Saturday 17 March 2012


I just missed an opportunity to keep my mouth shut. It was the end of the rehearsal. The dancers had been working on Winterreise, a dance piece based on Schubert's song cycle, story about a woman reminiscing her dead lovers in time of war. The principal dancer, a beautiful girl with a perfect technique seemed to lack the emotional background required for the part. XiaoXiong, the teacher and choreographer had been telling me that he wanted them to stop counting and focus on the musical lines instead. I suggested the dancer could sing or hum the melody as I would play the piano accompaniment so she would be able to connect the movements to the music phrases. That was when I could still have kept it safe and not talked any further. But too late. I couldn't resist an uncontrolled impulse to go on which led me to say: "I could ask a singer friend of mine to come next week for the rehearsal and have a try with the dancers!" XiaoXiong was beaming.
"It would be so nice if the performance was actually with real musicians instead of the tape" (Tape??? No one uses tape anymore. Recording!)
After saying that, there was no turning back. The only thing which could have rescued me was that Ching Yao rejected the offer because of his schedule. But he accepted. For me that was also an opportunity to rekindle our friendship with a safety of making music and performing in a show. It was also a chance to seize to be back on stage again, albeit as an accompanist. I had not played classical music on stage for so many years, and the thought occurred to me that I was maybe too bold to embark in such project.
I remember what the spirit said to me: 'Plants eggs!'

Sunday morning. I had come to the Guandu NTUA again morning to coach another student, LinYi for his piece - a duet. XiaoXiong, one of the teachers (and an acquaintance of mine) had also been requested to be there. Incidentally, LinYi and two other dancers had gone to Niigata to audition for Noism. According to YaTin, Jo liked them very much and even found them good and talented enough to consider them to be in Noism 1!!! Unfortunately, there was currently no vacancy, so they will have to wait. And the military service is the next thing for poor LinYi after graduation... 
XiaoXiong took me for a meal after LinYi's rehearsal. Meal and talk. We kept each other updated about our current projects. He had taken six sabbatical months - which he actually spent touring in France in a theatre piece. "Never any holiday for me..." he half lamented.
I told him about the reason of my presence at the students' dance rehearsals, about my plans to organise the workshops. He seized the chance to hire me to compose the music for a dance project of his. He wanted to create a piece for his best dancers. Why not, I thought. But I needed to know more about it. I can't say yes to anything that comes my way, even if I have to plant eggs!!!
"Can you come and see my rehearsal? It's a piece I did in Australia. Winterreise..."
"Schubert's Winterreise?"
"Yes'! Please come if you have the time. You'll see some of my favourite students."
Two hours later, as I was suggesting to play on stage for him, I was relieved that he didn't us all the songs from the cycle.

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