Saturday, October 16, 2021

Asiapac Books' Reunion: Timeless Love and Art in Return of the Condor Heroes Exhibition


Back in 1995, Chinese manhua paperbacks of reknown novelist Louis Cha (Jin Yong)'s wuxia tale, RETURN OF THE CONDOR HEROES, was illustrated by local award-winning artist Wee Tian Beng. The comic books, published in 18 volumes, have been out of print for more than two decades. So, it is with much excitement that Asiapac Books has launched the graphic novel series compiled into one complete omnibus-hardback boxset in two language versions - simplified Chinese and English!

To commemorate the launch of the RETURN OF THE CONDOR HEROES 2021 Collector's Edition Comic Book Boxset, an exhibition was held at the zall bookstore, a Chinese language book shop located at Wheelock Place. The Reunion: Timeless Love and Art in Return of the Condor Heroes exhibition wraps up tomorrow (17 October 2021), so it will be your last chance to get to know, or in the case of long time fans, to re-acquaint yourself with the epic love story of Yang Guo and Dragon Girl!

Red Dot Diva has yet to read the manhua, but she is familiar with the story of RETURN OF THE CONDOR HEROES. Through the years, the RETURN OF THE CONDOR HEROES novel has been adapted in several TV shows and movies. Even Mediacorp has produced its own version in the 1990s that starred now real life celebrity couple Christopher Lee and Fann Wong. That said, the TV series version that Red Dot Diva is most familiar with is the 1983 TVB HK serial which casted Andy Lau as Yang Guo and Idy Chan as Xiao Long Nu (Dragon Girl).

Partially due to a wave of nostalgia, she dropped by the small exhibition to pay tribute to the late Louis Cha's classic, admire veteran artist Wee Tian Beng's works, and to have a look at the packaged collectors' boxset. It was also a chance to visit the new two-story zall bookstore. This is the China-based company's first overseas branch. In the digital age and during a pandemic, it is so heartening to see that the consumer market for printed books is still alive.

If you are unable to make it to the exhibition before it closes, here are some photos.

The artwork of Wee Tian Beng, which were of hand-drawn and traditionally inked.




A cherished framed piece of calligraphy by Louis Cha (Jin Yong) is also on display. The title calligraphy of the RETURN OF THE CONDOR HEROES books are by noted local calligrapher and poet Pan Shou, and they are also on display in the exhibition.


Visitors can view and flip through sample copies of the RETURN OF THE CONDOR HEROES trade paperback manhua published in various languages including Thai, Vietnamese and Korean.


Remember the Jade Bees? They are Xiao Long Nu's weapons, and can be instructed to attack enemies when she plays the guqin. She also tattooed messages on them so that after 16 years, she was able to reunite with her lover Yang Guo. Visitors have written their own special love messages on these paper Jade Bees, and hang them on a wall. Red Dot Diva wrote one too!

Red Dot Diva had a bit of fun at the interactive wall pretending to be a kick-ass martial arts hero. How? What do you think? Can make it or not? Maybe more like wuxia villain?


There are only 1,000 sets (500 for each language version) of this beautifully packaged special edition boxset. The boxset is priced at SGD 288, with six hardcover volumes of the entire story of RETURN OF THE CONDOR HEROES. Each set will have its own unique serial number, as well as Wee Tian Beng's actual autograph on a bookplate. So, if you are fan, do not miss buying a copy!

Want to drop by before the exhibition ends? Here are the details:

Exhibition ends 17 Oct 2021
Opening hours: 11 AM to 9:30 PM
Location: 卓爾书店 the zall bookstore, 501 Orchard Road, #01-02/#02-18 Wheelock Place




Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Gamescom Asia 2021 Presents The Heart of Gaming From 14 to 17 October


Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic struck, it has been awhile since a major entertainment-related convention is taking place in Red Dot Island. So, it is a wonderful feeling to have colour and excitement back in town with gamescom asia's first Asian version from 14 to 17 October 2021.

We’re excited to finally launch the gamescom brand to the Asian market with gamescom asia 2021. We could have waited for 2022 to kick things off but the industry was craving for a place for interaction this year, and we wanted to provide gamers a glimpse of what the region had in store for them in the near future,” says Mathias Kuepper, Managing Director of Koelnmesse Singapore, the organisers of gamescom asia.

