Monday, November 05, 2007

Malam Gema Merdeka 2007

It all started when Jenny called late one night. This is what I remember of the conversation:

J: Eh, you nowadays free hor?
C: Extremely. Why?
J: I need some help with choreographing a Chinese fan dance. Later I send you the music, you listen.
C: Fan dance ar? How many people? I so far never try to choreograph for adults before leh. Kids then I can la.
J: Never mind. Can one. Okay ar?
C: Okay la.

That was the beginning of three fast-paced weeks. From zero, we had to come up with a full dance for Malam Gema Merdeka. From being an inactive MSA member, I got to know committee members, volunteers and regulars of MSA, MSO, MASA and SUAMS. Very eye-opening as well because I was introduced to many groups of Malaysians (mainly Malay and Chinese) who do not seem to fit into the stereotype I grew up having. The many things I learnt just from getting to know them, having brief conversations with them and observing them was a humbling experience. I now feel that it is such a shame that I did not have even one childhood friend who is Malay.

At first, we were provided the song entitled Mahaguru sang by KRU. But Jenny felt that we needed something more Chinese-sounding. And hey, it needed a grand ending because it was going to be the opening act for the night. We were required to finish the dance with a banner that says "MALAM GEMA MERDEKA". In the end, Jenny found this instrumental song called Glory by the all-girl band from China called 12 Girls Band. I'm sure many of you have heard of this group.

We decided to not only use fans, but also ribbons as those could be loaned from Tourism Malaysia. I was more or less in charge of the choreegraphy for the fan. Of course, Jenny was a big help as well. Angeline, whom I got to know through the dance, also contributed a fair amount of ideas. It was also amazing to watch Mei Fang and Mei Juin strut their stuff. The choreography for the ribbon that they came up with in such a short time was breathtaking. To you girls, as well as the cute Ru Jih, sweet Wan Mit and ever helpful Michelle, group hug! We did a great job!

Everytime I watch this, I feel a sense of achievement (and a tad of embaressment)

Backstage: One shot before the show

On stage: Quickly, before the audience take their seats!

Reception: After the show, with Elaine

Reception: Michelle and I, after the show, with 'Datin' Diane and 'Dato' Bernard (they acted in the Merdeka sketch as Datin Vivien and Dato Bernard respectively)

What say you if we do that again next year? =P

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