Mencari Anak Bulan Di Kampong Wa' Hassan 2006

Monday, September 18, 2006

"So, you thought you might like to go to a show?" - Pink Floyd

Today we bump into Pentas 2 at KLPac.

I so exciting! ... Oso, a bit scared one.

Thus far, we've only run it in Studio 7; without lights or sound. And judging from the response at last Saturday's preview, we are in a good place. In any case, lights and sound merely enhance; they can't make a bad production good! It would also look and feel different with the actual (albeit minimal) set and costume.

The target for today, therefore, is to lift the show to greater heights! So, "Excuse me while I kiss THE SKY!" - Jimi Hendrix

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Itu cuma cerita aja?



Then, who was that hovering behind me in the studio during rehearsal? My hair standing on end was not because of the air-conditioning. And the exact time at which she made her presence felt heightened my experience and underlined her existence. I still can't say for sure who or what it was, but it was there!

We know to demand scientific evidence to support such claims, but how could science explain a phenomena that is beyond it? If we cut open a woman's brain and studied it, can we measure her grief at losing her life as she gave birth to her child?

There are changes in the brain when there are changes in emotion; what we might call brain 'activity'. But did the emotions affect the changes or did the changes affect the emotions? How does something like 'loss' cause brain activity in the first place?

What is it, then, that we 'feel' in out HEART?

I have been taught that for every 1 manusia (human) born, there are 9 jin (or genie, though not as friendly) and for these 10 are 90 malaikat (angels); manusia are of earth, jin smoke and malaikat light. It seems logical for manusia to fear jin and malaikat as experience has taught us that lasers cut and smoke chokes.

How do we overcome this fear?

Smoke is begotten from fire. To put out the fire, use water. The smoke will dissipate into nothingness.

Light waves can curve.

So simple when you know.


Monday, September 11, 2006

Demi masa,...


No time.

Where got time?!

I've been told, "Take the time to smell the flowers."

What if by the time you take the time to smell the flowers, there are no more flowers to smell?

I was the one who taught my son, Aidan Ariyaratne, to suck the nectar from an ixora. The joy at seeing his eyes fill with wonderous surprise as the nectar teased his tastebuds is ever-lasting. "But if you took all the ixora, what are other people going to suck?" I asked. It was also a better way of introducing him to the act's illegality.

The last time A.A and I spent time together in Singapore, he asked, "Gene, do you remember the time you pulled me on a palm leaf? Can we do that again?" I am sure there are people who think me crazy when I did it - Bapak taruh anak atas pelepah upih, dah tu tarik keliling padang.

But how many of us men can say that of OUR fathers?

I can't!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Dah tak 'da orang lagi, ke?

Pak Hamzah.


I was young and naive, working on "The Way Of Violence" (directed by Ms Leow Puay Tin), when Pak Hamzah gave Wayang Kulit workshops at Theatreworks in Singapore. That knowing smile which accompanied the hefty handshake from this (as-short-as-I) man is still etched in my memory.

I never worked with him nor attend his classes. But I became his incidental student. Everyday I came to rehearse with Puay Tin, I would hear stories: how he makes everything; how he plays and teaches how to play all the musical instruments; how he decides what to perform and how to perform it; how he prepares; how he performs! "How does he do it ALL?" I would ask myself. I still do. Only now the question is "how DID he do it?"

Some people have veered from asking me "how do you do it" in favour of asking themselves (or each other) "how could he do that", implying a selfish, self-centredness on my part.

I admit, I am selfishly self-centred in taking it upon myself to uphold a tradition I learned of in the Malay Performing Arts I learned from 'my teacher'.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Bikin Kampong Wak Hassan kat bulan.


It's been awhile since my first post. I hope to make up for that with this one. Let me list down the key things covered in the rehearsal process this week, accompanied by some form of explanation. I shall try, but can't promise, not to be too cryptic; you get that way when you've done things the same way for a time because you don't realise that sometimes, people don't have a clue as to what you are saying, but find you too entertaining to interject.

Please feel comfortable to ask questions. The only stupid question is "Is this a stupid question?".