For those who can make it to Suntec on 14-15 October for the event in Singapore, we are creating an extremely safe environment for in-person business interaction. All attendees will go through a non-invasive and highly accurate test before entering the event, which is a first for any event in Singapore. gamescom asia is proud to lead the way as a demo event and to help pave the path for other events to open in a safe manner in the very near future.

The region's most anticipated gaming convention has a hybrid programme that consists of two zones - Trade and Entertainment. The Trade Zone has an in-person conference at Suntec Convention Centre from 14 to 16 October, with industry guests appearing live as well as online via the virtual platform Hubilo. There are segments called Games360, Mobile Gaming Summit, and UNconference featuring panels and technical dialogues featuring prominent industry guests from Riot Games, Microsoft Xbox Asia, Nintendo, Bandai Namco, Square Enix and more. The virtual conference on Hubilo also offers attendees networking opportunities and an exhibitor's area.

In addition, Mr. Alvin Tan, Minister of State, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth & Ministry of Trade and Industry, will be gracing the event and giving an opening address at the Mobile Gaming Summit on 15 October 2021.

As NFTs are all the rage these days, a range of limited digital collectibles will be released to commemorate gamescon asia's first edition. This is done in collaboration with Epik, a company which produces the world's premium digital items.

Following that on the weekend (16 - 17 October), the virtual Entertainment Zone will be where the real excitement happens for gaming fans. A 1-hour live show called PRIMETIME, hosted by Victoria Cheng (aka ChubbyNinja) will kick off the Entertainment Zone line-up. Scheduled within the Entertainment Zone are special announcements, launches, and trailers of new games as well as sessions hosted by brands like AMD, TikTok, Electronic Arts, Hooded Horse Inc, and Lentera Nusantara. Blocks of time are also allocated for e-sports, so you can watch gamers pitch their skills during the Counter Strike-Global Offensive CS:GO Tournament.

To close the exhilirating weekend, the inaugural Asia Games Awards will be held to celebrate Asia's best of games, events, esports and more. The awards is co-organised by Singapore Games Association and gamescon asia.

The Entertainment Zone is where Red Dot Diva intends to plonk herself during gamescon asia. She is particularly interested in the Singapore Pavilion Showcase presented by Singapore Games Association, and find out more about local gaming studios like Cargo Studio, Leoful, and Ysbryd Games. To find out more about the Entertainment Zone programme, click this link!

You can watch the Entertainment Zone programme totally free-of-charge at gamescom asia’s very own live site, or on YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, Discord and Twitch. So many options for you to choose! And if you happen to miss one of the studio segments, you can replay the programmes on-demand via gamescon asia's 2021 VAULT, which will be available even after the convention ends.



Saturday, October 9, 2021

Star Wars: Visions - Stunning Visuals and Unique Stories In Anime Form


STAR WARS: VISIONS, an anthology of nine anime shorts, is wonderfully creative and goes right into the emotional core of what the Star Wars is all about. Even though it is not canon, the series offers a thrilling alternate universe, while taking you back to the mega franchise's Japanese roots.

Star Wars has always drew ideas heavily from Japanese culture. In interviews, George Lucas mentioned that he is a huge fan of Japanese auteur Akira Kurosawa. When you watch Kurosawa's 1958 black and white movie THE HIDDEN FORTRESS side by side with the original 1977 Star Wars movie, you will see the same story beats about a princess, a general, a pair of comedic peasants and the fight against a feudal lord.

Samurai lore and visual traditional Japanese aesthetic, like the ronin, lightsaber, Darth Vader's helmet and kabuki, are also embedded in Star Wars. Even in the sequels, you will find that the Japanese influences remain strong. In THE LAST JEDI, Rian Johnson paid homage to Kurosawa's RASHOMON by portraying the re-telling of young Ben Solo and Luke Skywalker's fateful incident at the training temple in three different versions. Also, Kylo Ren's repaired helmet in the last movie of the Skywalker saga is influenced by kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery.

The anime studios involved with STAR WARS: VISIONS are Kamikaze Douga, Geno Studio (Twin Engine), Studio Colorido (Twin Engine), TRIGGER, Kinema Citrus, Science Saru, and Production I.G. When Red Dot Diva was binge-watching the series, it was evident that the production teams adored the Star Wars franchise, and threw their hearts into it by putting their own unique spin to their animated shorts.

