Lights, Camera, No Action!

By Jolene Gina Abelarde

ba-thelionking fms-mulan
Cheeks streaked for war, the School of Film & Media Studies has more Reflections before they defeat the Hans. | Photo by Nicholas Teo (Ngee Ann Polytechnic Photography Club)

Newly implemented criterions for annual Dance 4 Fun (D4F) on Feb 21, including theme assignments to competing faculties, received mixed reviews

Seats marked, walkie-talkies checked and the doors opened for crowds of excited supporters to swarm into the Ngee Ann Polytechnic Convention Centre. The aisles are cleared and stage cleaned off as the movie stars wait nervously backstage. Lights out. Spotlight. Show time.

This year marked the inaugural year for Ngee Ann Polytechnic Student Union’s (NPSU) themed aspect of annual dance competition D4F, in which the union assigned each school a musical pop-culture film to adapt into the language of dance.

According to Adriel Koh, 20, head of manpower for D4F, two major changes were made in accordance with requests from Student Development and Alumni Relations (SDAR). One was the requirement of at least two different dance genres and the other the assignment of films to the faculties.

Ms Petrina Loh, 27, student development officer overseeing D4F said the change was “partly because Dance 4 Fun had become very routine” and in its eighth year was rearing for change.

“How much you have to work also depends a lot on the movie you get, some movies have ‘easier’ soundtracks while others might have a harder time.”

– Tay Pei Shan

Ms Loh also said that they had chosen “movies that had distinct songs” to give faculties the “opportunity to be unique”.

However, many of the school teams saw flaws with the new themed dance and the lack of updates for the dancers regarding the matter.

Tay Pei Shan, 19, head choreographer for the winning School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HMS) D4F team, said: “I believe this new implementation was not received very well by the various schools.

“How much you have to work also depends a lot on the movie you get, some movies have ‘easier’ soundtracks while others might have a harder time.”

Second place winner, the School of Business and Accountancy (BA), also shared their competitor’s sentiment. Fellix Utama, 20, head choreographer for the BA D4F team said: “It was difficult because we were caught off-guard and had to redo everything from scratch.”

Ms Loh said that all necessary updates were constantly provided to school advisors and reiterated that schools were expected to begin preparations only after the announcement had been made.

Among those who welcomed the new rules is Karin Ng, 18, a performer for third-placed School of Design and Environment (DE) D4F team. She felt the criteria truly brought out the innovative spirit of their school. Donning the leather jacket reminiscent of Grease, Karin said it was “fun to get to replay an old favourite” and get “greater exposure to different dance forms and music”.

Other performances included interpretations of Frozen, The Lion King, High School Musical, Mama Mia, Mulan, Hairspray, Aladdin and Madagascar, alongside opening acts by both Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s B-Boy Dance Club, MightyNoMads, and Hip Hop Club, New Revolving Age (NRA).

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