Sunday, May 27, 2007

Circus in the field

Having been house bound for most of the week, I was itching to go out and see if the world had changed in the time that I'd been home or in my own part of Singapore. We were due to be in the city yesterday anyway and decided to take the opportunity to try and catch the Singapore Arts Festival opening show at the Padang. We hadn't bought tickets to anything this year just in case I wasn't going to be able to see it what with the burgeoning belly and all. Anyway, even though Sylvie Guillem was going to be performing in one of the shows, I decided not to risk it. It wasn't as if she was doing something classical- I'm less keen on watching her to contemporary work.

Anyway, I thought it would be quite fun to go watch some aerial acrobatics. It wasn't going to be a Cirque Du Soleil thing but I wasn't going to be a snob about it. It turned out somewhat strange though with some strange improvisation thing that reminded me of wayang kulit (Indonesian shadow dancing), and then came the flying wheel.

spinning wheel The wheel has landed
We expected more to be done on the wheel apart from people walking around looking like they were on some giant hamster wheel but apparently that was it. I must however admit, I don't even think I could walk around on the wheel when it was suspended some 50m off the groun.

That was followed by the giant human net made up by volunteers. Apparently, they only spent two days learning how to do what they were supposed to do in mid air. Once again, although not all that impressive (we have impossibly high standards as a snooty audience), it was quite amazing especially since I think I would have been scared shitless by being harnessed onto a rope without much else.

human net human net formation
I did at times think they looked like giant maggots especially when they were squirming around and getting into position although once they got into position, it did look impressive.

the human net complete
Being extremely sensitive to the heat now, I felt very bad for the people up there since they were covered from head to toe in what looked like space suits and they had 40-50 spots trained on them? Sweltering.
Of course, it had to end with fireworks. Tame fireworks but always quite pretty to watch them. All in, it was 45 minutes of fun and it felt, for a little while, that we were in some other country with open air performances that were fun albeit too arty for the common person to understand , relatively unantagonistic weather (strangely, it was quite comfortable despite the crowds and the spots) and civilised crowds.

That reprieve is always nice. And we take what we can get.

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Ondine tossed this thought in at 14:46

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