Updated: May 16
7pm – 11pm
The main focus of the rehearsal was the prepare for the first preview the next day, where specific audience were invited to share their dramaturgical lenses in an earlier part of the process, especially now with the nCov virus situation and the actual showing has been pushed back, leaving ample time to consider and apply changes if necessary. With that being mentioned, Haizad wanted to use the rehearsal time to recall, recap, rehearse and fine-tune the segments even further.
He first stated that for the Medicine segment, there will be no bowl, rice nor food colouring and he will explain it to the audience to clarify if needed. The collaborators first went through the “rifle drill” routine in the Slam segment, a part they were most uncertain with, to which one of them commented, “It is harder to recall as compared to the Umbrella choreography.”
They then proceeded to run through the work in chronological order and added in refinements for some:
- Scan: Their expressions should be a bit more serious, and really project/look into the distance.
o To follow the eye line of whoever that came into the scene before them
o They clarified the scenes through conversation, and pointed out that the sequence and setting of scenes we fixed but not their positions (Note: their conversation kept the segment organic, however they would not be doing so for the actual performance, which then gives a different vibe/energy/tone for the segment.)
o They then tried once with the song
§ There were occurrences of the collaborators shifting/adjusting their gaze accordingly to the last person as they were out of eye line.
§ There were additional actions before and after their poses/as they were going in and out of poses.
- New Boyz:
o They straightaway rehearsed with the song.
o Added in the shaking of each other’s hands, looking down, then facing the audience as they smile widely/in an exaggerated manner.
o There was a re-emphasis of maintaining the rhythm throughout the segment.
o “Serious funny”
o Notes: This segment is ‘inexplicit satire’, and one could say that a particular group of people (that the collaborators are intending to portray) are like a boyband
o The collaborators recalled the choreography, then rehearsed with the music.
o There were two narratives being told in the segment, demonstrated by the two pairs.
§ Haizad had to go through the choreography a few times, perhaps because he had mostly stepped out during rehearsals as the conceptualiser.
§ There is some semblance of the Asli rhythm in the song, which may have inspired the desire to perform Malay folk dance in this segment.
- Medicine: They recalled the segment, and then rehearsed with the song.
o Xiao Jun mentioned that she would prefer to use a bowl (or something similar to represent the rice) for the preview as there is a concern her actions would be too abstract without it.
o The sound of the umbrella opening at the end as Sharul’s climax
§ Does the umbrella symbolise flowering or perhaps even deflowering?
§ The sound of the umbrella opening is amusing for an unknown reason.
o They focused more on the “rifle drills”
o Haizad added in a note of placing their arms behind them as they balance on one leg, which makes it more challenging (though it seems that Haizad is the one who drops his pillow the most).
- Exist: The collaborators will face the screen, which is upstage, and try to grasp the word as it dissolves away, for the preview.
o They will cook and consume the noodles at downstage right, switch off the studio lights and light a candle for the preview.
- Search: They briefly went through it as there are no additional notes.
- Iklim: Fixed where they stood on the stage.
o For the preview, they would simply play the song with the collaborators lying down on the floor, without projection/anything showing on the screen
o There was the reiteration of the collaborators to crawl to the pillows, and not pull the pillows to them.
- Bumi Putra Rockers: They will exit and enter the studio to signify the three standing ovations.
o Note: there is now a (somewhat cheesy) slide transition of the band name on the screen/slides.
IMG_9693, IMG_9716, IMG_9719, IMG_9721
The collaborators then went for a full run of the show, including the changes and additional notes. Some notes and observations from the full run:
- At the start of the Scan segment, after the collaborators place their box of props and head towards the audience to place their bottles, they will “warm up” before the main concept of the segment
o Is it also a warming up of their characters and for the ordeals that are about to come?
- (In the Scan segment) Are they heading towards their destination, which is (their future/potential) home a.k.a. bottles/where the bottles are?
