Presents a collaboration of Composer and Sound Designer Ho Wen Yang who created an original score performed live with traditional Chinese instruments by musicians from Ding Yi Music Company. The choreographic platform brings together two distinguished Dance Artists- Low Mei Yoke and Christina Chan exploring the past and the present.
In part 1 Fade explores the end of ‘ma jie’, of Singapore in the 1950’s. The choreography starts with a series of illustrative characters of an era in Singapore that could span from the 1950’s to today. Low prefers to signpost ideas at the beginning of her choreographic venture, showcasing a list of characters all too familiar to Singapore society. The centrepiece of this composition is an old lady who is always present on stage – portraying the old aunties so commonly seen in our traditional neighbourhoods. The naturalistic style of this performance allows the audience to engage on a very deep level with the work, however on the actual choreography we are invited to witness a very coded movement language, visually appealing and very well performed.
Navigating between naturalism and abstract movement is in itself a hard proposition; the naturalism is best achieved by the presence of the old lady on stage. However, the duet performed by Adele Goh and Joy Wang brings a constant investigation into the enquiry – unfolding into mapped choreography where the two dancers become one. Half way through the piece a large ensemble of dancers takes foreground repositioning the theatrical situation around the stage. The choreographic proposition is stronger when Low uses the ensemble to alternate the movement material, highlighting the visceral duet danced beautifully by Adele Goh and Joy Wang.
In part 2 Christina Chan’s ‘Flux of Time’ is exhilarating and deeply touching but also an abstract take on the concept of time.
An intelligent exploration of light on stage, Chan chooses to showcase vignettes of the choreography in complete darkness, conceding time to reflect and unconditionally liberate the sensorial faculties of the audience. The audience is thus ready to eavesdrop the myriad of detail that ‘Flux of Time’ displays.
Chan sets the scene from the outset for a sensorial experience of dance – opening the choreography with an exquisite duet between Chan and Aymeric, we are delighted with a complex inquiry. Enveloped in a close alliance the two dancers produce weightless dance lifts underlined with reflective moments on the self and the idea of speed. The concept of time stretches to tempo as instants as well as eternity – strained in the dancer’s bodies, the latter keeps on appearing throughout this dance piece.
Chan cleverly distributes suggestions of time, of old versus new. What is really delightful in this work is Chan’s ability to break down large sections of unison into small pockets of individual material. The ensemble splits into smaller duets and trios, making the illusion that the space on stage moves around the dance.
Adding to this intelligent approach to the inquiry of time is the collaboration with lighting designer Gabriel Chan that unconditionally reveals and hides group sections, this diverse group of dancers unifies itself, as a whole organism in constant innovation, populating the stage with a series of dance sequences where what is constant is movement and not necessarily the self.
There is also humor within this serious dance piece – undressing of costumes and the exchange of one hat between two dancers promotes a delightful relationship amongst the ensemble.
Chan draws inspiration from the many qualities and skills of her dancers, bringing integrity to a dance piece that portrays each as equal, traveling through a fictional timeline.
Flux of Time is also resolved through text, in one particular section, Wayne Ong takes us trough an array of foods, underscored by movement qualities that explore an increased tempo of the choreography. This portion of the performance unifies the audience with the dance and transports us into a fast paced section of the dance. Wayne Ong drops the textual exploration in a blink of an eye, introducing for the last time an ensemble of extraordinary dancers emulating time as an ongoing inquiry into infinity.
Closing off this deeply personal choreography is again a duet between Christina Chan and Aymeric Bichon resuming and comparing time to the core of two pulsating hearts, entwined in a featherweight never-ending dance.
Milieu 2015 at The Esplanade Theatres on the bay, 13th and 14th of November.