#Showbiz: She was fun, funny, and fabulous

MASTERFUL... bittersweet. It was a riveting, engrossing 60ish minutes with dancer-choreographer and Five Arts Centre co-founder Marion D'Cruz in 'ItSelf TerJadi'.

A desk. A chair. Two multimedia screens.

D'Cruz in black-and-white striped pyjamas.

With every eyebrow twitch, facial expression and dance steps, the veteran performer commanded the stage, and held her audience's gaze.

The power of her words and storytelling gave an insight into her world... about her body, dealing with breast cancer, and loneliness during Covid-19 lockdowns.

How she coped during the lockdowns, of her fears then and even now, about love, gratitude, walking around in pyjamas in public.

The stories related to her life and experiences... about her family, her dementia-riddled late mother, her dad, friends and all their impacts.

She spoke of learning to dance aged 6, to performing 'Urn Piece' which left an impression on her doctor.

What are the odds of that — that her doctor would have seen this? she asked the audience in Five Arts Centre's studio in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. D'Cruz choreographed and performed 'Urn Piece' with Anne George and Noraini Jane Ariffin in 1988.

She related that her doctor said she didn't know what it was about but still remembered it. As I do, even after the bigger version called 'Dream Country' in Singapore in 2012.

Seamlessly, the chapters of seemingly random thoughts unrolled as she spoke, sometimes accompanied by text on the screens.

Pauses came with visuals of her many types of medicine, of good times with family and friends.

Quirky bits came with a boob song and a cartoon accompaniment.

It was funny, yet poignant.

It was moving when the 70-year-old D'Cruz spoke of her longing to be with her late husband, Datuk Krishen Jit, who died in 2005. She said she smelt his aftershave as she laid on the couch. Such a tender emotional moment where she danced a waltz to Tan Sri P. Ramlee's 'Tunggu Sekejap'.

She walked around that intimate stage, lied down on its floor even.

D'Cruz held that small stage for about an hour by herself, with no break. No change in outfit. No set change.

Kudos to her team — writer-theatre educator Charlene Rajendran who was the dramaturg for the performance, Arts-ED Penang founder Janet Pillai and multimedia designer Syamsul Azhar.

The Five Arts Centre studio on the 9th floor of the GMBB Mall is a flexible space and the seating is re-configurable.

It was a good setting for D'Cruz's creative offering, and well-suited fodder for this arts collective that has given Malaysians alternative art forms.

I found D'Cruz in 'ItSelf TerJadi' quite fearless, and fabulous.

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