avatarBingz Huang


A Night of Childlike Wonder and Whimsical Fun

It validated my desire to be creative again

Photo at QUANDARY SS4, Ep 3 featuring Hui Bin and Faiz Syazani Bin Anuar. Source: Titisa Jeamsakul (Ice)

I have been contemplating about being artistic. No, I have been observing the way I have planned my days around pursuing my creativity and passion in writing and dancing. It’s crazy to observe how my weekly schedule has evolved during my kid-free time.

I’ve discovered that I NEED to write and dance for myself. It’s how I take good care of my rich inner world, and use these creative expressions to connect with my outer world. It’s how I become productive. It’s how I nourish myself and somehow when I share about my journey, through short Facebook posts, to dance reels on Instagram, my friends and even people I didn’t know personally have commented that they feel joy connecting to these glimmers.

Glimmers… I like that word. I’ve read that it is the opposite of triggers that trigger traumatic responses. Glimmers ignite more joy. You don’t need a lot of them, but like ripples on a pond, they have far-reaching effects.

I know that MIAO DANCE, run by my friend Chen Jie Xiao and his wife Titisa Jeamsakul (Ice), has been organizing these monthly events called QUANDARY, where they pair up one musician with a movement artist to give a one-hour improvised performance. The artists would meet up at 5 pm on the day of the performance, and then perform at 8 pm. Will they perform what they do best naturally, or try to break their boundaries and create something totally new? That is the creative question, and what we want to witness as the audience.

It was my first time attending such an event last night. I went because for last night’s event, we were welcome to bring along our children. I thought this would be a great chance to expose my youngest son, aged 6, to the arts.

It did wonders for me.

I am in awe of how the puppet, Charlie, was so lifelike in his movements. Hui Bin, the puppeteer, is such an expert in helping him come to life. Later on, during the post-dialog part of the session, she shared that sometimes Charlie would inform her on what to do next, so she just listened and followed. There was no specific narrative. Faiz, the percussionist, shared that was the case for him, as well.

This reminds me of my writing coach, Pam Sourelis, who often taught how we, as writers, need to listen to our characters and let them inform us how the story should proceed.

It’s so interesting, how we, as creators, often don’t see ourselves as creating. The magic comes when we listen to what needs to be created, then we follow through.

I was not used to sitting and watching through hour-long performances, as I was so used to watching one-minute dance videos. Part of me asked myself — am I wasting my one hour + worth of time sitting here in the studio with my child? My son was definitely having fun running around, jumping on the soft couch and bean bags on the floor, as Keiko, Jie Xiao’s and Ice’s two-year old child, was immersed in free play as well.

It was an hour of childlike wonder. Being the audience, I couldn’t perform. I had to keep relaxing and allowing this experience of watching and wondering how the performance evolved, as Faiz moved from one instrument to another, and as Hui Bin shifted Charlie from one space to another.

Charlie was so life-like in his dancer-like movements, that I was so amused when he did what we as humans couldn’t do. He floated in the air while holding onto red balloon. Faiz set a whimsical, space-like vibe using a steel drum. Charlie came to my son and me, and we gave him multiple gentle Hi-Five’s.

It was an evening well-spent. I could feel the vibe of fun and childlike wonder creating more space within my body, veering away from the constant problem-solving mode.

Thank you, MIAO DANCE, the performers, fellow audience, Keiko and my son Joel. I love the way all of us created this warm, gentle, fun, and childlike atmosphere.

Thank you, Art Bram , for creating this little writing challenge. I spent a little over 30 minutes on this. It was a perfect prompt to get me writing without over-editing myself.

Childlike Wonder
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