Home > theatre, what's in your bag > Ong Keng Sen’s “Lear Dreaming”

Ong Keng Sen’s “Lear Dreaming”

The kids in front of us had slouched, yawning tremendously, into their seats in the School of the Arts (SOTA) auditorium. But i absolutely adored Ong Keng Sen’s Lear Dreaming, as did several neighbouring individuals who, overcome by emotion, had started sniffling toward the end (this had nothing on the cough-o-meter, which went through the roof with spurious coughs throughout the performance).

In brief, i liked:

  • the amazing competence of everyone involved in the production – not fusion for the sake of it or fusion to hide inadequacies in performing traditional arts to expected standards, but a coming together of people already well-versed in their own art form to produce a beautiful symphony of tonal colour and narrative texture,
  • Noh master-performer Naohiko Umewaka – an immensely tragic figure,
  • contemporary pipa exponent Wu Man – a purple feather has never seemed so evil,
  • leading vocalist in traditional Korean court music, Kang Kwon Soon – astonishing control of vocal chords,
  • Rahayu Supanggah with his ensemble of gamelan musicians – that little comic foretelling of doom and destruction,
  • electronica expert Toru Yamanaka – almost seamless melding of sounds with live performance,
  • Scott Zielinski’s green laser lights that depicted a sea in which the King drowned,
  • Hanson Ho’s visual play on Chinese characters.

A good end to my Singapore Arts Festival run for this year. Wasn’t able to stay for the post-performance talk because i had to pack for the beach holiday. (Bag weight and space could be more than halved if i hadn’t grown (old enough) to prefer some creature comforts while on vacation!)
What's In My Short Beach Holiday Bag
Later, alligator.

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