Updated: May 16
2:30 pm - 5:30 pm
The rehearsal started off with a collective last breath followed by a task by Haizad, whereby the head and body have to move in opposition to a metaphoric torchlight, which is a singularity that the body extends away from. The audio he played was of a consistent single tone/bass.
Last breath as the start of the residency.
He then gathered the cast to give an opening brief and introduction to the residency, which was to have a more intense and condensed rehearsal period as well as to have the collaborators experience each other’s jiwang by having them stay together. He also added that he would prefer the process to be more collaborative rather than didactic and that he would (of course) be known as the conceptualiser.
After which, he invited them to carry out the first task, which is to individually walk the perimeter of the studio in one breath, saying “Aaaaaaa,” as they went along. He emphasised to not run, not moan or vocalise other sounds and not hum. After the first round, to complete success by the cast, they had to carry out the task again however this time to 1.5x around the perimeter, this time to varying degrees of success. Strategies and tips were shared to sustain their breaths, however they realised it takes practice and conditioning to do so.
The first task of the residency had simple instructions yet met with varying success.
After a short exchange of what they learned and realised during the task, Haizad invited the cast to continue exploring the list of songs, picking up from the previous rehearsal.
(song sequence): (band name) - (song title) → (portrayal/embodiment/expression)
Disambiguation of band name
- Observations and Interpretations (from Haizad and Documentarian)
Song 15: U-topia – Inikah Cinta Kita → Ideal Nation/Model citizen
- Standing [in an ideal place]
Song 16: Spider – Relaku Pujuk → Catching spiders and making them fight (Spiders Kang, Bu and Hantu)
- ‘Wall-crawling’/Walking against the wall
- Using the chair to add another 4 legs
- Coming together to form a giant spider
- Silat stance, grounded, firm
- Pulling out web, with and without assistance/external forces
Song 17: Iklim – Aduhai! Seribu Kali Sayang → Climate change, displacement
- Chloe’s warm up and exercises
- Breathing in a circle
- Energy coming from pelvis, activation of the pelvis
- Jogging around the space
- Collecting sweat
o Drawing using the sweat
- Sweating profusely that it seems like she (Xiao Jun) is melting
- Exposing the lower body
Song 18: Umbrella – Ramalan Ku Benar Belaka → Metaphor for protection/unity, Malay peribahasa/idiom “sediakan payung sebelum hujan”, superstition of “jangan buka paying dalam rumah nanti ada ular”
- Using a kain pelikat as a shelter/additional clothing (for security and safety)
- Collective contact improvisation, incorporating the kain
- Abang payung
- Traditional romantic scenes
- Weaving/Circling in and out
Song 19: Exist – Untukmu Ibu → Mother’s non-existence
- Imagination of the other-worldly
- Existing somewhere that is not physical
- Traversing many planes of existing, phasing in and out
- To grasp/reach out for something in their mind
- Bersila/Sitting cross-legged
- Reminiscent of Van Gogh’s Starry Night
- Vortex of wind, a scientific notion
Song 20: Alleycats – Jika Kau Bercinta Lagi → Drug addicts
- Portrayal of drug addicts
- The effects and/or side-effects of drugs, symptoms
o Euphoria, excitement, adrenaline
- Desperation of acquiring more drugs via robbing
- Spotchecking, trying to evade/get away scot free
- Tapping, withdrawal effects
Song 21: Screen – Bila Kau Kata Kau Sayang → Policing, screening, arrest
- Reenacting a police screening and arrest
- The policing of the Malay folk dance in Singapore by certain groups
- Piercing eyes, looking into the soul
- “Lepak one corner”
- Hands behind the head
- Held against the wall
- Held against their own will
- Maintaining distance, to avoid suspicion
- Personal space
- Running, evading
Song 22: Lovehunters – Sambutlah Kasih → Playboy, search for girls in the audience, asking for people’s mobile number
- Being desperate to seek love
- Having a lot of love to give yet nowhere/no one to receive
- Plain yet affecting others/subtle hint or flirt
- Jual mahal/playing hard to get
- Awkwardly smiling
- Biography text
- Standing by the bar and trying to look sexy/seductive
- A pose suggesting sophistication
- Forced smiles
- Shaking shoulders
- Inner affection towards someone
Song 23: Scan – Kau Dipaksa Aku Terpaksa → Staring incident
- Staring at each other with varying intent and intensity
o From different angles
o At different degrees
o Changing positions
- Singing the song yet in a “cool” way
- Jentik/Flicking at each other
(Note: Hasyimah was chuckling at perhaps the drastic change in character from the cast)
Song 24: Slash – Taman Astakona → Gang fights with parang
- Slash victim
- Actions of fights
- Movements reminiscent of Albert Tiong
- Defence mechanism
- Epic warrior or Palawan stance
Song 25: Fotograf – Di Alam Fana Cintamu à Slideshows of old photos
- The inner workings of a camera
- Moving stills/frames, transitioning from one to the next
- Moments of stillness
- Poses/posing for camera
o Moving into poses
o Jiwang pose, staring into blank space or into the distance
- The usage of a literal, actual camera
- Slow staccato transition
- Passage of time/clock i.e. pendulum
Song 26: Bumi Putera Rockers – Dari Sinar Mata à European curtain call
Bumi putera: Son of the land/soil; a term used to describe the indigenous peoples of Southeast Asia
- Stomping on beat
- Ripple-like movement
- Heel & Toe
- Walking + running in diagonal lines
- Struggle in freedom
- Sense of proudness
(Note: Syimah shared this is her favourite song; does that change anything?
