Fresh roses, boxes of chocolates and an exquisite candlelight dinner make for a perfect Valentine’s Day. But you might want to spruce it up a bit this year. Try out something different altogether and take a chance with some arts and culture.
Get caught in a love triangle in a theatre show that’s sure to make you laugh. Be mesmerised with a multimedia classical music performance with a contemporary German twist.
You might want to take a step back when an Australian war veteran and a Pakistani student fight it out with their words. Caution: things can get messy.
And what about a woodcut printing workshop called Romantika Demokrasi or a Japanese and Malaysian music collaboration merging the experimental and traditional?
Unconventional Valentine’s Day date? Maybe. But if you’re lucky, you might get more than you bargained for. Interested? Here are our top five picks on things you can do this Valentine’s Day:
Concert Pierrot Lumière
DPAC, Empire Damansara, Petaling Jaya, Selangor
8pm, Feb 14
A classical work from Austrian-American composer Arnold Schonberg is an inspired pick for Valentine’s. During his lifetime Schoenberg was regarded in some quarters as a dangerous modernist with anarchic tendencies.
German collective MAM (Manufaktur fur aktuelle Musik) is putting its own edgy spin to Schonberg’s masterpiece Pierrot Lunaire in a multimedia performance at DPAC. The touring show called Concert Pierrot Lumiere is supported by the Goethe-Institut.
Helmed by MAM’s artistic director Susanne Blumenthal, the ensemble includes seven musicians and soprano Julia Spies with Dusseldorf-based moving graphic image makers Warped Type’s Andreas Huck supplying the video installation.
Schonberg’s Pierrot Lunaire, which premiered in Berlin in 1912, is a selection of 21 poems written by Belgian poet Albert Giraud. The work is written for the part of a narrator, traditionally performed by a soprano, accompanied by a small instrumental ensemble.
The central figure of the melodrama is the elusive character named Pierrot Lunaire and MAM’s version of the performance follows the Pierrot character through a network of different virtual spaces created by videos.
The original story is set to come to life in a captivating way with images of forests, transit zones, open spaces and narrow alleys. More info: dpac.com.my.
Twelfth Night by the HandleBards
PJ Live Arts, Jaya One, Petaling Jaya, Selangor
A little dose of the Bard on Valentine’s Day is always a good thing. If it is the HandleBards, then you also got a riot on your hands.
In usual HandleBards style, expect a fair old whack of chaos, and a great deal of laughter from this all-male Shakespeare troupe from Britain as it swings back to Malaysia to present Twelfth Night. Not to worry, it’s a romantic comedy.
Duke Orsino is in love with lady Olivia, but she won’t have anything to do with suitors. Viola is shipwrecked and believes her twin brother Sebastian to be dead. She pretends to be a boy and becomes a servant to Orsino. Olivia falls in love with Viola, believing her to be a boy, whilst Viola falls in love with Orsino. Then Viola’s twin turns up…
Meanwhile, Sir Toby Belch (Olivia’s uncle), Sir Andrew Aguecheek (his friend), Maria (a maid) and Feste (a jester) plot to make a fool out of the pompous Malvolio (Olivia’s head steward). For more details, go to tix.my.
Norm And Ahmed
Pentas 2, KLPac
Some couples don’t like fluff and stuff. That’s not a bad thing. If you and your partner prefer hard-hitting shows, you’ve come to the right place.
The Actors Studio (TAS) celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and Norm And Ahmed by Australian playwright Alex Buzo has the privilege of kicking things off for the TAS 30 celebrations. This was TAS’s very first production ever in KL in 1989.
Joe Hasham returns as the director of this insightful play about racism seen and heard through a midnight conversation between a Pakistani student and a cliche-riddled Australian workman/ex-serviceman.
Norm will be played by Australian actor Kingsley Judd and Ahmed will be played by Phraveen Arikiah. For more details, go to klpac.org.
Malay Sunshine Album Launch
Raw Art Space, Jalan Panggung, KL
8pm, Feb 14
This percussion-slanted gig is for the musically adventurous couple. The experimental-minded Raw Art Space is serving up a cross-cultural blast with Japanese group Sundrum rolling out the music it created with Malaysian musicians last year.
Sundrum will be led by its main main Atsushi Tsubouchi (percussion) while the eye-catching homegrown support features Kamrul Hussin (percussion, rebab, vocal), Amir Hamzah (percussion), Chung Ping Wei (saxophone) and Yong Yandsen (saxophone).
Yes, it’s quite a unique combination! Japanese dancer/choreographer Nao is also part of the line-up. Atsushi, as a solo artiste and member of Sundrum, has been actively doing research and fieldwork on Asian traditional music. More details, go to Raw Art Space on Facebook.
Romantika Demokrasi: Woodcut And Printing Workshop With Pangrok Sulap
The Square, MAP Publika, KL
3pm-5pm, Feb 14
If you have no plans on Valentine’s Day afternoon, come and join Sabah-based activist art collective Pangrok Sulap’s woodcut and printing workshop. Bring along plain T-shirts, bags or any material so that you can print the designs on yourself.
Don’t expect any “His” or “Hers” prints with this bunch. Instead you can find out more about Pangrok Sulap’s community spirit and socially engaged printmaking works. Learn how to use readily available resources to send out a message or two through art.
This printmaking workshop is part of the Democracy In Action exhibit at the Black Box in Publika. The exhibition coincides with the inaugural Democracy Festival, organised by the group the Forces of Renewal for South-East Asia (Forsea). For more details, go to Forsea KL 2019 on Facebook.