The 14th edition of da: ns festival examins and pulls apart the moving body. It celebrates freedom and self-confidence with a license to speak against the establishment. Carlos Acosta debuts in Singapore his passionate new dance company of Cuban dancers. In contrast, five international dance crews take street dance to the main stage, while Hofesh Shechter presents his poignant and provocative Grand Finale. Finally, Eisa Jocson returns with a new performance; Princess.
Centre stage performances.
Carlos Acosta makes a rare visit to Singapore with is recently formed dance company Acosta Danza (Cuba). The award-winning iconic ballet super-star and choreographer is synonymous with success and entrepreneurialism. After touring the world with the Royal Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, Acosta sets up his dance company in Havana. Nurturing local talent; dancers and choreographers with who he makes guest appearances on stage. The line up coming to Singapore is eclectic and exciting. The fierce dancers from Acosta Danza tackle intricate and romantic dance pieces. In works from Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Pontus Lidberg, and Goyo Montero.
10 & 11 Oct.
It’s difficult to define what contemporary dance is. First of all, it’s pretty hard to define what isn’t contemporary dance. Simply put, the premise of contemporary means of today. I learned this from Hofesh Shechter over a decade ago in London. At the time I was a dance student learning his repertoire in dance school. I immediately fell in love with the dance material. It was groovy, grounded and simply new. Hofesh creates incredible dance shows. Shaking audiences to its core, it feels like a revolution, a rock concert, a mass organized demonstration in performance.
The award-winning creation from Shechter is still sending shock waves through the dance world, Grand Finale features ten dancers and a live band of outstanding musicians.
18 & 19 Oct.
It’s delightful to see da:ns festival elevating different strands of dance to the main stage: raising our expectations and broadening the probabilities of choreography, without mushrooming the old in favour of the new.
Street dance takes centre stage for the first time at the festival. Alas, there is a big appetite for this incredible street dance crews. Tickets are flying off the shelf for FULL OUT!
Five international dance crews blast the stage at Esplanade. s**t kingz, GRV, IP LOCKERS, Nelson Ewande and Fabulous Sisters. Alongside Singapore crews from this year’s Sixteen da:ns Challenge. This performance will probably be one for the dance history books in Singapore.
What’s new at da:ns festival?
Forward Shift. A fresh of the oven initiative featuring Asian choreographers who continuously push the boundaries of their art forms. Each artist is presenting a complete scene from a project they are currently creating. Raka Maitra and Dharma open the evening to present What She Said. Exploring the’ fundamental distinction between the intense interior subjectivity of the soul and the vast visible exterior objectivity of nature.’
In the same evening, Ming Poon performs The Intervention of Loneliness. A spontaneous choreographic response to the loneliness and human disruption we experience in this day and age. Originated from the performance Dance with Me.
Celebrated Thai choreographer, Pichet Klunchun performs No. 60. Accompanied by live music from DJ Rory from Australia – taking us on an effervescent ride. Honouring the moving body relieved of ideological pressures. Unveiling its corporeal exit from court culture to folk language and the global present.
The Theatre studio at Esplanade provides a welcoming intimacy. I can sit down, relax and take in a performance up-close in the shadows. I have fond memories of the venue where I saw unforgettable dance performances. Most noteworthy, Eisa Jocson. She returns to da:ns festival with Princess after seducing the audience with her magnificent Macho Dancer and Corponomy in 2017. Princess depicts the Disney conglomerate. Manufacturing its brand of happiness and laughter with smiling and greeting princesses in theme parks worldwide.
11 & 12 October.
Raimund Hoghe, the artist and pioneer of dance dramaturgy is known for his decade-long partnership with the late Pina Bausch. In Pas de Deux, Hoghe brings to the stage his regular collaborator Takashi Ueno. ‘this minimalist duet is a meditative dialogue of movement between two contrasting physical bodies. A thought-provoking conversation between these different sites of memory and history.’
18 & 19 October.
Next Generation: up-and-coming young artists take the stage.
The young dancers from NAFA and LASALLE College of the Arts make this platform worth your while. First of all the showcase became an important place for local choreographers to scout fresh talent over the years. Second, it is a chance for audiences to see the natural ecology of the dance community: artists professionalise their skills in an educational environment, and young students find the connective bridge to the dance industry.
The award-winning company Arcosm performs Echoa – an engaging and enjoyable music and movement performance for the whole family where dance arises from comedy and unexpected musical instruments. 18-19 October.
da:ns festival continues with a series of free of charge programmes, as well as masterclasses and workshops. 11-21 October 2019. Further listings here.