Watch this Free Online Show To Support the Malaysian Performing Arts Scene: indicinelive! Quaranstream Edition

The coronavirus pandemic has affected many businesses and sectors – and with cancelled shows (going to theatres might be the last thing on people’s minds rn), the local performing arts scene has taken quite a hit.

Image courtesy of klpac

In support of those in the industry, indicinelive! (in-dee-SEE-nee-live) returns this year with a social-distancing compliant performance. Founded by Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (klpac) former director-in-residence Kelvin Wong, the show first premiered in 2010 and satirises the insane society we live in through a high-octane line-up of everyday characters, familiar situations and parodies of songs we’ve hard and are all too familiar with. It has played to packed houses in KL, Penang, Melaka, Kuching and Singapore since its inception.

indicinelive! Quaranstream Edition brings the show to audiences at home, and will be the very first show created for an online premiere by The Actors Studio Seni Teater Rakyat (TAS STR) and The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (klpac). This first ever ‘digital show’ packs in 75 minutes of fun and laughter with brand-new sketches, character satires and song parodies inspired by the pandemic, the recent political shift, and how we see the ‘new normal’ world.

It features a freshly sanitised cast comprising alumni – Anrie Too, Dinesh Kumar, Jad Hidhir, Kamini Senthilathiban, Siti Farrah Abdullah, and Tiara Anchant – along with the new kids on the block – Jon Chew, Nabilah Hamid, and Oxford Tong. They will be performing fun-sized sketches by Adriana Nordin Manan, Terence Toh, Tung Jit Yang and head writer, Uihua Cheah.

Rounding up the team are multimedia designers Coebar Abel and Sebastian Ng, sound designer Clarence Chua and Production / Stage Manager Benedict Chin. Audiences can also expect a few surprise guest performers during the livestream.

The show will be livestreamed on klpac’s Facebook page on the 12th of June (Friday) 9pm, and admission is free – although you can support the ongoing fundraising campaign for klpac and The Actors Studio via an interactive approach. With its theatres closed, klpac and The Actors Studio’s losses have already exceed RM1.1 million. While its recent #SaveYourSeat campaign has raised crucial funds for the next two months, klpac requires RM132,000 per month and The Actors Studio RM25,000 per month to stay afloat.

As part of its fundraising efforts, klpac is also running an e-greeting service called Send-A-Song (link) which packages your message with a song sung by a local artiste into a video and delivers it to your loved one’s phone for a fee of RM50 only. Whether it is a heartfelt message to our loved ones, to thank our front liners or just to cheer a friend up, this is a meaningful gift that will help to keep the arts alive, one song at a time. We can help to keep the arts alive and the theatres running!

Both indicinelive! Quaranstream Edition and Send-A-Song is run on a profit sharing basis with the artistes where they will receive a portion of the proceeds. For indicinelive! donations will be split between artistes, klpac and TAS.

The performance will span approximately 75 minutes including pre and post show engagements, and is strictly for mature audiences only. Direct links to the livestream and donation mechanism will be distributed via klpac and indicinelive!’s social media channels.

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They Do WHAT With Their Hands ? Hands Percussion @ The Damansara Performing Arts Centre

Magic. They do magic.

Not in the sense of hey presto bunny goes poof magic, but the awe-inspiring wizardry of human skill – the kind that can only be achieved by hard work, an insane amount of practice and from pushing the body and mind to the limit.

The Hands Percussion team is one of the more well known groups in the local arts scene, and they regularly run fundraisers to support themselves as well as various causes, in addition to conducting classes at schools and academies. Founded in 1997, the troupe’s specialty lies in their mastery of various percussive instruments – often incorporating those from various Asian cultures – coupled with creative choreography and clever use of the stage to deliver unforgettable shows.

I had two tickets from work to go watch their UNITY: Fundraising concert at the Damansara Performing Arts Centre recently, and it was definitely a show to be remembered.

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It was my first time at DPAC, which is located within Empire Damansara. They have facilities such as a proscenium theatre, a black box, an experimental theatre, an indoor-theatre foyer and several dance studios located within. Not to mention a very Instagrammable cafe, White Sand.

