Going to the Flamenco Festival in Rome

For about three months now, I’ve been going for Flamenco classes and have been enjoying every moment. It’s such a beautiful form of art – the passion, the grace and the sensuality. I can’t believe that I’ve discovered this love at such a late stage in life, but better later than never, right?

rinaz.net Flamenco

Coincidentally this month, Parco della Musica has organised the Flamenco Festival and I’ve managed to catch 3 of the 4 acts.

rinaz.net Festival di danza spagnola e flamenco Roma

The first one was Nova Galega de Danza which I got due to a mix up – mistakenly thinking that the tickets that I bought online was for that evening, last Friday, but it turned out to be for Monday instead. I was stunned, but not wanting to waste the trip, I another pair of tickets anyway and had a look.

“Son” was an interesting interpretation of the Spanish dance with a fusion of Galician and Contemporary dance. Because it was a last minute thing, I didn’t managed to do any research and when it started, for the first 15 minutes or so, I was confused because it appeared to be completely modern dance … I didn’t see any Flamenco dancing at all. But at length, the high energy appeared and it was fascinating to watch as the men poised and did their footwork.

It wasn’t what I expected, but I enjoyed myself in the end.

On Monday, we watched a musical group, lead by Alfonso Aroca – who instead of playing the guitar, uses the piano for his rendition of the Flamenco.  So there was the pianist, a guitarist, two percussionists, a singer and a dancer. It was unique. In the end, the ensemble sounded more like jazz – even the flamenco dancer, I feel did his own interpretation of a flamenco dance with a jazz feel.

Here is a segment of what I watched.

Yesterday, we managed to catch the final act with Manuel Linan, which in my opinion was the magnum opus of the entire festival. Which explained why it was completely sold out by the time we arrived at the auditorium and we were lucky to get our seats because of some last minute cancellations.

Manuel Linan does traditional flamenco but the act that we watched yesterday had a twist as the title of the act was “Reversible”. Which explains why he wore a bata de cola and a shawl  and danced the female roles while the female player did vice versa.

The entire performance was a feast for the eyes and I was enthralled from the beginning to the end. It wasn’t hard to understand why it was a full house last evening. It was completely mesmerising and the entire ensemble was perfect. I loved the music, I loved the dance, I loved the singing.

I don’t believe that Manuel Linan wanted to be a female while dancing, the way he moves, even in the skirt and the shawl was still very masculine. But his intention was probably to show that even men (and women) can do each other’s roles even in something as traditional as Flamenco.

I had an amazing time these past days and I feel very cultured. Flamenco is probably going to drain me out of my funds, nevertheless, I feel very rich inside. :p

Letting go

It’s been a while since I’ve written a new post. Yikes! My apologies for that, but on the other hand, if you’re on Instagram, I’ve been posting stories when I can. You know, instant gratification and all that 😛

But I’ll try to update more, and now that the weather here in Rome is getting wonky, it’s a good opportunity for me to start hitting the laptop. There are so many things that I’d love to update you guys with.

As you know, I was in Singapore during the summer and reconnecting with my friends and family. Each time that I’m there, it never seems like enough but I’m grateful for the amazing experience that I had.

One of the places that I went to was to my old secondary school. It was by coincidence as I saw a facebook post saying that there was a brunch event there, so I took the opportunity and went back to Bukit View Secondary – where I spent my formative years.

Walking through the campus, a lot of things has changed and the building didn’t looked exactly as it was before, I don’t recognize 99% of the staff there, and even the uniform has changed to a light brown compared to my white and grey.

Nevertheless, as I passed through the various rooms, there were a number of memories that flashed through my mind – pretending the sewing machines was a pedal to a car during Home Economics, trying to get anything better than a ‘C’ during Arts classes, the restroom where there used to be so many toilet paper stuck on the ceiling for some reason … I had so many happy memories here.

Which was was it was shocking to learn that a former classmate passed away not long ago. I was even thinking of him while I passed by my old classroom. His name was Safras Khan. We weren’t close but he was a memorable character – he was opinionated and confident of himself and he’d walk around with a swagger. For some reason, he liked to play November Rain on the PA system every chance he gets, and he’d always be roaming around school with his best friend, Sufian. They were like Ying and Yang. Safras was the gregarious one, while Sufian was quiet.

When I found out that he died from a heart attack, I was surprised because we are all relatively still young. It didn’t feel as if it was that long ago since we were all in school, you know, I still have some memories that are quite vivid, including that 15 year old bespectacled boy with gelled hair.

But I think that at length, the older we get, the more we have to anticipate this happening (Especially since my aunt passed away) and it puts things in a lot of perspective that we have to let go of a lot of things. Which in turn, more and more has changed how I view upon things.

Relationships for the most part. Be it with friends, or be it with family, let’s just enjoy our time with the people that we love. And even if there are people who we dislike being with, just be civil anyway, without being over the top. It’s not like you’re married to them.

There was a time when I got offended at how there were people who didn’t include me in things like dinners and conversations … I still don’t like cliques, but things like that happen. I just have to remember to be kind as everyone makes mistakes, myself included.

Update!

Hi everyone!

It’s been a while since I’ve done an update post so here’s one. We’re almost close to June, which means that in about a week’s time, public schools will be closed in Italy and I’ll be freer for some mischief 😀

Unfortunately temperatures has been quite high these days, and the Roman sun is really harsh and brutal on the skin that I have to moisturise every few hours just to relieve that horrible itchy feeling.

rinaz.net Toons

Sometimes it feels like I’m in an Outer Limits series – remember the one where a young student listens to a tape and eventually gets skin deformities.

(I just realised that the younger sister is Kirsten Dunst)

In any case, we’ve now reached Ramadan, the fasting month. I guess it’s starting to get easier now compared to some years back. Although waking up at 3 am and then abstaining from any consumption of food and water till about 8.35 pm is still challenging nevertheless.

rinaz.net sunrise

As I don’t want to overly exert myself, last Thursday was my last day of cross training. And can you believe it? It has been 8 months that I’ve been training. At the end of every session I feel half dead, but amazingly I do enjoy them and it’s nice to have such a friendly group of mates.

rinaz.net Iron Dragon

While I don’t see any noticeable weight coming off, there are some things that I am able to do now that I wasn’t able to do 8 months ago – most noticeably, I can now jump up to the bar and kip myself up a little bit. I still can’t do a full pull up, but it’s a start.

rinaz.net Iron Dragon

Now that Ramadan is here, it’s best for me to stop because I guzzle a lot of water when I exercise. As much as I’d like to continue, I’d risk dehydration. But it’s a shame though, to have 8 months of work to probably be gone in a month.

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(Yeah, you wish Marina!)

I haven’t been running much since doing the marathon. Nevertheless, I’m considering to participate in a running event when I’m in Singapore.

Have you heard of the Durian run? You run with a whole durian and at the end of the race you get to eat that AND drink a whole coconut. It sounds amusing to me but of course, one has to be careful as this fruit is thorny. But while I’m interested, I’m not in Singapore at that date unfortunately.

rinaz.net Toon

In any case, there are quite a number of activities that I’m looking forward to  –  like seeing the Yayoi Kusama’s display at the art museum, and then going to an Ingress anomaly in Malaysia with my brother. Reconnecting with friends and family. So that’ll be fun. If there are anyone who wants to go with me, just let me know 🙂

And of course eat all the food in Singapore! I’ll warrant you that I’m going to fill my luggage with all the packed food I can fit in!