It is easy to watch STAR WARS: VISIONS in one sitting. The episodes are short, ranging from 13 to 22 minutes. Admittedly, Red Dot Diva felt a few episodes were not as strong as some others, and towards the end, the episodes seem to become repetitive in their themes and lightsaber duels. However, there is a sweet, wonderful feeling watching the stories unfold in a Japanese-based world, and in Japanese spoken dialogue. It was as if Star Wars has truly arrived home.

Here are the episode titles of the series:
Episode 1: THE DUEL - Kamikaze Douga
Episode 2: TATOOINE RHAPSODY - Studio Colorido
Episode 3: THE TWINS - Trigger
Episode 4: THE VILLAGE BRIDE - Kinema Citrus
Episode 5: THE NINTH JEDI - Production I.G.
Episode 6: T0-B1 - Science Saru
Episode 7: THE ELDER - Trigger
Episode 8: LOP & OCHO - Geno Studio
Episode 9: AKAKIRI - Science Saru

It is best that you discover the eclectic STAR WARS: VISIONS episodes on your own. Red Dot Diva is pretty sure there is will be at least one episode that any Star Wars fan can enjoy. She too, has her favourite episodes, and here are her Top 3.

WARNING! There are some spoilers!


THE DUEL


STAR WARS: VISIONS opens with this stunning, mostly black and white period drama called THE DUEL, that embodies the essence of a Kurosawa-style samurai tale. There is homage to SEVEN SAMURAI as well as YOJIMBO; the latter movie featured the inimitable Toshiro Mifune as a ronin.

A mysterious wandering Ronin stops by a small remote village, and requests a store owner to do some repairs on his straw-hat wearing astromech droid. The villagers have been continually besieged by a band of greedy former-Imperial bandits, led by a ruthless female Sith. They strip the villagers of their supplies and money, and have no qualms about killing those who try to stop them from doing so. Ronin decides to step in to protect them, and squares off with the Bandit Leader in an action-packed duel.

Ronin wins the day but there is a surprise though! He is actually a Sith, and has managed to acquire several red kyber crystals, presumably from winning duels with other Siths.

Red Dot Diva is absolutely intrigued by the Ronin character and his motivations. She also thinks that this particular universe where loner Siths do not totally align with "good" or "evil, is fodder for many interesting possibilities.

Well, TPTB has the very same idea. A novel published by Del Rey, entitled Ronin: A Visions Novel by Emma Mieko Candon is set for release on October 12, 2021.


THE NINTH JEDI


THE NINTH JEDI is the longest running episode of STAR WARS: VISIONS, and when the story ends, it leaves you wanting for more.

In a Star Wars universe that echoes the era after Order 66, Jedi and lightsabers are rare, and sabersmiths are near to extinction. Zhima is one of these skilled lightsabersmiths. He is hiding out on a remote planet, and he has been commissioned to craft a weapon for Juro the Margrave. Juro has managed to collect a few kyber crystals and hopes to form a new Jedi Order to fight the Sith who are currently in power. After receiving a beacon seeking for Force-wielders, a small group gathers on an asteroid orbiting around a planet called Hy Izla.

The enemies learn of the location of Zhima's workshop, and before he is captured, he hands over the lightsaber to his daughter Kara and asks that she delivers it to Juro. Kara turns out to be Force-sensitive as well, and arrives on the asteroid just in time to help defend Juro, another being called Roden, and Ethan, a young warrior eager to become a Jedi. They decide to help Kara look for her father and rescue him.

There are so many familiar landscapes as well as creative world building in this episode. The exciting chase of Kara on her speeder across ice plains is like a frozen version of the speeder chase scenes in Endor. Red Dot Diva also thought there is genuine heartfelt emotion between the Zhima and Kara's father-daughter interactions. Plus, the segment about the lazy old pilot droid is simply hilarious.

There should be a Chapter Two for THE NINTH JEDI. Don't you think?

TATOOINE RHAPSODY


There are no lightsaber duels or any heavy exposition between the light and dark sides in TATOOINE RHAPSODY. In fact, it is one of the most anime episode of the entire series in terms of style and script. As the title suggests, TATOOINE RHAPSODY is a light-hearted foray about courage, family and the love of music.

