Friday, December 14, 2007

Ballet Les Femmes Journal: Gowda

Gowda- (adj) [Etymology: Pagod- Pagoda- Gowda] tired; exhausted; spent

Today was Day 1 of Rehearsals for Mamu's Ballet Les Femmes. Err... not the actual day 1.

Mamu's 3-minute neo-classical piece was originally choreographed for strong female dancers with solid technique and fluid lines who could drink coffee and read the papers (and even take cigarette breaks) en pointe. There were 8 (or 10?) of them. And they've been learning and rehearsing over the last two weeks. Tonight was more like cleaning.

Not for me and Chris. The two of us -- Mamu's trockadero-ish guinea pigs --- were just starting to learn the piece tonight. What's worse, Chris has already had some side coaching and came to rehearsal somewhat knowing the choreographic structure and the sequence of the steps already. Just enough reason for me to feel a bit more pressured.

About 15 minutes into the rehearsal, Mamu asked the girls to take a break and called Chris and me to show what we've learned so far in the course of 5 full-cast runs. Disaster! The stubborn, determined me surfaced right after that run, so I pushed myself to at least know the piece well enough to be able to anticipate the steps by taking visual cues from Chris. Not perfect. But not bad either. IN fact, I would say, good enough for a first rehearsal.

Now that I look back to the events of 3 hours ago, I think I can say, with utmost conviction, that I have matured as a performer. Steps, no matter how complicated or unfamiliar they are, don't intimidate me as easily anymore like they used to. I know better my strengths and limitations and that makes me work with my body wiser and drives my brain to pick up faster.

But the stamina? Ohhh.... That's another story altogether.

I am just so gowda right now, I didn't bother making Dan and myself a decent meal. Nor did I have the patience to wait for Dan to make one for ourselves. I turned to the ever-reliable IndoMie (the Indonesian version of Lucky Me Pancit Canton. Very, very famous here in HK) despite the strict restricitons of my diet. 5 minutes and voila! A little bit of protein and a huge dose of sodium, MSG and carbs for dinner. And I mixed it right in the pot where I bolied the noodles; and ate it right from the very same stainless steel cookware. (If my uber arte gay brother, Mai, was here, he would roll his eyes on me upon seeing me do that. I remember how he hated it everytime I did the cooking, mixing and eating using only Remi's super durable porcelain saucepan. He also ate Lucky Me Pancit Canton, and he loved them. But he religiously went through the ceremony everytime he had them. Cook in that same porcelain saucepan; drain with the proper colander; mix the oil, soy sauce and seasoning in a separate bowl while cooking the noodles, and stir them exhaustingly so that all lumps are dissolved; mix the noodles and the sauce; wipe off the sides of the bowl before serving it on himself; devour on the pancit canton using a fresh fork. He would never use the fork he used to stir the boiling noodles.)

Gowda- (adj) [Etymology: Pagod- Pagoda- Gowda] what one feels after catching up on Mamu's choreography, trying to learn an entire piece in 15 minutes just by watching the run-throughs. Oh, did I mention I also did two shows today, a 45-minute salsa/rumba warm-up class, 2 other rehearsals for the chachacha number, an official rehearsal for our show, and a video shoot in the morning? Throw all these in, plus some gossiping during breaks. That's gowda.

Hell, I don't even know whether I'm still coherent with this post. I don't have the energy to re-read and edit anymore.

Good night! (at 11:40PM)

Rye to conscience: Okay, okay! I will shower! Can't a gowda guy miss shower just one night? Dammit!