Monday, August 22, 2005
I have learnt one thing over the weekend:
Ballerinas have toenails of steel.
I have no idea how they manage to pirouette on the tips of their toes, and still manage that smile like nothing happened.
I watched Dracula the ballet performed by the Royal New Zealand Ballet, of which the story stuck fairly true to the original Bram Stoker classic. The troupe was moving all over NZ, and now that it was here in Auckland, the music were done by the Auckland Philharmonia.
Unfortunately to a philistine like me, the subtleties of ballet were lost to me. All i saw were people dancing all over the place, all of whom were the epitome of grace. And Dracula? Wo-ho he was a class of his own lol, his dance moves were choreographed completely differently, slow, deliberate and at times odd even (perhaps to suggest inhumanity? such as when he stoops extremely low with both his arms extended back and pointing up), but at no time did he lose his grace, his poise and most importantly his presence. You should have seen the way when the protagonists skipped out to stage at the end of the show for the bow, and Dracula just walks, no, walks is far too crude a word, glide is a better word, yes, he glides slow and purposefully to the centre, all the while to rapturuous applause.
When he reaches his spot he doesn't even turn to look at you, he actually BACK FACES you, then using his right hand to flick his robe around, in one swift motion before his robe even settles he turns around and - watch this- while the rest of the troupe bows the instant he turns around, Dracula? No, he just smiles and nods once and slowly.
Oh but the music. OOH the MUSIC. Because the whole show was dancing and mime, dialogue and emotions had to be conveyed through the music, and by Golly the Auckland Philharmina (to me anyway, oh Rachel too who's also in a symphonic band watched the show the day be4 i did) stole the show. My God the oboe soloist was literally sent from Heaven, the way he single-handedly grips your heart, and contorts it to his whim and fancy - at the flick of his fingers your heart is pulled left to feel fear as the 3 vampires toyed with Jonathan while he was mesmerized by them,at another flick your heart is squeezed to feel anguish for Mina as she waited for the men to bring her good news of her best friend Lucy.
But those are the good parts.My long road to finally watching Dracula on the last night has more twists that an Taiwanese drama.
Dracula had been playing for a few weeks now, but it totally slipped our minds until Tae-Gyu (the guy who brought me to the Korean diner that serves food that MAY beat tantric sex) mentioned it at a Hobson potluck that he was going to watch the show with a girl. Despite his protests and pleads to innocence, we decided we shouldn't watch the show with him to give him that hard-earned privacy. That left the last 2 days of the ballet. Rachel & Tamar decided to watch on Saturday but forgot to tell me that they did so when they bought tickets on Friday night. They told me a few hours after they bought tickets, of which i checked with the ticketing office if there were seats left for the Saturday night show, and the operator said that there were quite a few, but all of them were at the opposite end of the theatre. Unfortunately due to my personality, i could NEVER watch a movie in a cinema or watch theatre alone.
I'm a people person and i just can't bring myself to do it alone, so though i wanted to watch Dracula pretty badly, the fact that i was going to be seated at the far end of the cinema, ALONE, was anti-climatic. I decided i'll take a bit more time to decide if i was going to break my oath for once since this was a show not worth missing.
I was already beginning to think breaking my oath was worth it, and with some prodding in the right direction by my girlfriend, i finally decided i would go for it, even if i had to sit alone. I called the hotline again, only to find out it was closed because it was 5.30. I tried to go to their website to book tickets, but for some inexplicable reason technology only understands the "extremely-chio-and-promiscuous-girl-syndrome" when you really need it. When she picks up the scent of someone badly desiring her, she knows she's wanted, and would therefore cleverly switch positions from prey to predator by playing hard to get and test her prey's tenacity. In this case my internet suddenly decided to go AWOL, and i could not access the ticketing site. After frustratedly fumbling with the modem for a while, i gave up and had to leave it to my German housemate who was an electrical engineer and more well-versed in these stuff, and he too picked up the ECAPG-syndrome (if unsure refer above), and went about announcing loudly hinting at his importance "Now WHAT could possibly go wrong with the modem" and starting voicing out possibilities that mere mortals like me and Lily (my French housemate) could not possibly in this life nor the next EVER have with our severely limited intelligence, possibilities like "Is the phone line still connected to it?" (I dunno man, there's something plugged into the hole that says 'Phone Jack', am looking at the right hole or should there be a Phone Jill as well? Maybe there's a Well button that i can press so that we can all tumble down to hell) and "Is the power still on?" (Erm those lights on the modem, its baterry powered then? No no no i KNOW, its GLOW-IN-THE-DARK!!! WOW THAT'S INGENIOUS, i would've never thought of that..................). And when i told him that i've already checked them, he heaves this HUGE sigh like its an eternal burden on him to fix the modem, and comes out to play gay with me (he does this often, although its a housemate/room-mate thing to play gay (because we all know we're all straight), Aryan calls me honey and i blow him kisses, but Killian's very possibly the only one who tries too hard). He comes out, blocks my way by standing such that my face is 2 millimetres from his shoulders, and does this upward pelvic thrust which i intepreted were aimed for my face; any other day i would've laughed it off and called him a sick bastard both seriously and jokingly, but i was certainly not in the mood when i badly needed the f'ing internet so that i could watch Dracula which was due to start in 1 hr and a half.
