Sunday, May 31, 2009

(M) Rhythm In Bronze (RiB)

Rhythm In Bronze (RiB)
22 to 24 May 2009

Esplanade, Singapore

I really love sitting by the bay at the Esplanade in the evening. The scorching sun gone, I embraced the gentle bay breeze that caressed me as I let myself relax. Sitting alone at the open air theatre, I relished the moments of solitude accompanied only by my packed dinner and Evian. Time stood still for me while the rest of Singapore’s financial district packed the MRTs rushing home from work.

After shopping for four hours, I was a proud contributor to Singapore's economy! Give me another four hours and I would have lifted the republic from its recession. I chose a seat with a pillar behind me because I was feeling rather tired and spineless (by then). I wanted a good break and was looking forward to Flipside, the daily free performance at the open air theatre in conjunction with the Singapore Arts Festival. And lo behold! It was Rhythm in Bronze, our home-grown gamelan troupe performing that evening.

In the crowd, there was a good mixture of locals and foreigners. An Indonesian man sat right in front wearing a batik headscarf on his head tied to look like a hat (what do you call this?), and wearing a t-shirt that had “Visit Indonesia 2008” boldly written on its back. And because he was sitting on the front-most bench, everyone behind him could read it. I loved the irony…hah! What also caught my attention was the number of young Singaporean Malays - dressed as if they’re going for Avril Lavigne’s concert – making this an outing with friends. What this proves is that RiB, despite its obvious traditional genre, has managed to find its appeal, through its innovation and use of some Western instruments, amongst the young seeking an identity they can relate to.

And when they played, the traditional ensemble rocked the crowd with infectious melodies, and catchy beats. I almost wanted to shout out ‘Malaysia Boleh’ and let it echo amidst the stunned audience; but then I refrained. No need for a side show, especially since I was croaking that day. But, wow, the performance totally rocks!

Photos courtesy of RIB.

1 comment:

Ann Salina Peter said...

Hi Su Ling!

Thanks for this lovely post! You should have just stood up and screamed Malaysia Boleh!

Glad you enjoyed the performance!
Check out out group on Facebook, i posted your site to our links. :)

This is our website:
Rhythm in Bronze.