Monday, February 24, 2014

Viva La Vie!

A song and dance spectacular – that was how to best sum up Viva!, a performance which celebrates NYP student talents in the performing arts.  Held at the Esplanade Theatre on 24th and 25th January, Viva! (meaning ‘life’) featured over 400 NYP students and alumni from the various Co-Curricular Acitivites (CCA) groups in four acts.

Act 1 – Our Voices

Most people remember the first or last act of any play or musical, as they are often the most symbolic or visually mesmerising parts.

For Republic Polytechnic student Ash Ng, who was at Viva! to support her friend, she was amazed at how the percussion band performed during the opening act.

“The vivacious beat captured me right from the start,” she said.

Following the performance, we were treated to the Guitar & Harmonica Club’s rendition of “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele, and a trio from SoundCard (NYP’s very own singing group) performing “Titanium” by David Guetta and “Where is the Love” by The Black Eyed Peas in both English and Mandarin.

Then, numerous CCAs got together for a mass dance. These included the Malay Cultural Group, Zhong Hua Wushu, Foreign Bodies, Dance Company, StageArts, La Ballroom En Masse, and Chinese Cultural Group. For musical accompaniment, we had the Chinese Orchestra, Silat, the Symphony Orchestra, SoundCard, and Voice Ensemble. The music and moves pulled off by all the CCAs were simple but captivating.

There were also smaller groups performing, but I came away most impressed with this singer, Ang Feng Yao from SoundCard (above)  from Act 1, Scene 4. Amidst the captivating galaxy and shower of stars projected on the walls, his voice rang throughout the hall.

The Symphony Orchestra accompanying the singer, had everyone cheering before he was revealed on stage. With his powerful voice, you didn’t have to understand the words to feel his passion. He sang a song in Cantonese that gave me goose bumps.

Normally, I’m not into such songs but I was extremely impressed. By the way, Feng Yao is actually an NYP alumnus from Sports and Wellness Management.

Act 2 - We smile, We cry, We laugh, We fear…

The performances in this segment matched the theme well, and I was riding an emotional rollercoaster most of the time.

It began with SoundCard. A trio of ladies sung their version of “Circle of Life” by Elton John, from the Disney movie ‘The Lion King.’

In Act 2, Scene 2, I was treated to Michael Bublé’s “Feelin’ Good”.

It was definitely awesome to have a change of pace, and to hear SoundCard’s bluesy rendition of this Michael Bublé’s song. Getting this song right takes great effort because you have to sound sensual as well.

The four guys from SoundCard really held my attention. In their own way, they managed to liven things up. CCAs La Ballroom En Masse and StageArts were also took to the stage with their elegant dance moves as the guys sang.

Next, we were treated to a routine by Foreign Bodies (NYP’s very popular Hip Hop dance group), backed by the NYP Symphony Orchestra.

The Foreign Bodies dancers were almost puppet-like in their movements. These effects made the audience smile and I could see that a lot of technique was needed to pull it off.

There were also two violinists that played alongside the dancers. The violins were beautifully played, and their performance seemed to suit the routine well.

Foreign Bodies at the end of the scene
Scene 4

This scene focused on a love story. The backdrop for this number was stunning; the swirl of purples, blue and white lights made a great stained-glass effect on the floor.

And with the violins again as the perfect harmoniser, we saw three dancers moving with a skill and grace I could never hope to have. The story, conveyed through the dance, is about two guys falling in love with a girl, a common scenario.

Act 3 - A New Realm 
Dinah Lim, a supporter from Ngee Ann Polytechnic,  was more fascinated by the hip-hop routine of the Foreign Bodies towards the end of Act 3.

“I loved the energy and excitement of the performance,” she gushed.

In fact, she wished to be able to dance like them, and she especially liked the first two performers who began the final routine. I could see her really enthralled. I loved the performance too, as well as the brilliant red attire the dancers wore on stage. I was truly blown away.

Act 4 - Our Dreams 
Dance Company and the Symphony Orchestra ended the night with a bang. Every performer got together for the last performance of the evening. It was sad to see it end.

I really think the orchestra should be commended for their tireless effort playing for each act.
We also got to see the production team and crew that managed everything behind the scenes. These included the Students Union, National Arts Council, Ambassadorial Team and Make-up Artiste Club.
The ambience was special because of all of them.

The thunderous applause that erupted around me proved that the audience and I thought alike. I’m sure it was well worth the effort they had to put in to pull off such an amazing show. I was swept away by the emotions of everyone. I can only imagine how the artistes felt after the production ended.

For those who weren’t able to attend, hopefully you’ll be able to attend another like this – a truly spectacular and magical evening. I know I was really privileged to attend Viva!

By Jade Teo, Year 1, Diploma in Mass Media Management

For 18 years, Jade has been tirelessly working on ways to cure “boredom”. She tried watching chefs like Nigella Lawson on TV, creating a solar-powered boat with little success, taking a literature trip to UK with friends, riding in the front seat of an ambulance and a fire truck; but nothing worked as well as her first adventure - writing. Without it and her books, she wouldn’t have been cured.

1 comment:

  1. What a fantastic array of talent!