Killian fixed it before i could recover from his gay advance, and voila when i visited the ticketing site to buy tickets the site required membership in order to purchase tickets. People who know me well know i'm normally fairly patient, but close friends know i can be on a very short fuse for stuff like that, and this was really pissing me off. I sat there brooding for about 10mins wondering if i should use that anger for motivation to run down to town to see if they had tickets when i reached. I decided it wasn't worth my effort to run a distance that would normally take 40minutes to walk (not flat land like in Singapore but with the damn uphills and downhills of Auckland mind you), and then reach there to find out i was late or there wasn't anything left since it WAS a Saturday night. So i stayed home, brooded and tried in vain to get work done.
As much as not being able to watch Dracula on Saturday messed up my plans cosiderably because i had Sunday planned out, (although i don't think Rachel and Tamar read my blog, i have to mention it to be fair), Rachel sms'ed me to apologize for forgetting to tell me when she bought tickets, i told her not to be sorry because i couldn't be angry with anyone else other than myself. I had the WHOLE damn Saturday to decide, but deliberated over it for so long it cost me a good show. All because i didn't like watching cinema and theatre alone. Because of all that, i made a mental note to myself i HAD to watch that damn show even if i had to lose a finger on
Woke up earlier than Aryan on a weekend for a change (he normally wakes me up thanks to the ingenuity of wooden floors) because he had gone drinking that night and was probably still hungover, got up and immediately started on work. Scrapped plans to go grocery-shopping due to my LONG spring break next week (YAHOOoooOOOOoooo!!), postponed weekly cleaning to later that night, and finished as much work as i could. After leaving the last 2 questions that i was sure i could finish by this week before the due date, i called up Aryan, Elisa, Sudha, Debbie and Terri to see if anyone was interested, but got unfavorable responses from all except Aryan who wasn't at home, so it was up to me again. AGAIN the damn hotline was closed (probably because it was a Sunday, as if there were no shows running on Sunday), the website was out because they needed membership, so sigh, THIS time i ran down to town and bought my tickets for the NZ$25 student price which was still a snatch even by Sg standards. I came home only to realize that Aryan HAD in fact wanted to watch the show as well but didn't want to do it alone and would've gone had i told him earlier. Made me wish i could've finished my work earlier so that i could've told him earlier; he went out because he was too bored at home and left 20 minutes before i knocked on his door to check if he wanted to go.
No regrest about the show as you can tell, but i certainly have lots of reasons to NEVER watch another show alone.
I think its because the show was called Dracula and "co-incidentally" dealt with vampires, the lady sitting beside me must've decided not to take the risk and obviously didn't shower for at least 2 days, and hence reeked of what seemed to me like garlic. Imagine watching a show and not being able to breathe too much or too deep.
I also had the misfortunte to sit behind a very tall person, who in turn sat behind yet another tall person. I believe the person right in front had his eyes screwed on really really tight, such that his eyeballs could not swivel, and he could only look directly in front, so whenever the action moved around the stage he was compelled to move his head to follow the action, resulting in his blocking the view of the tall guy behind him, who in turn had to swivel his head in the opposite direction in order to enjoy the show. That left me, the poor soul sitting behind 2 already very tall people, each blocking one side of my viewing arc, and constantly changing positions too becoz the dancers can't make up their mind and stay in one same part of the stage. So i had to maneuvre myself to find watever little crevice in between those 2 heads so that i could see the show, and because my seat was somewhat to the left of the stage, it often meant i had to lean to my right and sample the brand new fragrance Le Garlicia, by Unclinique. Out in stores now, for a limited time only.
Dr@n|xX at 3:27 PM