In my fourth year, I guess it’s a series of unfortunate events that ultimately led me to missing the grand performance tomorrow.
Rag. A dance performance combined with a float built by sweat and blood (ok not so serious) over the short term of 3 months, showcasing the beauty of a parade vehicle constructed mostly of recycled materials. It was really, an experience like no other.
I remember wanting to join rag dance in Year 1, but interestingly there was no shortage of dancers (an occurence in the future years) and so I decided to help out as a.. helper (facepalm word choice), carrying the dance mat as a decoration and also as a marking mat for the dancers. We were not allowed to watch the performance as we were tasked to stabilize the dance mat and look down all the time; but I could still feel the energy coming from the dancers, whether they had dance experience or not, and their whole heart dedicated to performing for the whole university.
In Year 2, I joined as a dancer. I was under fantastic guidance from two very experienced and dedicated choreographers, Wei Jie and Jie Lin. I respected them the most, for their unfazed determination to make the performance a great one, to guide us dancers and non-dancers alike into delivering a great performance, despite them being professional dancers who could’ve ventured elsewhere. It was extremely intensive training for two months, and during that time I got to know a bunch of friends whom I’ve always thought to be unfriendly – friends from the sports-culture divide that really made me appreciate Eusoff in a different light.
We swept Rag that year, winning 5 rag-related awards and only losing the Overall Champion trophy. I remember shouting so hard, cheering with my fellow dancers. That feeling of.. awesomeness cannot be described.
Year 3. My good friend Wilfred had asked me to co-choreograph the next Eusoff-Temasek Rag (the inter-hall collaboration started that year), and I was faced with a daunting decision to make – without any prior experience, would this be a correct choice? Regardless, I decided to try. It was a tough ride, but it was worth it as hell. I learnt a lot about choreographing, blocking, and managing a group of dancers. I learnt that when it comes to putting an awesome show together, people from Eusoff and Temasek can put aside their differences and competitiveness (we are rivals in the sports games). I made a group of really, really awesome friends from Temasek Hall, that I really still treasure. Shoutouts to Joy, who worked with us through crazy Chingay despite her extremely crazy schedule juggling all her dances and productions. 🙂
Year 4. I have to admit that I regret not making the time to go down and watch practices, and missing the rag preview, and missing rag day itself, despite it being such an important part of my life in the past 3 years. I really hope that when I watch the performance video, I will experience the awesomeness of being part of Eusoff Rag again. 🙂
If you’re still reading, thank you. If you’re a ragger/rag dancer, all the best for rag tomorrow (SLEEP!). Rag is, awesome.
Photo credits: EusoffWorks