Ms Fest Pest on slow food and feet that talk


Hello luvvies. Watch this space every Tuesday until the festival wraps up on Sept 21 for fly-on-the-wall updates from this arts bug.

Ms FP went on a diet

It's just as well, because I was developing a bit of a paunch on my thorax from sitting through so many shows. But mostly because there was either no food or very slow food in the vicinity of the Victoria Theatre and Victoria Concert Hall.

Ms FP knows they will soon be filled with bountiful food options as is befitting of an island that idolises food but oh, I did wish I was a mosquito from time to time - plenty of unsuspecting audience members to feed on.

Well, I suppose I could have walked to Boat Quay or Raffles City, but I am just a tiny fly and I tire easily. (Plus, it was raining. Who likes wet wings?)

Some folks who decided to get their pre-show dinner nearby were in for a bit of a shock. A certain arts practitioner at a restaurant within, ahem, earshot was heard rapping the waiters who hadn't served some orders at 7.30pm, just half an hour before the shows were due to open!

I buzzed off and it did me good; I was seeing a little more definition on my antennae. But I heard Chopsuey Cafe (in Martin Road) was offering a $22 dinner special during the one-hour intermission between I Stand Corrected and Hatched, a theatre-dance double bill from South Africa staged here last week.

Suffice to say, I'm back to being the voluptuous invertebrate you've always known me to be. Big is beautiful, non?

Move it, move it

I regularly receive compliments about how elegant I am but watching Japan's Living National Treasure Mansaku Nomura perform Sambaso last week left me, yes, I will say it, humbled.

The glacial, grandiose way in which the 81-year-old crisscrossed the stage repeatedly during the ancient Japanese harvest ritual dance was simply divine. It's no walk in the park, take it from someone who is much younger (you're not getting my age) and has eight legs.

What was more impressive was how he managed to stay focused throughout the trance-like song and knew exactly when to move where without obvious musical cues amid the repetitive phrases of drum beats and flute whistles. Does he actually count the number of bars of music and chants in the more than 30 minute-dance? What would that be, a bajillion bars and beats?

I take my feathered, sequined pillbox hat off to him for how loudly he stamps his feet during the dance and manages to do so with such rhythm and grace. It's a craft I want to study. Snapping at others is so last millennium. I'll just let my feet do the talking from now on.