It has been awhile! How have your lives been? 2013 so far so good? :)
To be frank, many a-times I have started on a BoaT blog post, but stopped short because I could not continue writing - I felt that 'at-the-moment' inspiration, but it simply could not last long. (That's what she said! *angel face*)
But... I am back! Along with my top 5 stage productions that I can never forget!
This post came about as I was on Youtube (still am actually, while writing this post) and came across Taylor Swift's recent live performance at the Brits Awards 2013, with the song 'I Knew You Were Trouble' - which I absolutely love. I eventually came to love the production of that live performance as well. After watching that, it triggered me to walk down memory lane and think about the few (and I do mean, few) stage productions that have, until this day, remained a lasting impact on me.
As a dancer and when I was younger, I used to see performance from a first-person view only - I'm up on the stage, performing my heart out and all that jazz. However, after experiencing quite a dramatic retraction from my dance and performing life, alongside having to make my way up from the very bottom again, I've actually gained a very interesting insight that I've always tend to overlook - looking at the whole picture.
See, I don't know if it came with the fact that I grew older and opened my eyes more (i.e. become wiser, lol) or the impact from the sudden change of life (again), but either way, I've come to appreciate and am taking the time to analyse the WHOLE production of a performance - the lights, the sound, the video-recording, the expressions of the various participants, the manic that is going on behind-the-scenes/backstage (yep, that should be a performance on its own! It is so manic at the time, but when you look back at it, it's golden!), the clothes, makeup, digital art, pyro/aqua/confetti/bubble etc.-technics, the performer(s), and of course, the audience.
How amazing, is it not? When we think about it in detail; the aggregation of the various atmospheres, surroundings and people that actually determine the overall impact of the production. It is, seriously, magnifique - and the best part of this is the paradox: each person, as a team player, has to do their utmost best as an individual, yet they have to BE a team and BOOM, the result can be at such great level!
ANYWAYS, before I go any further off track, let's allow my video selections (hopefully, successfully) convey my awe of these beautiful masterpieces.
P.S. The ones I have chosen are all largely commercialised - there are other productions that I have in mind, but I've renamed it as 'Commercial Stage' to be more specific. :) Enjoy!
P.P.S. It is not in any specific order. It's all too good - it'll be like asking me to put in order between Japanese sushi, Korean marinated, grilled meat and like, Krispy Kreme doughnuts... No, just no.
a) Taylor Swift's 'I Knew You Were Trouble' Performance @ Brit Awards 2013
Since this was mentioned earlier on, I might as well start off with this! I especially loved the costumes and how the backup singers and the musicians were placed on stage; the whole design of the stage actually.
b) Beyonce's 'Run The World' Performance @ Billboard Awards 2011
Those digital-ography though! All those intricate details, to the boot. ♥ And also, the positioning of the dancers really caught my eye as well!
c) Charice's 'Listen' Performance @ Oscar After-Party 2009
Charice has actually performed this song live at other venues and with different productions and staging, but somehow this particular production resonated in my mind. The flooring of the stage and the decor, Charice's rawness and simplicity there and the moments of the audience - it is all just class. The fact that when I thought of Charice, the vision of this came up - that should say a lot about impact! (of course, due to her voice as well!)
d) (i) Black Swan - Opening and Final scene & (ii) Memoirs of a Geisha - Sayuri's Dance (I know... there are 2-in-1 AND they're not live, commercial stages but I really, really, really had to put these in! ...*puppy eyes*)
I would actually like to say that the WHOLE movie production of Black Swan and Memoirs should be included in this, but since we're talking about stage specifically- I chose the two (and 1/2) most heart-stopping moments for me.
Maybe because I am a dancer myself as well, I highly empathise the words, scene, emotions and atmosphere present throughout. If there are any movies that I will never forget, it is this movie and Memoirs of a Geisha - and especially these stage scenes.
Black Swan's opening scene and Sayuri's Dance in Memoirs are so hauntingly beautiful. Like Charice's performance at the Oscar's AP, it is leaning more towards visionary simplicity compared to the earlier videos, BUT, I can only imagine how much work has gone into creating all their stages and productions! The detailed makeup, closeups and exacting angles on their expressions and movements, lighting, etc. (I re-watched the final scene of Black Swan and it STILL brings tears to my eyes...)
(Black Swan Opening Scene)
(Black Swan Final Dance Scene)
For Sayuri's Dance at Memoirs click the snapshot below (unable to embed):
Photo from expressyourattitude.blogspot.com
e) Bruno Mars' 'It Will Rain' Performance @ X Factor USA (Nov) 2011
I knew I would fall in love completely with this the moment I started watching it. No, not only because it was Mr. Mars, but because of that beginning; that unnervingly, beautiful stillness.
A standing ovation really, to the production team of this stage performance - the lighting and digital art were so clean-cut and (near-)perfect . To put it in another way: it was like the (near-)perfect glazed doughnut - it did not need any more toppings, deep-frying or heavy batter, etc. It was just the (near-)perfect formula.
Well, there you have it! My top 5 (.. well, 6 and a half) commercial stage productions that I will remember probably for the rest of my life (unless I happen to have amnesia or something) - but to me, this is really another form of art and I feel very blessed to be able to open my eyes and appreciate it.
I hope you enjoyed the videos and that it may have inspired you to see the different things in life in a more ... variegated way!
What about you, dear readers? Do you have any specific productions that are engraved in your mind? If so, comment below or tweet me to let me know! :) (Twitter: @jingely)
Until next time! (It won't be long, promise!)
- J ☆
P.S. I am also currently (and more actively) co-blogging at Dashion-hime! It is a fusionistic blog of dance and fashion, so do check it out and send us your love :) See you soon! - http://dashionhime.blogspot.com