As with many a production I've directed, I have divided the preparations into two parts: Training and Rehearsal. Training refers to working on technique in a generic and general way way, while Rehearsal is geared specifically towards the production. (Research was quick because this being a restaging, I merely went back to Kampong Wak Hassan to recall, re-examine and reflect. Information gathering was already done.)

I went back to (my) tried and tested methods - meditative movement (Sentul Park is great for this, offering natural and artificial settings.); taking long, brisk walks (I walk 30min to KLPac from Vistana Hotel and back, everyday.); swimming (I went to the hotel pool one morning and the water was so cold that I couldn't breathe while I was in it. Afternoons are better. I can manage 18 laps diagonally across the pool.)


A few key things were discovered this week through meditative movement. Not surprisingly, these were with regards to the FEET, LEGS, PELVIS, SPINE, SHOULDERS, ARMS and EYES. What did surprise me were the things that I discovered about them. It's not that I suddenly realised that I had these body parts attached to me. Duh! Rather, it was the rediscovery of how a particular character centre made the character move, and how particular movements and intentions moved the character.

The approach was simple: explore AYAM. Doors are still continuing to open as I discover postures and gestures for the other 12 characters. And this will not stop until the final curtain goes down as we pursue to re-create each character in each performance for each audience.


The text is the point of arrival for the writer and the point of departure for the director. Therefore, creative decisions must needs be able to be traced right back to the text, to the writer.

Our team, Ms Stage Manager LINA, Mr Sound Man BOY and Mr Light Man DARA, went over a brief background of the piece. I say 'brief' only because they were not written down; so, a few things may have been forgotten or left out.

We had 2 "walk-and-talk"s. This is where we talk through the piece as we walk through it. The first was an introductory one with LINA; the second involved BOY and DARA, was more elaborate and, somewhat, meticulous. For that second one, more issues were brought up. It's still too early yet for collaborative input, but I look forward to more "playing" on the part of the team within what has been designed. What would be really exciting is if we can take what is already there, push it to a new level, or into uncharted territory, and find or create something 'new'. "It's EVOLUTION, Baby!" - Pearl Jam


The other night, I was back in the hotel room, in the bathroom, when inspiration struck. Orang Melayu kata "Dalam bilik 'termenung' boleh dapat ilham!" Pathetic, but true! Unfortunately, I couldn't explore further because it was so echoey in there, it felt like my head might explode.

I'm discovering voices in my head. (Hmm,... That doesn't sound right.) I'm sorry that statement makes it seem like I have "truly gone fishing. ... They must have taken my marbles away." - Pink Floyd


Suffice it to say that I will go further, deeper and wider with this piece, and that includes the voices of the characters. It's great that this time around, we have soundscapes (recorded at Kampong Wak Hassan and edited by DARREN NG) to play with the voices of the characters.

Should I post pictures taken (assisted by CAROL CHIA) of Kampong Wak Hassan in 2006?

I want to end this week on a well-rounded note. As soon as I finish posting this, I will head to Studio 7 and hit the text to explore voice again.

one love,
gene sha rudyn

Monday, August 28, 2006

A'macam, Beb!

As-salam 'alaikum, semua!

Tak pernah2 se umur hidup bikin blog, sekarang Gua nak start. Dah sampai MALAYSIA baru BOLEH! Tak 'pa: biar lambat, asal bersemangat.

Pagi ni Gua sampai KLPac. Gua jalan kaki dari station Monorail Titiwangsa sampai Jalan Strachan. Cuaca best, jadi Gua terus capai skrip, tangkap mood tepi tasik. Tengah kena buai dengan angin punya tiupan, kena hibur dengan suara burung bersiul, ada helicopter pulak "flypast". Cam'na nak concentrate?!

Petang ni, bukak skrip dengan Pengurus Pentas Gua, Cik Lina. Kita nak kupas abis2 sampai tinggal bijik. Lepas tu, nak pasang balik. Orang putih panggil kerja gini "deconstruction".
Tapi, Gua terus terang cakap, Alfian Bin Sa'at tu memang banyak dia "deconstruct". Cuma orang tak tahu apa dia dah buat.

Orait! Sekarang nak cek-in ka' Hotel, makan, dah tu cakap2 pasal skrip sampai mulut berbuih.

Gua belah!