IMG_9317, IMG_9335, IMG_9342, IMG_9345
Some moments from the explorations of the songs.
After finally going through the song list, the collaborators conversed their thoughts about/from/during the exercise during the debrief;
- To decide/accept offerings from each other, the songs, environment, the keywords that provided a context and internal stimulus.
- Haizad shared it is difficult for them to remove themselves from the songs, especially if they are very familiar and have memorised the lyrics.
- They each have their own meanings, relationship and/or internalisation of each song.
- Hasyimah shared that the keywords are troubling as they could be a limiting factor for the possibilities of the explorations.
- There were sonic and visual invitations which lead to a contest within themselves, like a ‘live decision-making’ on whether to engage/accept the invitations
o May not want to as the other person (the one who is giving the invitation) may be intending to go somewhere the invitee may not necessarily be.
- Xiao Jun was dripping with perspiration, where she and the rest acknowledged it, and then allowing it to manifest into something else.
o Syimah shared that she had the impulse to spit into a puddle of perspiration, but decided not to so as to not take away its moment as it was agreed to be a strong visual/statement.
- To ‘skydive’ in and out.
- They were seen to be playing in/with/using their minds.
- Sharul shared the idea of phenomenology.
- To be aware/acknowledge the things that can and cannot be seen.
- To allow space for something to develop i.e. the number of people on stage, the stepping in and out of the space/mind.
- The presence/morphing into an alter-self, may be as part of a personal addiction, a form of escapism.
- An inward feeling, the feeling of syiokness on the inside, and being in their own bubble to do whatever they want without a care about anything or anybody else.
- To recall Police Defence Tactic (PDT), which incorporates martial arts techniques, that could possibly be used as part of the actual performance.
- Some of them shared that they were not ready for ‘love hunting’, perhaps they meant personally and that they used that as part of the exploration.
- During the Scan segment, it was difficult to stay in the same mode, and that everyone was playing it safe.
- Sharul’s movements are full of lines, some of which could be utilised in the performance.
- Xiao Jun clarified that she was covering her wounds during the Slash segment.
- Syimah clarified that she was portraying the mechanics inside the camera.
- The eyes are the best camera.
- Sound waves.
- Syimah shared that she initially intended to do Asli, but she somehow ended up running instead.
Sharing their notes and thoughts from the second half of the song list.
After which, the rehearsal ended for dinner before the collaborators were to report back for the night rehearsal.
Observational thoughts during/from the rehearsal;
- The thought process behind deciding on the band names to be selected of the performance as well as their keywords
o Were they to give a new meaning to the band names?
§ How and why did those bands choose those words to be their band name?
o Correlation/adaptation of the words as a means to link the historical and current events of the Malay community in Singapore, meanings of band names, and the exploration behind the meaning/concept of jiwang?
- How is Xiao Jun, someone who is not as familiar and exposed to the idea of jiwang and jiwang songs, relating to the songs if she even is to begin with?
o Through the keywords that Haizad shared?
o Through others who know and talk about the song?
o Do the elements and mood/emotion of the song provide an impetus?
- Were the collaborators evoking emotions, thoughts, memories, past/lived experiences during the explorations?
- For those that were more familiar with the songs, how did they address and manage their own personal relationship with those songs?
- What informed their decisions/negotiations; the songs themselves, each other, their own personal journeys/experiences?
o If it was the songs, what is it about them?
§ Were they linked to memories, people and social status?
- The windows were opened, and a lion dance performance (with loud music) took place
o Music was both coming in and going out within the space
o Perhaps a different embodiment of jiwang?