What a fantastic season of contemporary dance we have been inundated with.
Singapore is breathing contemporary dance, from #gottomovesg initiative bringing dance closer to the communities, to the World Dance Alliance a joint initiative of Nafa, LASALLE College of the Arts, SOTA and Esplanade theatres on the bay.
As the da:ns festival unfolds I keep on meeting people in theaters and corridors – discussing favorite performances and unique choreographers. The vision for each performance is always very different. There is some collaborative works where new art forms and live music bring choreography to live and there are other dance pieces very much geared for choreography only. So far I prefer the later.
Soft Machine – Choy Ka Fai
PART A: SURJIT NONGMEIKAPAM (INDIA) & RIANTO (INDONESIA) PART B: XIAO KE X ZI HAN (CHINA) & YUYA TSUKAHARA (JAPAN)
I am so looking forward to find out what this performance series feels like. Contemporary dance in Asia is a relatively young art form, still a movement of today – it keeps expanding in every direction, from research materials, to staging and casting.
In Soft Machine ‘Surjit Nongmeikapam breaks out of conservative Manipuri cultures and questions exoticism when creating dance for the consumption of European audiences’ I suspect that Singapore being the most western city in Asia will most likely provide a similar reaction to the European counterpart.
From Indonesia, ‘Rianto specialises in the traditional dance of Lengger and explores the personal and societal tensions of gender in dance-making today’ – I have had the ultimate pleasure of meeting Rianto on a separate project and I am thrilled with is ability to make dance material feel personal on other dancers bodies. From Japan, Yuya Tsukahara, leader of Contact Gonzo, subjects Choy to a brutal contact improvisation duet and interview, wheres from China, Xiao Ke and Zi Han reflect on the social and political context of their environment, being a personal follower of other Chinese artists making work inside and outside China I am ever so curious to understand the nuances of this collaboration and negotiation on stage.
Watch the trailer bellow
Get your tickets for Soft Machine here