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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

My Own Rhythm

FADE IN.


Act 1


EXT. PARK - DAY


Morning. PETER is practising Tango routines.


PETER (V.O.): Start with Two Walks...5,6,7,8.


Peter starts with his left foot forward in one beat and then his right leg forward in another beat.


PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The posture and poise of my upper body must be right. My bodyweight must travel forward in a balanced fashion.


Reflecting.


PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Just the lower body footwork won't make the figure and the moves have any aesthetic or emotive appeal.


Remembering.


PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): At one point. I was so obsessed with dancing. When an office colleague was leaving us, I performed a few moonwalks in a small farewell party.


Pausing.


PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I bought a book on Ballroom and Latin Dancing with descriptions and nice illustrations. I've only glanced through it... Where is it?


Act 2


INT. STUDY - DAY


Peter is checking the books on bookshelves.


PETER (V.O.): Where is the dance book? Not here and not there...


A book catches Peter's eyes.


PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): What's this?


Peter picks out a thick book and he sees on its cover: Moonwalk by Michael Jackson.


PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I've already forgotten about it. Years ago, I was in Nottinghill...



FLASHBACK


EXT. NOTTINGHILL - DAY


Coming out of the Nottinghill underground station, Peter sees a number of book stores nearby.


INT. BOOK STORE - DAY


Stacks of thick books on shelves.


PETER (V.O.): Who would buy such space-consuming thick books?


Peter checks some.


PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): They're inexpensive though. Just a few pounds. The experience of buying old books here makes a difference.


Peter bought a few before leaving.


END FLASHBACK


Turning the pages, Peter sees the signature of Michael Jackson and the image of Fred Astaire.


PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Oh, he dedicates the book to Fred Astaire - a great dancer.


Then, Peter sees quotes from Thomas Edison and John Lennon.


PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Thomas Edison researched the state of the art before inventing something. John Lennon thought he just captured the creativity in him and treated himself as a channel of communication.


Reflecting.


PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Yes, all humans can be innovative and creative, if they try.


Pausing.


PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): These characters must have an impact on Michael Jackson. But I became his fan when I heard him sing the song I'll Be There. He was just a kid with The Jackson 5.


Pausing.


PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Later, I was impressed to hear him singing One Day In Your Life.


Reflecting.


PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): And then I became very impressed with his dancing, in particular his moonwalk. He was 4 years junior to me.


Peter turns to Chapter 5 (Moonwalk) and reads on.


PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Oh, he admits he likes to start trends. That attitude is significant. Most people are just trending followers.


Peter continues to read.


PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): He mentions John Lennon's death...


Pausing.


PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): John Lennon was killed in 1980 at the age of 40.


Pausing.


PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): This book Moonwalk was written by Michael Jackson in 1988 at the age of 30.


Pausing.


PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): He died 20 years later at the age of 50.


Reflecting.


PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I'm 65. I didn't write anything substantial at the age of 30. I didn't even have one hit...


Act 3


INT. STUDY - CONTINOUS


Peter keeps on searching. Then he looks pleased.


PETER (V.O.): Here it is! I've found the dance book. Let me relearn the techniques rather than memorizing the fixed dance steps.


Phone rings. Seeing the caller as SISTER, Peter takes the call.


SISTER (O.S) (From phone): Hi brother! Have your younger daughter returned from the UK? It's a mess there!


PETER: Not yet, but we've bought her the air ticket. She's arranging her land transport to Heathrow next week.


SISTER: That's good!


PETER: Health is the top priority. With life, there's hope and everything!


SISTER: Yes, definitely...


And they chat and chat.


EXT. PARK - DAY


Afternoon. Having jogged and practised some Tango steps, Peter begins to do some Moonwalk, awkwardly.


PETER (V.O.): Apart from the footwork of slide and snap, the balance, arms and head movements are important otherwise there won't be any illusory walking effect.


Peter practise and practise.


PETER (V.O.): For Tango, the partner might not know what I want to do and why. And if so, there can't be any feeling of togetherness. For Moonwalk, I'm quite free to dance to my own rhythm.


FADE OUT.


THE END





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