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Photos were not allowed inside the auditorium, so I’ve taken the liberty of including some official photos from past events – to give you a sense of how the setup / stage is like. The 90-minute session saw HANDS performing some of their classic pieces, including JU4 JI2, Legacy of Passion, Rhythm Ride, and Drumbeat Inferno. 

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It was amazing to see the raw energy and power emanating from the performers with each stroke and beat, their muscles rippling as they drummed, jumped and somersaulted their way across the stage (yes, somersaults and backflips were involved). Of course, it wasn’t just drums throughout the entire show, as there were also gamelan sections, vocals by guest artists Zamzuriah Zahari and Evelyn Toh, as well as music accompaniment with instruments such as the guitar, cello erhu, ruan, flute, sanxian and viola – truly East meets West. The vocal sections were actually some of my favourites, especially the songs by Evelyn Toh and how well her singing went with the variety of instruments – the beat and the composition was an exquisite blend, literal music to the ears.

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Another piece had the performers whirling like dervishes, their costumes billowing around them. The effect was mesmerising, to say the least. Throughout the performance, there were short breaks in between where audience members were shown videos of the group’s history, past performances and their 20+ year journey.

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I thoroughly enjoyed watching Hands Percussion – their passion for their craft is amazing, and I wish more Malaysians would be able to appreciate and support what they’re doing. I mean, if you can pay RM50 for a movie and popcorn, you can pay that amount to watch an arts performance. Because if we as a people don’t appreciate our own culture and heritage, who will?

Follow Hands Percussion on Facebook to stay updated on their shows. 

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**Photos not watermarked courtesy of Hands Percussion, taken by Claes Chong

The Marriage of Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro) @ Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre 12-15 October 2017

Even if you’re not a fan of classical music or theatre, I’m sure you’ve heard of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro somewhere or other. Or at least, this famous tune:

Composed in 1786, The Marriage of Figaro is a comic opera in four acts that first premiered in Vienna. The opera was based on a stage comedy by Pierre Beaumarchais and tells of how servants Figaro and Susanna struggle to get married while foiling the efforts of their philandering employer, Count Almaviva, to seduce Susanna.

Fun fact: Did you know that Marriage de Figaro was first banned in Vienna ? The Emperor apparently took a dislike to its risque (for that era anyway) and political content and wanted the Austrian Censor to ban it. Eventually, Mozart’s librettist Da Ponte (the guy who writes the lines/script in opera) managed to get approval for the operatic version (he did a few tweaks, such as changing Figaro’s speech about inherited nobility into an aria about unfaithful wives) and bam. Worldwide success – not just for that era, but for hundreds of years to come.

Now, Malaysian audiences can catch the play, as The Marriage of Figaro will be showing at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre from 12 til 15 October. Revolving around themes like fidelity and love, the story is sure to entertain the crowd with its meaningful messages and classic songs, coupled with comedic timing.

A sequel to another one of Beaumarchais’ works, the Barber of Seville, the story is set several years later and follows a ‘day of madness’ in the palace of Count Almaviva in Spain. Almaviva, formerly a romantic youth, is now a scheming, bullying lord. He is constantly trying to exercise his doit du seigneur (similar to the English prima noctie) – which is the right of a lord to bed a servant girl on her wedding night – on his head servant Figaro’s bride-to-be, Susanna, who is the Countess’ maid. He comes up with excuses to delay the wedding, So Figaro, Susanna and the Countess conspire to embarrass him and expose his scheming. He counters with his own plans, and so on and so forth – but will true love prevail and can the Count be brought back to his old noble ways?

Presented by the KL City Opera, the production features talented local performers such as Chi Hoe Mak as Count Almaviva, Ho Chi Mei as Susanna and Samuel Lim as Figaro, along with characters such as the Countess, Cherubino. Marcellina, Dr Bartolo and more. Music will be presented by the KL City Opera Orchestra Ensemble, the KL City Opera Chorus, and the children from the Opera for Kids workshop.

Tickets and info can be found at klpac.org.