Tag Archives: cultural performance

Light, Motion and Shadow

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“Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field. I will meet you there” ~ Rumi

I am feeling hyper-introvert lately. Spending my precious time with myself is more comforting than being around people … uh uh too much time spent alone either at my studio or behind my mac (doing editing) felt super comfortable. Comfortable is not good. Time to go out and hangout with the extrovert.

I edited my Kuda Kepang image folder during my hyper-introvert mode … thank god. I attended the dance performance last November, which was five (5) months ago … yes, I am mastering the art of “marinate your photos”. I need to wait until the photos are matured enough before I can re-create  new emotions for my photos. Wow … now I sounded like a pro when I said that lol.

Kuda Kepang is a traditional dance originated from Indonesia and very famous among the Johor society. Please feel free to ask uncle google about the background story of Kuda Kepang. I was more enchanted by the light, the unpredictable motion and the shadow during the show.

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Preparing the spiritual being of the Barongan mask

The air was filled with smoke coming out from the burning ‘kemenyan’ or benzoin resin. The ambience was beautifully set through proper used of lighting and background colors (on walls and floor). The traditional dance was performed by the Kuda Kepang Parit Raja from Batu Pahat, Johor and the show was held at the BlackBox Publika Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur.

Kuda Kepang dance motion is very mystical. The background music  derived from the traditional music instruments: the anklung, gong and gendang were very enchanting. The dancers looked high and disoriented.

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The ‘bapak’ or leader of the pack

I am a ‘logical thinker’ kind of person … I was puzzled trying to logically understand the reason why some adults dancing against the music with a ‘man-made cow-skin’ look alike horse could get high and disoriented by just inhaling the smoke while listening to the soft enchanting background music. Hmmmm … and the dancers moved in a trance state.

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Unpredictable moves by the dancers

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Bapak checking on the dancer. Love the light on his head

Interesting performance … my first time watching Kuda Kepang and my mind went … what the … why.. and 1001 more why-s lol. Curious mind …

“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” ~Dorothy Parker

Gotta go and hunt for the extrovert … ;-P

Bye for now

MM


Shadow and Storytelling

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Wayang Kulit Kelantan

 

I am in a very productive and ambitious mood this few days ;-P and I am not very sure on how long will it last hu hu hu. I did an extensive housekeeping and re-organisation on all my external HDs … yeay! for me. I edited some of my old and forgotten image folders.

Sharing with y’alls my Wayang Kulit Kelantan aka Traditional Shadow Puppet show images from a few months back. I wanted to explore more on my local culture this year, so I signed up for any cultural performance or any local art gallery around town.

Uncle google has the detail explanation on what is Wayang Kulit Kelantan or Traditional Kelantanese Shadow Puppet show. My late father never failed to remind the ‘rebel’ me that I am a Kelantanese. He would force me to watch and listen to Mak Yong (traditional Kelantanese dance) and wayang kulit. So, watching this group of street Wayang Kulit performers performing the shadow play at Jalan Pudu, Kuala Lumpur recently, did bring back the sweet memories of my childhood.

 

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Back stage preparation before the show begin

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The show is accompanied by a group of traditional musician playing gongs, barrel drums, cymbals and flutes. 

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The puppet master is called Tok Dalang

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The story was mostly about an ancient epic story from India called Ramayana

Well … my D800 never failed to impress me. In such a low light … I managed to capture the ambience moment behind the stage. I was telling my photographer friend about the stages that we had been through during our photography journey.

I started with just clicking my camera on auto mode. Then I move up further by capturing high key images on manual and aperture mode. At that time, every image should look bright and clear, as bright as possible. Dark and shadow was a no … no. Then, I was crazy about IR images (infra red) … playing on contra and false/ fantasy colours. And …. now I am all crazy about dark, shadow, chiaroscuro, emotion and all those fine art things … a continuous learning process.

bla … bla … bla … babbling. Gotta run now … I need to edit another old image folder of Kuda Kepang dance that I took last year and some more old folders before my next trip.

Bye for now,

Cheers

MM