6pm – 10pm
Drama Centre Black Box (DCBB)
Before the rehearsal commenced, Adi taped the square in the recording space and was briefed on the safety guidelines in the Drama Centre. He was informed that safety ambassadors carried out regular checks and strictly enforced the mask & distancing regulations.
Haizad started the bump in and rehearsal with a briefing regarding the solos and duets along with the songs that will be used, as well as emphasising on the role of the square in the space. He also reiterated the clear boundary of starting (their performative state) in the square, and “stepping out” when they leave it, and the performance will end when the tape is removed to “release whatever that is inside”.
The collaborators stepped into the black box to get a sensing of the dimensions and placements. Haizad described how the audience will choose and where the menu options will appear in relation to the collaborators on screen. For the segment after the duets, the rest of the collaborators will assist the “loser” to move their props for the following segment. They then proceeded to go through the flow of the solo segments, the props as well as the lighting cues. As they went along, they considered the filming angles and logistics for the shots.
After going through the rough flow, the collaborators went back into the dressing
room to work on the duets. Haizad clarified that the songs are changed from Saloma
and P. Ramlee’s as their status have been elevated over the years, perhaps to also
reflect or comment on the socio-economic status of the main bulk of jiwang song
listeners. The segment will incorporate movements from Tari Serampang 12, and they
refreshed their memories for the movement phrases before splitting up in their pairings (males and females) to choreograph their pieces. They utilized both the black box and the dressing room to choreograph, swapping over to try the full space. They had to ensure that at the end of the piece, they had to sustain the position for 1 minute for the audience menu (to choose the loser), and the selected loser will solo in the downstage left till the end of the song before preparing to plank in the next segment. A spotlight will demarcate their solo area, which also helps with the filming.
Notes and observations from the choreography process for this segment:
- Both songs are about breaking up
o Portray similar stories through different songs.
- Parallel / Similar choreographies (apart from the Tari Serampang 12 phrase).
- Syimah and Xiao Jun’s process:
o Portrayed the leading up to the break-up
o Looked up the translation for the lyrics
o Movements deviated / variated from the phrase
o Intentionally more dramatic and cringey
o Story / Narrative driven, had slight cues from the music
o More durational and had a build-up in movements
o Included improvisations
- Haizad and Sharul’s process:
o More movement and music driven (callback to “satisfying the musicality”)
o Explored using 2 different movements and textures showed at the same time
o Had more cues from the music as both we more familiar with the song (including lyrics and instrumentalisation)
o Had more interaction with the space and less focused on their gaze
The collaborators then regrouped to try each outcome for Song 5 as well as watch each other’s choreographies. Since it was their first time watching, there were moments where they cringed (making the choreography effective to elicit a response). While watching, there were subtle supportive reactions at some points in the pieces, though Haizad later mentioned that it should not distract the audience from the dancing in order to more karaoke vibe. After which, they went through the lighting cues, starting with a wash and transiting into a diagonal lighting; symbolising the suffocation through the lighting. Syimah and Xiao Jun then replanned their positioning accordingly.
They then proceeded to try the 4 choreographies for the Umbrella segment without the umbrellas yet with the other props in the space, prioritising their stage blocking and plotting. There was some struggle in recalling the steps as well as the small differences in each choreography. It might also be due to the new environment; the black box is bare and more spacious than Rumah. After briefly going through the 4 sets of choreography, Haizad commented that the difference between rehearsals and the recordings is their costumes, which could either serve as an aid or a hindrance to their dance.
Everyone then had to vacate the black box and dressing room as it was near the end of the space booking, and the debrief was done at level 1 of the Drama Centre:
- Homework: recap the umbrella choreographies and songs + individual solos.
- They will do full runs before the actual recording to warm up / prepare and to ensure a smoother recording process.
- Umbrella songs are more choreography-based as compared to the other segments.
- The next rehearsal will start with the prologue and individual solos.
- Hafiz (the videographer and editor) will be coming.
- Will be doing full runs along with the ending + in between transitions of about 1 minute each.
- The next rehearsal will be the last day to get everything down before recording starts on Saturday.
- They will hopefully be able to try out lighting with Daryl on 20th July.
- Bring in their costumes + shoes if they have not already done so.
Final thoughts for the rehearsal:
- The schedule is very tight.
- The choreographies are barely completed before recording commences.
- There is trust in the dancers to develop their solos.
-What will be the full combined runtime if all outcomes are included? I.e. How long will the recording process actually take?