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The Kingdom of Sweets - Final Chapter


The long-awaited day finally came.......and went.

Weeks and months of planning, of sweating, of hard work both in the physical and mental department paid off.

On Friday evening, I developed a strange and out of nowhere sore throat. It got worse and Bee Hong had to get me some pain-killers. On Saturday morning, I woke up with an even sore-er throat AND body aches. Oh No! Long, long day. Classes, rehearsal then a wedding dinner. How am I going to get through it? Trip to the doctor and the advise was, to take the medication and sleep. Get up later for the rehearsal. Being the good girl that I am , I did what I was told.

Went into rehearsal. Chaotic, as usual................Wedding dinner was all a blur. I remember there were LOTS of food.

BUT, this posting is all about the ACTUAL event;

I went to the hall, bright and early at 11AM. Sue Jan and Carin was already there. Sue Jan is my lighting designer. She was up in the control room, fiddling with those snazzy consoles, telling the technician what she wants. "Do you need me up there?" I asked.

"No need. Later la"

In the end, later also no need. She had everything under control. Do I know how to pick my team or DO I KNOW how to pick my team!

Carin and I proceeded to prepare the stage, set the props. She, too, knew exactly what needs to be done and I, AGAIN, picked the right person. (She's in charge of the props)

People began to trickle into the hall. Students, parents etc. Excitement was in the air. Questions, last minute confirmations of what to do blahs were bantered back and forth.

Then, we began to warming up. The little ones came on stage and did their little mini warm up and stretching. Then the bigger ones came up and did a bigger warm up and then.............. we began.

Dancers came on group by group to do the blocking ( find their spacing, run through the routine). Then everybody was called on stage and taken for a tour backstage. They were taken to their respective changing rooms and was told to wait there till their turn. Then, the rehearsal began.

I supposed we can call it 'smoothly' But then when ever is a rehearsal smooth????

At 4, we stopped and preparations went underway. Kids were shooed off to the front to have their snacks before changing and touching up makeup. The bigger ones, well, I am not quite sure what happened to the bigger ones. I was busy with other stuff. I can't even remember what they were.

In the big Green Room where I holed up the little ones, it was like a zoo. Parents who volunteered to help with getting ready and looking after them must be thinking, "What in the world was I thinking when I volunteered?"

I walked in, YELLED and there was total silence. I could hear the exhaust fan going. A little bit of order was restored. Then I told the parents, "You guys can go and enjoy the performance later. I'll look after them". The look of relief on their faces was priceless!

Hair was tied up, makeup was plastered on. Costumes put on. Accessories were pinned on. And we are good to go.

We got everybody on stage for a group photo. We had to sort of squeeze everybody tightly together to make sure all were in.

April, my MC for the night, then made the welcome announcement and we are good to go. The excitement amongst the dancers were electrifying.

Group by group was sent to the wings to wait for their turn. The glow of the stage lights were still evident when they walk back into the changing room. I did not manage to see any of the performance that night. But I knew what ever it may be, it'll be ok by me.It didn't matter if they were out of place, or if they muck up their routine. What mattered most was the experience of walking out into the limelight and feel good. The little ones stole the show, of course. The 'Cute Factor'

Many, many dances later, April asked me, "you ARE going to change, right?" "Er, ya, I guess" "Where's you car keys. I'll get it for you" "Aiyah! I hoped she will forget!"

So during interval, I changed and got ready to make my final speech.

When the dancers make their final curtain call, the faces were happy. Speeches were made, thank yous were said, flowers were given out. I had 2 surprise bouquets too. How lovely! Then parents and friends were invited on stage to take pictures with the dancers.


Despite hard work, I think it was worth it. The magic of Nutcracker still happens even in the middle of the year. (Nutcracker is normally a Christmas affair)

It was a family event. Ex-students came back to help. Ex-students' parents chipped in and help too. Parents baked, cooked and made sandwiches. Kids lined up for their faces to be made up. It didn't matter who did them. Friends supported with words of encouragements throughout the months that was leading up to this day. Most came to watch too.

It was a success. We have full house. The students are happy, the parents are happy. But it was a home crowd. Dare I even think of another one? Dare I plan for DanceArt's 25th anniversary in 2011? Dare I go through the whole schemangle again? Perhaps. I liken it to childbirth - the pregnancy, the labour then the birth. Then one will look at the baby and say , "How cute!" and forget the preliminaries and go through it again. Dare I?


 The 'sick' I experienced on Saturday totally disappeared on the day after the performance. People have 'exam fever'. Could it be 'concert fever'???????

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