Articles

siempre del corazón

In melodies on September 20, 2005 by carinasuyin

It’s been a long time since I dolled up, dressed up and went out… on my own. The last was to attend a theatre performance at the Esplanade, I think. This evening was one such opportunity. Devoid of a conversational partner, my thoughts and sight were drawn to the figures around me, in the MRT, along the Singapore river, at the Cavenagh Bridge and at the lobby of the Victoria Theatre. Everybody tells a story and my mind is riot with imagination. The evening air smelled of impending rain as thunder rumbled in the distance. Damien Rice’s “The Blower’s Daughter” plays in my mind… It was a strangely satisfying feeling to be alone on such a pensive evening.

Met up with Mingshi and friends as well as Joshi and Joanna before the performance started. By funny coincidence, we sat next to Cheng Puay and partner, hopefully not to his chagrin! Aihh, we’ve got to stop meeting like this if there’s not gonna be an introduction soon!

From the moment two of the performers walked on stage in the dark, embraced and then the lights came up to reveal an intimate bar setting in Havana with huge nostalgic black and white potraits of the legends as the backdrop… I knew it was going to be a magical night!

It was a really humbling experience to watch the Buena Vista Social Club legends perform. Humbling because at their age when most of us would envision being happily retired with arthritic joints, they are still touring the world, performing with much gusto, zest and passion. It was mesmerising to hear Reynaldo Creagh sing without a waver in his voice and his cheeky antics as well as watch the spunk with which Barbara Ferrer Sanchez belted out her songs. Jose “Marakaibo” Castaneda and Maestro Rubalcaba worked their charm on the ivories and the tres guitar. The accompanying salsa dancers were breathtakingly spectacular with their signature Cuban style… ooh I can’t wait to resume my salsa classes next week!

To me, what made the whole performance so special was the hearty manner with which the performers relate and banter with each other; the camaraderie was infectious, especially between Creagh and Marakaibo. They truly personified the Cuban way of life and love for dance and music.

There was much love that night – love for kindred spirits, an institution, a culture and most of all, a resiliently beautiful way of life…

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2 Responses to “siempre del corazón”

  1. Wahh you watched the dudes from Buena Vista Social Club live? Coooll! My favourite is the pianist but I don’t remember his name. Are they all the original members like in the film by Wim Wenders?

  2. That’s the late Ruben Gonzales! Most of the original members have already passed on like Ibrahim Ferrer and Compay Segundo. Thanks for the copy of Wim Wenders’ Buena Vista Social Club Sugeo! It was a really powerful documentary…

    Two of my favourite scenes among many: (1)Ruben Gonzales keeps his old photographs in a plastic bag and gets up to leave after telling his stories. He utters “See you some other day”, beams and walks away slowly as majestic trees and a ground littered with fallen leaves framed the scene. (2)Ibrahim Ferrer standing in the adulation of the entire Carnegie Hall in New York. So profoundly moving 🙂

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