| cultureshiok got into the hot seat with Chingay Parade Artistic Director Eugene Ker Ban Hing. The multiple award-winning choreographer and Public Service Medal Recipient shares about his love for the performing arts and gives us a preview of his segment involving 36 southern lions and one fire-defying stunt.
A: I come from a big family of 12 siblings and have been used to juggling work with school to help make ends meet. While I was able to pursue my passion in dance full-time with PA and the Hong Kong Dance Company for a few years, I later took up a full-time post as an operations manager in a recruitment company to provide more stability for my family. I have also started my own business venture—the restaurant, ‘the. Indulge’ located at the basement of The Cathay, is a venture with my friends. But through it all, I have been involved in numerous activities on performing arts both locally and overseas as it has always been my interest since I was young.
A: When I became a dance instructor, I discovered my passion for guiding students. Not only in grooming their dance skills but also in helping them grow as a person. Over the years, I had the opportunity to help rebellious teenagers get back on the ‘right track’ through fuelling their interest in dance. They are now contributing back to the community and some have even become dance instructors! I feel a deep sense of satisfaction knowing I have helped them and it motivates me to carry on.
A: I recalled that in the year 1999, it was quite exciting because it was the first time lions were included on the Jumbo Floats in the history of Chingay Parade. As the instructor of the Taman Jurong CC Juboon Dragon & Lion Dance Troupe and Chingay Artistic Director, I had to choreograph and plan the performance consisting of 20 lions and a 200-strong contingent for that segment. In 2006, we created a new Chingay record for having the largest number of participants in one segment with 500 performers, where we showcased a specially created and world’s first ‘liu shu’. This year’s Chingay was also special because we were privileged to have five Ministers and Members-of-Parliament from the Jurong GRC perform in a Chinese Drumming segment together.
A: The lion is our national symbol and is also known as the king of the beasts. To commemorate the parade’s 36th anniversary, the Taman Jurong CC Juboon Dragon & Lion Dance Troupe will be performing with 36 southern lions. The Lion Lord, made of iron-metal and specially imported from Yunnan, will perform on the Jumbo Float accompanied by seven other lions. The finale will feature the Lion Lord scaling a blazing tower of fire and executing some stunts on the top to demonstrate its fearless nature. The underlying message is that when we conquer our fears, we can achieve what we want.