Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Noridan. A big smile during the Singapore Arts Festival 2007.

Mi visit to Singapore lasted 6 days and I had planned to attend three events of the Singapore Arts Festival 2007 plus watching the Vesak parade (the celebration of Buddha’s enlightenment).

I knew I’d miss many events because of my short visit and the ticket prices (impossible to afford) and purposefully avoided them, but I made the mistake of forgetting the whole group of street spectacles, all of them free. But Singapore is a very small city, and walking around I found a few events.

So, while I was leaving the Esplanade after Tandun’s concert, at one of the terraces of this enormous cultural complex and among a crowd of curious spectators, my ears caught some music, the music of the Korean group Noridan, a singular company of musicians performers, some of them very young (I mean, children), who were playing musical instruments (my guess is they were made from recycled plastic and metal).

Companies like Noridan exist all over the world and of indisputable quality in their dance or music, but even then, after a mental comparison, Noridan, because of their short age, their timing on the stage, their rhythm and their energy projected towards the spectators, was a very good and big surprise.

The philosophy of the group is as simple as their music: entertainment with joy and energy, and they achieve their goal. Noridan’s members are talented and imaginative, practical, and that can be seen throughout the performance. Noridan doesn’t have the pretentious ideals of La Fura dels Baus or La Guarda, but they work with practical stage machines, they make music and play it, but only trying to make the spectator happy and show their talent (as with the drums); they dance and yell, play and do acrobatics but they don’t pretend to tell a story or even to show off their dramatic skills. Their work is simple and that simplicity enthralls, it is a pleasure to live their fluidity performing, fluidity which gives a breath to our journey.

Noridan (as Tandun), on the other hand, are still imprinted in my spectator memory. In the end I felt like approaching to say hello, to talk with them, to watch their machines and play those strange instruments, and they were glad about it. I felt like looking into their eyes with my best smile and saying “Gracias”.

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