Sunday, May 16, 2010

Radio silence, why the Takarazuka Kagekidan, and "Until lambs become lions"

1. Radio Silence

You might be wondering why the blog abruptly fell quiet for a while; the answer is that my maternal grandfather died in the morning of the 12th of May. I had a shift at work that evening, so I went in and asked for bereavement leave, and then completed the classes scheduled on that night.

At the wake, which was located near one of Metro Manila's major cemeteries, some of my family decided to pay a visit to another pair of sleepers. These two are very famous, and after seeing the photo I'm sure you'll understand why:

I was surprised at my own reaction to seeing them in this rather plain and simple setting - it was something like Erm, that's it? We would never have found the tomb if it weren't for a helpful series of yellow ribbons tied to mark the path.

Back on the home front, my grandfather was buried on Friday morning.

It wasn't exactly an *unexpected* death - he'd been bedridden for years and had been depressed / refusing to eat in recent weeks. Considering the rather tumultuous history I've had with him, I had nothing more to say but "goodbye".

2. Why the Kagekidan

Because of the whirlwind of: May 12 shift (Wednesday night) -> proceed to wake (pretty much all of Thursday) -> be of assistance until the burial (Friday morning), I was bone-deep tired when I got home past lunchtime on Friday. So I fell into bed and slept like a ROCK.

After getting up and seeing my partner off to his Friday night shift, I had the rest of the night to myself - so how did I spend it? By watching two Takarazuka Kagekidan revues in a row. Nothing like seeing these powerful women sing and dance so well to make me feel better.

Many Takarazuka plays are paired with musical revues, and even the full-length musical productions like Elisabeth and Rose of Versailles end with a sort of mini-revue. In this case, I watched

The Showstopper - this revue was paired with a Takarazuka adaptation of the opera Turandot. This screenshot is from the "Besame Mucho" number near the end of the revue.

Neo Voyage - the revue that was paired with a Takarazuka adaptation of the opera Il Trovatore. This screenshot is from the amazing "Puttin' on the Ritz" tap-dance medley.

3. "Rise and rise again"
And finally, I was able to catch a screening of the new Ridley Scott film Robin Hood today. It wasn't half bad; I especially liked a specific emotional transition near the beginning of the final battle sequence.

Still, yeah, ain't Russell bloody Crowe a bit too OLD to be playing these sorts of heroes and roles?

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