da:ns festival 2018

SHIFT (Your Perspective) at Esplanade’s da:ns festival 2018: A Sneak Peek in GIFs

Esplanade’s da:ns festival returns this year from 9 – 21 October. The 13-day celebration of movement features powerful performances from around the world, internationally acclaimed acts and exciting new works. Apart from ticketed performances, the festival offers free programmes, including mass dance sessions, workshops, and da:ns lab, the festival’s annual platform for critical discourse on dance.

One of the festival’s ticketed programmes is Shift, highlighting intriguing, sometimes unusual works that shift one’s ideas of the possibilities of choreography, and what dance can be.

Through the following series of dynamic and colourful GIFs, illustrator Jun Kit brings to life a visual preview of the four performances on show in the da:ns festival’s Shift programme.

dans festival

Invisible Habitudes by T.H.E Dance Company
Esplanade Outdoor Theatre
11 October 8pm & 12 October 10:30pm
Tickets at $30, concessions available

Invisible Habitudes, a da:ns festival commission choreographed by T.H.E Artistic Director Kuik Swee Boon, expresses the individuality of each of its dancers, telling of real-life experiences, unravelling in each a unique and fluid identity comprised of memory, childhood, ethnicity, culture. The uniqueness of each dancer highlights the need for compassion and inclusivity as antidotes to absolutism and the relentless pursuit of one’s convictions at the expense of others.

The performance was created using T.H.E. Dance Company’s “hollow body” methodology, an improvisation-based approach that focuses on the relationship between the mind, body and heart, where the body is a hollow container that carries an individual’s world. Invisible Habitudes is the first full-length ticketed dance performance at Esplanade’s Outdoor Theatre. In tandem with the production’s themes, the open-air venue allows for interactions with the environment, connecting to the sounds and sights of the wider world. This production is part of T.H.E’s 10th anniversary celebrations.

xhe by Daniel Kok and Miho Shimizu (Singapore, Japan)
Esplanade Annexe Studio
12 October 7pm to 12mn & 14 October 2 to 7pm
Tickets at $20, concessions available

Who is xhe? What is xhe? An octopus, an object, a pronoun? This durational, five-hour, multi-disciplinary work is an amalgam of visual installation, electronic music, and dance, that promises an immersive experience, as the viewer is provoked to ponder the many possibilities of what xhe could be. xhe manifests a kaleidoscopic space of imagination, daydream and play, with moving objects, syncretic sounds, uncanny forms and enchanting moments through which one may summon, discover or even become xhe. xhe is suitable for all age groups, and the audience is invited to enter at any point during the performance and is advised to experience xhe for at least 90 minutes.

Conceived by Daniel Kok and Miho Shimizu, xhe is created by an international ensemble of artists, including dance artist Karol Tymiński and electronic music duo Filastine and Nova.

Medium by Rianto (Indonesia)
Esplanade Theatre Studio
16 – 17 October 2018, 8pm
Tickets at $30, concessions available

This virtuosic solo is a deeply personal self-portrait of the internationally renowned dancer, Rianto. Its vocabulary is a mix of folk ritual, traditional, and contemporary dance, in interplay with live Javanese singing and percussion by musician Cahwati.

Medium takes viewers on a journey to the roots of Indonesian traditional dance and music, exploring ritual, nature and spirituality with stark minimalism. Rianto’s body in this performance reveals itself a repository of movements from classical Javanese dance, the cross-gender dance lengger, and contemporary dance. Medium is Rianto’s universal call for freedom, for eschewing dogma and for embracing the contradictions, mysteries and layered diversity that is at the heart of Javanese tradition.

AH | HA by Lisbeth Gruwez, Voetvolk (Belgium)
Esplanade Theatre Studio, 19 – 20 October 2018, 8pm
Tickets at $30, concessions available

What is the choreography of laughter?

Belgian choreographer Lisbeth Gruwez breaks down the intricacies of this involuntary reflex, exploring the diverse and sometimes paradoxical nuances of laughter: spontaneity and control, beauty and monstrosity, connection and isolation. A dance that leads its five performers “into hypersensitive and precarious spaces” (Paris Danse), this work probes existential questions with a sense of dark humour, as well as conceptual and technical finesse. AH | HA marks Gruwez’s long-awaited return to the da:ns festival after the success of her charismatic solo performance in festival’s 2013 edition.

To find out more or purchase tickets, click here. You may also get your tickets at all SISTIC outlets.

da:ns festival 2018 takes place from 9 – 21 October 2018.

This article is sponsored by Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay.

About the author(s)

Jun Kit is a graphic designer and illustrator based in KL, Malaysia. He has contributed to a range of projects within the realms of art, theatre, literature and activism, and has exhibited drawings and photographs in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Tokyo.

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