Dancing Little Marionette

As much as I used to be super excited about rooting for my country when it comes to global contests, maybe it’s the age catching up but these days, I find myself pretty much not giving a single fuck when it comes to contests or competitions that involve my homeland as one of the contestants. You might think I am not patriotic but that’s not true. I have always been #teammyanmar but I am just not active.

This year’s Miss Universe has actually changed the game. This does not mean I would actually stay up or plan to tune into any source of media available to watch it live. I have just found something worth blogging about after watching the Myanmar contestant’s national costume in the preliminary round of Miss Universe. There has been some rumors and hater comments about the contestant, Htet Htet Htun, this year. Despite my inquisitiveness showing, I was pretty too lazy to find out what the whole hate was about.

While browsing through the newsfeed on Facebook, I stumbled upon the post of the video of the Myanmar pageant walking in her national costume in Miss Universe contest. I was just curious but what I saw later opened my eyes and there was just a mixture of emotions as I watched this pretty lady walk off the runway with the national costume.

Emotion 1: Meh

You cannot really blame me for not expecting anything out of this national costume genre since it’s not just Myanmar but other countries do tend to overdo their national costumes, until the point where they have lost the whole concept of the actual beauty of their nationality. Some designers also tend to desperate infuse too much thought into the costume, which can make the costume look so much of a try hard and pretty much too cringe worthy. For instance, I was never a fan of the national costume for the pageant last year and it’s also because I know how beautiful she is but the costume just made her look a bit weird.

Emotion 2: WTF

As the Myanmar contestant this year came out of the back curtain. I could see something dangling behind her. She was wearing a national costume but she had something dangling behind her. She looks like a backpacker with a bag, that has a width that could tilt her to fall, if she loses balance. And since it was dangling behind her, I got a bit worried and I was pretty much about to facepalm myself until she reached the center of the stage.

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Emotion 3: Holy Shit

As you can see in the picture above, the gold base were off the floor and the poor girl had to balance the whole thing. If you look carefully, you can see how the two gold bases are slightly tilted. When she reached the center of the stage, she bent down a bit until those two bases touched the ground and to my surprise, the whole thing that she had carried to the middle of the stage stood still. I have worked with props, I have been in plays and I have done backstage management and I can see that the prop she was carrying was not light. If it was light, it would have fallen down after she placed it down. The whole prop stood still and in order for it to stand still, its girth would have to be just strong enough. This also means that she had been carrying this heavy thing. This showed that it was not light.

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Emotion 4: Goosebumps

After she placed the prop upright on the ground, she started to dance. Now, this dance is one of the traditional dances in Myanmar, called the marionette dance.After she had carried that big lump of a thing behind her back to the center of the stage, she started to dance. The dress looks amazing and she looks amazing. The prop also looks amazing. I forgot to mention how there was also a surprise factor to this prop. The red curtain was at first shut and it was only after she placed the prop down, when she pulled one of the strings, that the curtain opened wide to show the background of Myanmar scenic painting behind her.

Emotion 5: Patriotism

I hate to sound as if I’m exaggerating but at this point, I was just so euphorically patriotic. I have always been a fair watcher when it comes to contest among different countries but this time round, I just felt so much appreciation for my own country. At this point, other countries meant nothing. And I did mention strings just now. There was a set of string she pulled to reveal the background but there was also a set of strings on top of her, attached to her limbs, that represent the strings of a marionette. If you ask me, I was really proud of her for not having tangled the strings. It was a huge risk factor since the backdrop she was carrying could have fallen and the strings could have gotten tangled but dear god, she has reached this far with so much success!

Emotion 6: Scared

After dancing a bit, she carried the backdrop on her back again and she turned away from the crowd. Now, I do not know how this comes across to other people but having worked on stage before, I do know how it means a lot to performers or any people on the stage to not show any flaws. By any flaws, I am referring to the back of the props. Now, given the prop was this huge backdrop, I imagined the back of this prop to be made of wood. I was hoping it would be painted or just covered with the velvet curtain and as she turned around, I was so scared that it would show the backside of a prop.

Emotion 7: Proud

It was when she turned around and revealed this painting of a dancing marionette that I felt so relieved and so proud of her. The costume concept was perfect. It was maneuvered without any flaws. It was handled with so much surprises and it was just delivered with so much perfection. To me, it was just flawless, neat, meaningful and just something that I am so proud of.