Young ex-Padawan Jay is part of Star Waver, an aspiring rock band hoping to make it big. One day, the bounty hunter Boba Fett barges into their concert and captures his best friend Gee. It seems Gee has incurred some sort of debt with Jabba the Hutt, and has to meet his fate at the iconic Tatooine race track stadium.

Jay manages to plead for a chance to play one last song with Gee and his other band mates on stage. The crowd loves their music, but the execution is still scheduled to happen. Throwing his final gamble, Jay proposes that Jabba be the band's first sponsor and surprisingly, the Hutt agrees, kickstarting the beginnings of the band's success in the galaxy.

Red Dot Diva found it a novelty to experience Star Wars world with anime music. That itself was quite an assault to her senses, and not in a bad way. TATOOINE RHAPSODY is a fun, colourful piece, with just the right amount of nostalgia to warm a long time Star Wars fan's heart.


There are other episodes within the anthology that Red Dot Diva finds memorable, namely THE ELDER and THE TWINS. But, some fans may prefer to more novel stories told in episodes like T0-B1.

STAR WARS: VISIONS is a bold way of story-telling, as it offers more open-ended and innovative visuals other than those entombed in canon. Red Dot Diva hopes that the unexpected ideas envisioned by the Japanese production studios, are able to inspire future Star Wars shows to tread in more exciting territories.

The series is available to watch on streaming platform Disney+.







Sunday, October 3, 2021

ArtScience Museum's Orchestral Manoeuvres Exhibition - An Eclectic Ear-Opening Aural Adventure


For most of us, it is easier to grasp an idea or imagine a subject through pictures. After all, humans beings are highly visual creatures, and we process faster based on what we see. So, to be able to explore sound through different visual and mixed media ways, is what makes ArtScience Museum's current exhibition called ORCHESTRAL MANOEUVRES: SEE SOUND. FEEL SOUND. BE SOUND particularly intriguing.

Curated by Adrian George, Director of Exhibitions at ArtScience Museum, with Amita Kirpalani, Curator at ArtScience Museum, the exhibition is presented over nine galleries. They consist of noise-making sculptures, paintings, videos, music, and works by over 32 artists and composers from eight countries.

To take you on an aural adventure and give you a few notes of the exhibitions varying soundscapes, Red Dot Diva has included links to a few videos that she has uploaded to her Instagram account.


RESONANCE

This first section features a huge exhibit called Rage Fluids by Hannah Perry. Made out of steel auto parts in a pleasing copper-rose-gold hue, it is a juxtaposition of masculinity and femininity that vibrates and creates a large roar like a racing car. Red Dot Diva recommends standing right in between the curved steel and let the loud engine sounds envelope your aural senses.




PERFORMING OBJECTS
Pic by Artscience Museum

Red Dot Diva has not heard of Performing Objects before, so this is the first time she is understanding what they are about, and it is quite a mind warp!

Three nondescript boxes are placed together, each one emitting sounds from within. The earliest object is American artist Robert Morris (Box with the Sound of Its Own Making), which produces 3 hours of sounds related to the box's making like hammering and sawing. Essentially, it is performing its own history.

Ashley Zelinskie's Cube with the Sound of its Own Printing pays tribute to Morris' sculpture, while Timm Ulrichs' Radio consists of a transistor radio that is still picking up and broadcasting analogue signals.


SOUNDS AROUND


This segment is Red Dot Diva's favourite in the exhibit because the pieces here are so eclectic and memorable.

Once you have seen Chinese artist Chen Zhen's odd looking Chair of Concentration, you would not be able to forget it. Each time you use your headphones, you might start to remember the chamber pots used in the sculpture!


Taiwanese artist Hsiao Sheng-Chien's kinetic pieces are such a delight! The sculptures made mostly of wood and other items like turntables, gears and computer chips, produce sounds evocative of a lost forest. Cicadas buzzes, bird chips and gentle creaks of a branches in the wind. It was like being in the cabin that the Vertigo comic book character Sweet Tooth was brought up in. Red Dot Diva found it soothing to stand there, take in the sonic landscape of nature, and feel mentally centred for awhile.

