Sunday, January 10, 2010
And now Miss Lee covers The Beatles
To be honest, I don't have a singing voice. On top of that, I have horrible stage fright. But before the New Year's break, I found myself in front of about a thousand junior students and teachers singing to a karaoke version of 'Hey Jude."
'Hey Jude' is not one of my favorite Beatles songs. It is, however, within my vocal range and familiar to the students -- The song had been playing for weeks over the campus loudspeakers. I figured if the students didn't understand the words, at least they would recognize the tune.
So in the days before the performance, I practiced my heart out. I recorded my voice, critiqued my pitch and tried my best to imitate Paul McCartney's phrasing. In the end, I don't think all the work was necessary. The students would've been happy if I just clapped and hummed a tune. They're very accepting.
The rest of the show was a mix of traditional Chinese folk dances and some very non-traditional hip-hop/pop/break dancing that made me wonder to myself at what age it was appropriate to wear midriffs and sequin short-shorts. (The junior students are 12-14.)
For a culture as conservative as China's, the show at some points was straight-up pornographic. Girls simulated sex moves by thrusting their hips back and forth. They dropped down to their knees in front of boy dancers and shimmied up to their feet. Sitting next to the headmaster, I wondered what was going through his head. Then I looked at the younger kids watching the show. Was this what they would hope to dance like and look like when they went through puberty?
Compared to the all the butt-shaking going on, my performance was probably the tamest. No skin (I wore a turtleneck) and certainly no movement waist-down. But also no booing, so I'll call that a success.
Posted by Jolie at 9:23 PM