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The variation compilation

Sometime a few years ago, we (The Dance Society's committee) decided that we have to streamline the Category 3 compulsory variations. For the past few years, it was set music but choreography was left pretty much to the teacher/student. And with that, one gets some stupendous acrobatic dances or ridiculously silly ones which does not help the poor competitor at all. But of course, to be fair, there were some really nice ones too.

We thought and debated about standardizing it. One idea was to pick the nicer ones, get permission from the choreographer to make it go on the official list. Then, we thought other teachers might not like that. The "how come so-and-so's more superior than mine" nonsense.

So in the end, we asked Wan Chin and Ena from Japan to come up with music, choreography and also to get neutral Japanese students to demonstrate them. After 3 years of discussing and waiting, Tada!!!!! We got it in December last year. And what lovely little dances they are. I must admit they seemed a little difficult but what a great way to 'stretch' Malaysian dancers. Some challenges never hurt anybody.

Then after the 'unveiling' of the new Cat 3 variations, I felt that the choice I made for some of the Cat 1 & 2 were inadequate. After all, if we are going to 'challenge' them to reach higher goals, the subsequent categories should do the same, if not even more.

Here, I have to go back a little. When the plans to acquire the new Cat 3 variations were put in motion, I thought it will be a great idea to do them all in a sort of a bumper issue of a DVD to last TDS for a few years. I had also planned that once this is done, I shall retire from my post as the Competition Coordinator. So it will something like, leaving the job easy for the next coordinator to handle.

So about 2 years ago, Wan Tze and I poured over my DVD collection of ballets to choose variations for Cat 1 & 2. And the up and coming DVD was derived from that list (with some adjustments here and there) THANKS WANZ!

But the bulk of the workload began right after The Slave Princess. I began to compile the list, painstakingly watched DVD after DVD, picking out variations based on 1. the dance quality, 2. the picture quality (some are pretty bad, due to camera angles, audience noises etc) 3. how close they are to the original choreography- this being the most difficult. Some variations were so different, only the music is the same. Needless to say, eyes grew more and more bleary by the night (yupz, 3-4AM was the norm) And I must mentioned many hours were wasted because I was distracted, with fantastic dancing and of course, 'appreciating' super sexy and spectacular male dancers like Baryshnikov, Angel Corella, Carlos Acosta, Nureyev................

When I finally came up with 79 short-listed variations, I sent it to Soon and Meei Tyng to get it compiled into 1 DVD. Soon nearly died when he saw the list. From the 79, I managed to cut it down to 63. And yesterday, finally, it was sent for duplication. *sigh* No less than 4 'rough cuts' had to be checked through. And every time, I had to travel all the way to PJ for them. Soon and Meei Tyng's office is in PJ. They were also very busy with other jobs. So both of them burnt midnight oil to help me finish it, complete with an accompanying audio CD. THANKS SOON & MEEI TYNG!

3 MONTHS! The whole project took 3 MONTHS! But I think it will be worth it. It will be something TDS can use for many years to come and something I can be proud to have been part of.


Reader Comments (1)

Thou art welcome. Well done! I wish I could have helped, but you seem to be doing fine without good 'ol wan tze.
March 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWanZ

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