The other pieces in this room, like Singapore artist Zul Mahmod's Resonance in Frames 2 and 3 and deaf artist Christine Sun Kim's interesting visualising of sound, were also intriguing.


WRITING SOUND


Many of us are familiar with how a modern musical score looks like, but have you seen ancient musical notations? This section exhibits photo of scores from Babylon to the beautifully notated Tibetan religious chants.

Then, there is the brashly colourful Mel Brimfield’s 4’ 33” (Prepared Pianola for Roger Bannister) that is equally as loud. The commissioned piece celebrates the 1952 Helsinki Olympic race, and consists of a self-playing piano, percussion instruments and horns. It is a performance art on its own, stridently blaring out John Cage’s 1952 composition 4’33, complex scores as well as the British National Anthem and BBC TV’s Ski Sunday theme. Hit the big red button on the exhibit at your own risk!


INNER VOICE

After experiencing the ear-ringing scoring from the previous section, Inner Voice takes things down several notches as it explores about sound memory. Or in modern speak, "ear worms" - those songs that you cannot get our of your head.

People who look karaoke, and are hardcore fans of certain bands, will smile when watching a music video installation titled dunia tak akan mendengar by artist Phil Collins. Filmed in Indonesia, it shows fans of The Smiths singing recorded karaoke versions of their entire 1987 compilation album, The World Won’t Listen.


UNHEARD
Pic by Artscience Museum


Watching a video of Samson Young’s Muted Situation #5: Muted Chorus is a most unusual aural experience, showcasing the parts of sounds people may choose to silence or amplify. Instead of singing musical notes of a chorus, a chamber choir called The Hong Kong Voices perform the breaths they take between singing musical notes of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio Part 5 (Movement 1, Movements 4/11 Chorales). In so doing, other sounds come into the forefront, like inhalations and the rustling of music scores.

There is also an energetic video titled Dancing in Peckham showing British artist Gillian Wearing dancing in the street to a private soundtrack that she remembers, but is unheard to the observer or audience.


CHORAL



Have you ever felt as if you are standing in the middle of a choir as an audience member? That is how The Forty Part Motet by Canadian artist Janet Cardiff sounds like.

Each voice is recorded separately and emanates from its own speaker. So, the music and 40-part choir's beautiful singing surrounds and flows over you in a most glorious way. Absolutely sublime!


PLAYLIST




Red Dot Diva had a lot of fun with this playful section is a part exhibition. There are creatively constructed, interactive sound sculptures or totems made of everyday objects like clothes pegs, vacuum tubes, cooking utensils and plastic cups. You can tap on the pedals on each totem to trigger sounds. When you have other friends or visitors with you, you can play the sound totems together to make create an orchestra!

There is also a piano that you can play in The Stage Is Yours section. Well, if you cannot play the piano, even the tapping of feet or clapping of hands can make music!


AUTO-TUNE


Everyone loves cat videos, right? So to wrap things up, here is a video art meme by Cory Arcangel's Drei Klavierstücke op. 11, where he has strung together clips of cute kitties walking across pianos to the tune of Arnold Schoenberg's masterpiece op. 11 Drei Klavierstücke (Three Piano Pieces). It is the hallmark of the digital era that we now live in, as hilarious as it is.


The Orchestral Manoeuvres exhibition runs from now till 2 January 2022 at the Artscience Museum. It is an unusual exhibition that opens your mind to the different ways sound can be seen, heard and perceived.

If you are keen for a different kind of day out, tickets to the exhibit are available at this link: https://www.marinabaysands.com/museum/exhibitions/orchestral-manoeuvres.html. Due to safe distancing measures, it is recommended that you pre-book for your time slot.



Saturday, September 25, 2021

Doom Patrol Season 3 Is Staying Weird And Fun - Now on HBO Go!


One of DC's strangest superhero groups, the DOOM PATROL, is back on HBO with a brand new season.

