Saturday, January 17, 2009

TELL - article and pictures part 1

Watching the recent Bukit Antarabangsa tragedy unfold on the news, televisison host Sasha Bashir felt a rush of sadness. Not just the sadness anyone would feel seeing such a tragedy, but the sadness of someone who knows what it's liketo go through it. That's because in 1993 Sasha Bashir lost her home in Malaysia's most infamous landslide tragedy, the collapse of Block 1 of Highland Towers in Taman Hillview. She was lucky, if one is so inclined to call it luck. None of her family members were lost in the disaster. Her mother and sister were home but made it out with just enough time to turn around and see the building come down.

Sasha was spposed to be home that day but let's just be dramatic and say dance saved her life. A change in her dance schedule took her away in the moments before the tremors began.

Still, revisiting the past is not always sad. During her photo shoot with TELL at the beautiful and historic Carcosa Seri Negara, the former residence of Lady Swettenham herself, Sasha sat in the same rooms and walked the same halls as the woman who's life and personality she once spent so much time and effort portraying on stage. When she was five and first though to herself there must be more to dance than prancing around in a pink leotard, she thought it was true but at that age, couldn't have known for sure. Performing elegant dances before the cameras in the Marquee at Carcosa Seri Neara, Sasha Bashir could certainly say that now she knows that there is indeed more.

Dance really is an important aspect of her life.

"I still remember my first dance performance" she says in between sips of an iced chocolate drink in Bangsar. "I wore a pink leotard. I had a basket of flowers. I first started learning ballet when I was aroun four, the performance was when I was around four or five. It was very simple, just running around the stage with the basket. Turn here, turn there. Even then I remember thinking, I want to do more than this, there has to be more to dancing than this."

She found out there was indeed more to dance than ballet. She continued to enjoy doing ballet, but when she started school her interest in dancing really took off. The catalyst was MTV. It was around the time when music videos were beginning to become dance videos. Like many teenagers, Sasha wouls stand in front of the television watching music videos and videos of live concerts copying the steps of stars like Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson and Paula Abdul. "I still know the steps to Michael Jackson's Thriller", she chuckles. "I can still do it!"

Sasha soon realised her intuition at five had been spot on : there was more to dance than ballet. She also realised she couldn't confine herself to just one form of dance. Aside from learning ballet and dancing with the stars on MTV, she pestered her parents to let her take jazz dance lessons. She also took up Tae Kwon Do, which to her was consistent with her pursuit of dance perfection. "I love martial arts," she says. "I think Jet Li is brilliant. Jackie Chan is brilliant too, a brilliant showman. And you can't do any of those moves, even the really strong ones, if you don't have the elegance and grace of a dancer."

(more pics and part 2 of this article coming soon)


Aida Narina said...

beautiful pictures!!
i wished i cld dance. But i don't know where to start. I once tried dancerobics, and i like it. Can u advise me what type of dancing shld i go for as a beginner? =)

Michael Yip said...

Sigh ... looking at your series of shots and the dance poster, makes me miss dancing in KL.

Been quite a bore in Singapore with not much stuff happening.

Obefiend said...

nice picture he sasha

wow.. now we know you were a victim of the highland tower tragedy!

quite a revelation!

IdzaRis said...

is that only i can say...

Nora said...

LOVE the photo of u sitting on the grass with the umbrella... so sweet.. hehe

sheelasheena said...

love the dress and the photo on the grass.

('',)want to see more