23. Hell week

Week 12 in NUS is usually called Hell Week because it’s during this week where all your modules have assignment or essay deadlines, presentations, examinations and other CA components which consist of a large percentage of your final grade. In my case, I also had Dance Uncensored 2013 tech runs, full dress rehearsals and the actual show during this week as well. Which wasn’t that unmanageable considering that I’m taking only 3 modules this semester (though the workload is about the same as 5. Never ever take 2 Japanese modules in the same semester if you want to survive, especially not with Japanese 6 under Chiba Sensei as one of them).

So everything was fine and dandy until my unfortunate accident on stage during Wednesday’s performance. It was halfway through the performance after the first song and during the blackout, when my mouth collided into someone else’s head with enough force to cut my upper lip quite badly. Tiny bit of flesh was hanging out and was bleeding into my own mouth for a while. >_< Thankfully after my item I had a nursing friend help me nurse the wound (they didn't even have a first aid kid on hand backstage wtf), so it's healing nicely right now. I just hope it won't scar that badly. /:

Obviously I panicked, because I had my Japanese oral AND a presentation on Thursday before the last DU show, and I wasn't sure at that point in time whether I could speak properly or not. I couldn't really enunciate properly because I couldn't close my lips together as that meant the wound would come into contact with my lower lips. And I have to be honest, but I was thinking of using my wound as an excuse to not do oral because I was quite nervous about it.

In the end, I'm happy to say that I did both my oral and my presentation. My enunciation was a bit strange, but I'm glad that I didn't run away from my responsibilites. Oral turned out to be quite fun, Chiba sensei even said that we were 一番楽しそうなグループ (the group which looked like we were enjoying ourselves the most). My oral group members were really nice! We practiced quite a bit before and decided to help each other out for the discussion and debate. As for the presentation, we had distingushed guests from Kikkoman, CLAIR Singapore and Mitsubishi Shoji so I was nervous and embarrased for presenting in front of them when I wasn't in my top form, but I am glad that I made the last minute decision to do so. Am really grateful for all my group members who were willing to cover for me too, just in case.

After both, I went back to perform for DU. It really was my last chance in NUS to dance and I couldn't just let it go. Most of the people I knew already came to watch me on Wednesday, but for me the reason is simple, I have always danced because I wanted to dance, not because I want others to watch me dance. Getting people to watch me is just a bonus. To me, there is no meaning if you dance for other people but you don't feel anything for dance itself. If that's the case, it will turn into a meaningless form of entertainment. This doesn't mean that I'm not grateful to those who have supported my all these years for my dance performances; I truly am. But it is because I dance to express myself, I dance because I like moving to the music, I dance because I love to dance, that I am proud that my family and friends can come to watch me do something I love. And that is when I dance for them as well.

But dance never needs to be complicated. People should stop thinking too much, and just dance.

And so hell week is over. It wasn't that bad this time. One more final week to go, before it really is goodbye.


21. Kent Ridge Hall Dance Production 2013

So I went to watch KR DP today! And here’s my review of it hahaha.
Disclaimer: I’m speaking from the perspective of someone who has dance/choreography experience so I might be slightly more nitpicky then the layman >_>

Overall I liked it quite a bit! It was my first time watching a dance production in full; Dance Uncensored (DU) doesn’t really count and for Eusoff DP I was dancing in it so it doesn’t count as well. What I really liked was how all the items came together with a central theme and storyline. I also liked how some items overlapped with each other, which you would not see in a performance like DU. I also unexpectedly saw familiar faces from Blast! days hahaha.

