my increasingly nomadic lifestyle has allowed me to venture to many interesting places, particularly around the mid-region of the peninsular. with the double festive season on its way, places like malls become not only lavishly decored, but also started having lots of children’s activities, games and contests, with the ulterior motive, of course, of dragging mommies and daddies to shop at their outlets.
i was at seremban. there was a bollywood dancing competition for kids.
me in reflection of myself at age five would expect a kid to be just phazed on a stage with bright lights and loud music. i would also assume a phatetic crowd of the children’s mommies and daddies, because really, who’d go and watch kids do a bollywood anyway? i’d probably just turn up to be a kid fashion show, with the winners judges on who’s parent dressed up their kids in the fanciest do.
i was so wrong.
by the time i got around to see what the commotion was all about, it was turn for contestant four to go on state. a six year old kid, who’s clad in all the glitter of an arabian belly dancer. name it and she’s got in on somewhere; coloured paper, beads, glitter, those little bell anklets. okay, i thought. her mom totally scored. big deal.
then the music played. and i was blown away.
this kid who stands barely up to my waist can dance. and i’m not talking about repeating the same moves over and over again. i’m saying that he’s not only been able to memorise dozens of dance sequences, she’s doing it with every seduction of a trained pro, with the right facial expressions and everything. in my mind, she’s a winner already. if i owned any sort of child talent agency, i’d walk right up to he and beg her to take a contract on the spot.
here’s the best part: it was a chinese girl. can you believe it? a chinese kid doing the bollywood? and doing it damn well some more.
i’m not saying that the other contestants i saw that evening was any less stunning. the kids were all adorable, a true testemant to their mommies’s fashion sense. here are several of my personal, biased conclusions about kid bollywood dance contests.
* the kid’s gotta be just a little weighty in order to do these things well. not chubby, because although fat kids are cute, they don’t do the whole hip and booty thing well. but if you have to choose between chubby and skinny, go for chubby. skinny kids don’t do well in these things at all. maybe ballets. or some other dances. not bollywood. skinny kids don’t look good, or dance these sorta things well. the only salvage for the skinny kid is to be sexy. but then again, baby, if you don’t have anything to fill the cloths in with, lets not try the sex appeal method.
* in contests like these, it is better to be short, rather than tall. a kid’s contest, should fit into the society’s description of what a kid is. fat and short. tall kids tend to shatter the whole preception of the whole idea of kid cuteness. tall kids project a more grown up ulterior, totally against what a kid contest celebrates. i think that kids should act their height, instead of their age.
* and finally, blur is the way to go. you’re a kid, act like you have no idea what is happening. the whole stupid look, works. if you actually know what is going on, that is, you have just flaunted your kid look in order to manipulate the hearts of the public and with that encourage more people to come to the shopping complex, stay late into the night and indirectly play a role in consumer overspending, and you are happy about it, it means you are too matured to be a kid. act phazed. dance well, but act as if that is all you are programmed to do. even when you are there receiving a prize, act like you have no idea what is going on. really, the what, i won? look is cute.
let me tell you this, it was a full house. the public loved the kids. in particular, we loved the fat, short and blur ones. the more glazed they looked, the more we loved them.
cynicism aside, i return of my earlier stance of the talent factor, which finally did determine the winner of the event. it is amazing how kids nowadays are so versatile and agile and able to remember how to do all those moves.
you know, there is hope for malaysian performing arts yet. that is, if these kids don’t suddenly turn into dorks on their way to adulthood and pursue some dorky subjects like journalism and become writers for a travel magazine where all they are dommed to do is watch other people perform from a media audience box.