The first 3 episodes of Season 3 have been released on 23 September on HBO Go, the media company's streaming platform in Asia. There is a lot to unpack as the metahuman misifts consisting of Elasti-Woman aka Rita Farr (April Bowby), Negative Man aka Larry Trainor (Matt Bomer), Cliff Steele (Brendan Fraser), Crazy Jane (Diane Guerrero) and Cyborg aka Victor Stone (Joivan Wade), deal with their personal trauma as well as unexpected strangers who have crossed their paths.
One of these enigmatic strangers is a time traveller Madame Rouge, who is portrayed by Michelle Gomez. Madame Rouge is bent on thwarting the efforts of a new threat called the Sisterhood of Dada. Michelle Gomez is extremely captivating; an absolute scene stealer, especially when she is portraying baddies. So, Red Dot Diva is expecting a lot of fun in the Gomez/ Madame Rouge department.

Red Dot Diva has watched all first 3 episodes of the season, and so far, she finds that the writing is tighter. The characters are also given more room to grow, and their personal journeys are still surreal, but have a deeper emotional breadth compared to the more manic Season 2.

*** WARNING: There are some spoilers ahead! ***


EPISODE 1 - POSSIBILITIES PATROL

For those who were going arrrggghhh, when Season 2 ended abruptly with a cliffhanger due to the pandemic, you will be glad to know that the season opener continues right from the moment Dorothy was swiped up by The Candlemaker and into the fire. The episode also reveals what happened to Jane after she was trapped in the Underground. The sad fate of Niles Caulder/ the Chief (Timothy Dalton), the eccentric scientist-leader of the group, is also revealed. So basically, episode 1 is like the proper finale for Season 2.

As the team members try to gain some form of normalcy after the events at the County Fair, each of them begins to feel rudderless, and starts to drift apart, when suddenly... someone mysterious crash lands into Cloverton. (There is a mid-credit scene, so don't miss it!)


EPISODE 2 - VACAY PATROL

Rita has been tasked by Niles to lead the team as she is the only one he trusts, but due to her feelings of inadequacy, she resists this mission. With the added stress, she helplessly melts into a blob and to escape the suffocating confines of the mansion, persuades the others to go on a relaxing vacation at the Codsville Mt. Resort.

Unfortunately, also staying in the resort is an alien assassin Garguax the Decimator (Stephen Murphy), who has been looking for his target Rita Farr for centuries. Rita, Cliff, Vic, and Jane ends up being taken out by Gargaux's servant with a powerful alien weapon.

EPISODE 3 - DEAD PATROL


Oh noes, four of the DP members are dead. Larry sans Negative Spirit, has been waiting for them to return to the mansion. Instead, shipping boxes containing their remains was dropped at the door step. Filled with grief of losing his best friends, he is at a loss of what to do. Luckily, Dorothy returns to give Larry some emotional support. She also insists they seek help from Danny the Street (who is now an ambulance), who recommends a trio of teenager sleuths.

This episode introduces the Dead Boy Detective Agency - murdered boarding school boy ghosts Edwin Payne (Ty Tennant) and Charles Rowland (Sebastian Croft) who have teamed up with a human medium named Crystal Palace (Madalyn Horcher). The young detectives have intimate knowledge about the underworld and so, they help Larry save his team mates before they souls get fully processed.

The debut of the Dead Boy Detectives will be exciting for fans who are familiar with their comic book characters. They first appeared in Neil Gaiman's THE SANDMAN #25, and then was part of a Vertigo Comics' crossover event called the Children Crusade, before they had their own comic series.

Red Dot Diva was charmed by the young supernatural investigators entry into the DP universe, and is thrilled to find out that a HBO spin-off TV series on the Dead Boy Detectives is set to start production in November this year. Woohooo!


Maybe all this sounds totally bizarre to those who have no idea who the DOOM PATROL are, but you like weird things, so you are keen to get on board. Do not worry, geek noobs! You can catch up on the series' earlier two seasons on HBO GO, and get all caught up in their strange, kooky adventures. Somehow you will also find that the series feels like a form of therapy as the characters deal with their own inner demons.

New episodes of DOOM PATROL's Season 3 will drop every Thursday, same time as the USA premiere.




Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Rudolf Nureyev On Stage - Exhibition of Stage Costumes and Photos at Alliance Française de Singapour


As part of DANCE: A Tribute to Rudolf Nureyev, the Alliance Française de Singapour has an exhibition called NUREYEV ON STAGE. For the first time in Red Dot Island, the exclusive event held at the organisation's gallery showcases 14 original stage costumes worn by the ‘master of dance’ RUDOLF NUREYEV (1938-1993) during some of his memorable performances.