Choreography-wise, the contemp items were really strong. Dancers’ lines were pretty, stunts were awesome to look at, and emotions were really there. Did I mention that lines were really pretty? *___* The only downside was that I personally felt that there were too many contemp items in the second half. In fact I only seemed to recall that the only hiphop item was the red berets/army one? Or the dubstep one. Oh dear memory is failing me ahem. Doesn’t help that the booklet doesn’t provide information on specific items and their choreos aha. While the themes for the items in the second half were kind of different, like sadness, frustration, suicidal thoughts, love and such, I felt that it was a little bit too similar? Was hoping for a change of pace midway. But skills and techniques definitely present. KR really has strong contemp dancers. \o/

Hip hop items were varied. Some were really good, and I really liked the energy from most of the dancers that were blocked in front. Keep seeing the same faces in hip hop items though haha. And what I liked was that even though some dancers weren’t really as good as their counterparts, they had the attitude and energy. Of course there were a few black sheep, which I was quite quick to spot (sorry being nitpicky again), but really good job for most of the dancers. Your technique and skills will definitely wow people off-stage, but in a performance your emotions and energy matter just as much, if not more.

Sadly the crowd today was mad up mostly of families and non-hiphop dancers(I assume), because there was very little (okay none at all) cheering which you would normally hear when hip hop dancers do their thing. I felt like an idiot cheering(quietly) and clapping(silently) to myself when I was watching the hip hop items >_< They needed so much more love and appreciation SIGH. Unfortunately I'm too shy to be the only one cheering so sorry people ;_;

The one thing I did feel after watching KR DP is the urge to DANCE. This always happens after I watch a good dance show/production. It always inspires me to work harder and dance better. Can't wait for dance prac tomorrow! *INSERTS SHAMELESS PLUG* I will be dancing in the combined hall dance item in DU on 10th and 11th April at NUS UCC so if you’re free please come early(6pm or something) to queue up and get free tickets to watch me thank you~~ It’s really my last dance performance in NUS and I hope to make it a good one. (:

02. of work and desserts

It’s been a while. Lately I’ve been working a lot at the airport, アルバイトする. The pay’s decent for a part-time job, even though it can’t be compared to that of Japan’s, but it really saps my energy. 8 hours of standing and serving customers in heels is no joke. The only thrill I get from working is when I get to speak to Japanese customers in Japanese. While some are a little unfriendly, most of them are rather nice. Some even thought that I was Japanese, and a kind lady encouraged me on my Japanese language studies. I’m still striving to be fluent in Japanese one day. The only problem I face is my tendency to not use keigo (敬語) when speaking to customers, mostly because I’m not used to speaking in keigo. At least I’ve succeeded in eliminating tamego (タメ語) when speaking, because it’s so casual it might seem impolite to the Japanese customers. When I was working here last year I never noticed that there were so many Japanese customers. Now there would be at least a few each day. Time to work on my Japanese!

Speaking of which, I’ve also signed up for jlpt n3 level. Technically my classes have only taught me til n4 level, so I’ll need to do a lot of self-study in order to pass. It’s a good thing I’m going to be stopping my part-time job after this month. When I’m working I get so exhausted even on my off-days I rarely have the motivation as energy to drag myself to the library or Starbucks to study.

On a dance-related note, I have finally managed to master the first verse and chorus of Miss A’s Goodbye Baby v(^_^v)♪ Will get around to videotaping it one day. Haven’t been dancing much because of work and because I don’t go to school much, of at all. Bah. I really want to learn exo-k’s history’s dance too. There’s so awesomely talented for a rookie group. *__*

I’ve also been trying to listen to more jpop songs as an attempt to learn more Japanese vocabulary. Latest songs on my playlist are from Hatsune Miku, AKB48, and m-flo~ Am going to slowly explore more artists as I go along. I lost most of my anime opening and ending songs when my hard disk drive crashed on me. Still miss the nostalgic feeling I get whenever I listen to a PoT or FMA song. You got game~ どんなスピードの中も時間は変わらないリズム刻んで〜♪ Gosh my fangirling days seem ages ago.

Going to end off with a photo of Marriott’s dessert bar at their international buffet dinner! Went there for my brother’s birthday dinner. The spread was decent, although the seafood not that fantastic. But I liked the roasted section where they had roast beef, pork and lamb, as well as their pastries. Other than that, i’ll give it a 6.5/10. I’ve had had better buffets then this one.