Saturday, April 21, 2007

Living in KL

Hello, so many exhibitions and performances to attend this few weeks. This what makes living in KL exciting. Apart from the innaugral performance of UMa Dance and Kesuma Dance at MTC Jl.Ampang, we also had RAM, a musical theatre written by Hatta Azad Khan. Must be inspired from watching so many PRamlee movies, discussion about P.Ramlee every year (wait til May comes, there will be lots of P.Ramlee discussion) plus series of P.Ramlee karaoke sessions. I remember in UNIMAS in Sarawak circa 1994-1998, when the university was granted with a research grant by PETRONAS, we had all sorts of PRamlee fair, including P.Ramlee Singing Competition and I was one of the candidate, just for fun of it, and probably manage to get the third place or something as I forgot the lyric. Fair enough RAM at Lambang Sari Istana Budaya was also about P.Ramlee singing competition, what a coincidence!!!

Oh during the trip to Jakarta, I was told by my Jakarta friend that he was so impressed with the new History Museum of Singapore, or now National Museum of Singapore and they too been screening P.Ramlee movies and having discussions on the life and arts or P.Ramlee. In fact sometime last year, I also discussed about listing P.Ramlee as Intangible Heritage of Malaysia, before Singapore claims him. But then we can't refuse the fact that the glory days of Malay films was in Singapore during 1950s and 1960s. In fact it all started in Singapore in 1930s. What to do, we have been struggling with the development of malay films since they move to Kuala Lumpur and people say the same thing about FINAS and Filem Negara. Anyway, back to the musical, I tot we were going to have real P.Ramlee musical by Adlin Ramlin and Roslan Aziz. During that time I stumbled to Abang Nasir P.Ramlee at the warong behind Istana Budaya, known as Mak Cik Tengah when I asked him about the P.Ramlee musical and he said "Saya dengar saja, tapi tak ada sorang pun yang approach saya. Kadang-kadang kecik hati juga". And I supposed he just wait and watch. Wonder what he thinks about RAM. I just knew that one of the students in her final acting class cried after the staging as she only has one line in the production, even though she is to be examined by board of examiners. I supposed the staging should not be staged for public if it is for the examination, but people has done worse!

On a positive side, there was a very interesting exhibition by a Japanese artist at the PETRONAS gallery, twin towers KL entitled "Tokitsumugi", An exhibition of kinetic sculptures by Masato Tanaka. As a performer, I see his work of art, series of moving sculptures served more than just sculptures, but series of performances. Fair enough, he mentioned later during sushi and green tea that he has worked with Arif Waran (Malaysian artist living in Hamburg) and Mugiono(Indo artist living in Solo) for exhibition-performance at Esplanade Singapore. I was told by few people to bring my performance students, not knowing that I don't teach performance, only performance management. But frankly, anyone who is interested in performance and visual arts should visit this sophisticated looking machines dancing around with at least 12 movements by each work of art, supported with lighting and shadow projected to the walls. I could sit there for hours, what more with green tea after green tea.

Sadly the rain was so bad on Friday that I missed the performance of Mek Mulong at MPO by PETRONAS PAG. I was told that tickets were sold out, good to hear that. Another show that is going on is Monolog Sang Serigala at Stor Teater DBP (Kudin as the actor) and Tanda (series of new work supervised by Namron) at ASWARA( always confused with ISWARA and ASWARA Rai, ah yes, she is married to Amitabh Bachan's son last week). Yes, some of us love Hindi movies too. I can't remember the last movie I watch though...Devdas? Water?. Opps sorry, I will try to go to ASWARA looking for Tanda, so, till next time!