake while everyone else continued to carry out the co-created phrase.

There were technical difficulties when the sound crew tested the system as there was either a power outage or something blew. At this point, it was almost time for the open rehearsal to begin. They perhaps could have started setting up earlier in case time was needed to remedy possible issues. In addition, we were unaware of any back up plan that they could have implemented should such occurrences take place. The open rehearsal was pushed back from 8pm to 8:30pm, and Aameer’s portable JBL speaker was used instead.


Aameer’s portable speaker was used for the open rehearsal.

By this time, there were a few audience members sitting in the area; a mother and her child, Anirba from Arts In Your Neighbourhood, some friends of the sound crew as well as Xiao Jun and Caroline (two dancers that have previously worked with P7:1SMA).

At the same time, Hasyimah was going around to request the audience and stall operators that were still around to finish the sentence and share “Tampines Round Market and Food Centre is _________.” She would ask them to write their responses on a piece of paper and they would take a photo with it (similar to a mugshot) to be a added to a collage of responses.


“Tampines Round Market & Food Centre is _______.”


At some point, while waiting, Hasyimah even helped in mashing the potatoes to make begedil.

At 8:30pm, the Open Rehearsal/Show 1 started. Some observations regarding the dancers’ performance and the surroundings:

There are not many people at night, though the music did attract a small crowd.

The dancers were rather silent during the Ji Ba Ban segment.

The portable speaker was too soft for the dancers to hear especially when they were in the central space, though this is slightly better than having no speaker at all.

The audience were able to move, stand or sit in many places as the hawker center was mostly empty.

Some preferred to watch from a distance while others preferred to watch the from somewhere closer.

The presence of the 4th wall was very apparent.

The audience did not come extremely close to the performers.

The sound crew immediately wanted to continue working on the system once the power came back on in the middle of the performance, in doing so they unintentionally blocked the audience.

This could be due to them usually working at the side or back, whereas they are now between the performers and audience.

Some passers-by were intrigued by the performance where some stood to watch or even came closer and became part of the audience.

Some vendors or hawkers walked through the performers to head to the toilet.

Were they aware of the performance?

Did they intentionally cut through?

Were they accustomed to seeing dancers in TRMFC?

The fairy lights were really bright and stood out in the dark, what about at 12pm?

How is there an invitation to the audience to come in and be engaged or involved with the performance?


The stacked trolleys with fairy lights gave a nice, contrasting visual in the dark.

At the end of the performance, some of the audience members came to share their feedback and opinions about the performance with the dancers as well as their interpretation regarding the meaning of some segments, movements, and what some of the elements of the performance represent.


Xiao Jun sharing her thoughts.

After everyone gathered, Haizad mentioned that he will share his feedback and notes the next day as it was getting late. Daryl then took over to brief the dancers about the next day such as their reporting times as well as what meal they would want to be catered (breakfast before the performance or lunch after the performance). After the debrief, everyone was dismissed.


Final debrief for the final rehearsal.

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