- Does the inexplicit satire from the New Boyz segment extend to the whole Jiwang work?
- The small interactions and nuances/micro-gestures in the Umbrella segment make the relationship within the pairs more believable.
- The collaborators already have camaraderie outside of Jiwang; is that camaraderie gradually built and demonstrated within the work (in terms of storytelling)? Should it?
- There is a cruel sense of irony whereby the seriousness is hilarious (to some).
o Is it from prior knowledge of the context and the circumstances even though the actions themselves are entertaining and amusing?
o A sense of guilt, of realising that one should not be laughing or enjoying the suffering of others, even if they are poking fun/making a joke out of it?
- During the Iklim segment, the collaborators are performing with their mouths full of water.
o What would happen if they have the urge to swallow, spit, let it drip or drool, choke, or gag?
o Should they allow the body to naturally react after being strained/stressed/pained/put in certain conditions or try their best to resist them? i.e. their bodies aching, having water their mouths
- How will the work be presented/adjusted/adapted to the black box setting?
o Is it transportable?
- Should the collaborators and audience hold back their laughter? Why/why not?
- What is going through the collaborators’ minds during the U.K’s segment?
o Is the sequence and execution familiar to them by now since it has been repeatedly rehearsed?
o Should they be more reflexive, or responsive?
- Syimah spat out her water during the Iklim segment, after it drooled down her chin. Haizad also “choked” on it. Sharul was also unable to completely contain it throughout the segment.
o They then cleaned the “mess” (most likely due to hygiene reasons especially considering the situation now); what if they left it there?
The collaborators then had a debrief and discussion together with Hasyimah and Hazwany who were also present:
- Head may be saying something, but the heart is saying something else.
o With regards to interpreting the segments, and feeling the songs.
o Pertaining to the prior relationship the audience may have to the songs, which may invoke memories, and past experiences, and then having the same song be presented with a “funny” approach.
- Hasyimah perceived the work as chronicles and snippets of her life.
o This is on the topic of the relatability of the actions and images the performers presented.
o She “lived through the songs”/experience life with those songs in the past.
- The silence was deafening.
- Hasyimah was unsure if she could “touch” the collaborators as they took their short breaks near the audience in between segments.
- The images in the U.K’s segment should sustain a bit longer.
- During Iklim, the performers looked like goldfishes (due to them holding water in their mouths), and that image should sustain longer.
- Should there be lighting cues as part of the work, for clearer representation and smoother transitions?
- Slam segment:
o There was no further build up after the start of the “execution”
o Additional act of holding up the one being punished, to be hit/executed further in that position.
o The “sack of potatoes” being portrayed at the start suddenly disappeared and did not resurface.
o Additional act of marching after the rifle drill routine, which will be added in after the preview.
o Felt confused about the work.
o Some songs are more jiwang than others.
o She viewed it as separate parts and not one cohesive/coherent piece, like a sitcom, and did not get a sense of the narrative.
- The performers’ characters on vs off “stage” à still performative; relaxed but not over-performed.
- The New Boyz segment as pretentious?
o The segment is sarcastic; it will either be liked or hated.
o Should it cater to the masses?
- Jiwang seems basic; the tools used were learnt in school and audience may say, “Is that it? I can also do that.”
- The work has many easter eggs embedded.
- Haizad’s concept/approach for Jiwang is not to create a dance piece but a conspiracy theory; “Malays are jiwang because of what they went through historically.
- What the objective of Jiwang is.
o How to determine if the objective is met?
o Does the audience need to understand it?
o Who shoulders the responsibility of contextualising an artwork? Should the artist even do so?
- Stating that Jiwang is a ‘work-in-progress’ is a cushion.
o The previews are held at an earlier stage of the process compared to most previews.
o There is a possibility of the work done so far to be destroyed only to be “reborn” again.
- Administrative matters and updates due to the nCov situation, with a possible residency with ASK in Malaysia during the month of April.
Debrief for the final rehearsal and full run.