In the realm of pop-culture and film, Red Dot Diva can name only two male ballet dancers off hand. One of them is Mikhail Baryshnikov, and the other, the legendary Rudolf Nureyev. Because of Rudolf Nureyev, Red Dot Diva was introduced to the world of ballet, his long time dance partner Dame Margot Fonteyn. During the height of the Cold War, she remembered being drawn to his dramatic deflection to the West. This unforgettable story is told in the 2019 film “THE WHITE CROW” directed by Ralph Fiennes.


Rudolf Nureyev was a pioneer in the world of ballet in more ways than one. He had a magnetic stage presence that earned him millions of fans worldwide, and is known for his technical prowess, powerful leaps and graceful spins. He also elevated the role of the male ballet dancer to the spotlight, and was one of the first few dancers who brought ballet performances to TV. Nureyev was a celebrated choreographer as well, and often mixed traditional ballet and contemporary dance. From 1983 to 1989, he was director of the Paris Opera.

The stage costumes on display include those worn during Rudolf Nureyev's performances of Giselle, Swan Lake, Paquita and La Bayadère. The pieces had been designed to be beautiful as well as practical. The doublets had been shortened, so that they did not hinder Nureyev's body movements and serve to show off the line of his legs. In fact, in his early days on stage, he refused to wear the modesty trunks which were the norm at the time, and wanted to dance wearing just tights. Wearing tights has since become the standard for male ballet dancers. When admiring the costumes, you will also notice that Nureyev had a very small waist for a guy!


Accompanying the intricate costumes are 49 unpublished photographs highlighting the expressiveness of the superstar dancer. Of special note to the locals is a short segment about his 1989 stop in Red Dot Island as part of his world tour.



The costumes and photos are on loan, by courtesy of Charles Jude's private collection. Charles Jude was a disciple of Nureyev and in 1977, was named principal dancer at the Paris Opera. He has danced for several companies during his career, and has choreographed a number of ballet performances.

The NUREYEV ON STAGE exhibition may be small, but it is a concise and worthy celebration of the man's legacy in the art of dance, in spite of his often scandalous and dramatic life. The free event ends this Saturday, 25 September 2021, so if you are fan of ballet and dance, take some time to pop in and immerse yourself in a period of dance history.





Saturday, September 18, 2021

Netflix's Tudum - Catch Your Faves At Virtual Global Fan Event On 26 September 2021


When you follow the ways in how people consume media in the last 3 decades or so, it is also intriguing to see how much Netflix has evolved from a DVD service company, to a streaming platform and later on, as a producer of its own original shows. Its growth and popularity surged when the Covid-19 pandemic struck last year. As in-person conventions and events have mostly halted, most media companies decided to host their fan outreach in the virtual space.

With TUDUM - you know, that iconic Netflix opening intro - Netflix's inaugural virtual fan event on 25 September 2021 (26 September in Asia) will include 145 of the biggest stars and creators of the streamer's over 70 original content. The 3-hour event will feature interactive panels that offer first looks, trailers, exclusives and conversations, specially curated for Netflix's fans from all over the world.

Can't wait for what's in store for the next season of “Stranger Things”? Super curious to see what Zack Snyder's “Army of Thieves”, the prequel to his zombie heist movie “Army Of The Dead”? Or, maybe, you want to catch another glimpse of Henry Cavill in the upcoming season of “The Witcher”. Well, there will be an entire list of celebrities and shows that will feed your hungry eager souls. Check out this page to see if you faves are slated to be at TUDUM.

TUDUM will broadcast across Netflix’s YouTube channels worldwide, as well as on Twitter and Twitch. The livestream event is scheduled to start at 9 AM PST / 12 PM EST / 4 PM GMT. This translates to 12 AM (midnight) Singapore time on 26 September (Sunday). Since it is the weekend, Red Dot Diva is planning to pump herself with caffeine and stay up for the virtual event to catch the latest updates.

For fans Korean, Indian and anime series and films, there will be a special pre-show happening prior to the main event. This will stream at 5 AM PST / 8 AM EST / 12 PM GMT / 8 PM SGT on specific Netflix channels.

Getting excited already? Here's the trailer for TUDUM to get you even more pumped up for the virtual global showcase.