Forward Shift is a platform focused on new creations by Asian dancemakers who are pushing dance forward in their respective forms or communities. Each choreographer will perform a work-in-progress version of a piece they are currently creating, which aims to eventually become a full-length production in the future. In one evening, watch these performances fresh from the studio, experience different artistic practices and ideas from exciting dance artists in our region, as well as offer support or feedback for the development of these works.
This iteration of Forward Shift features works-in-progress by Hwa Wei-An (Malaysia/Singapore) and Liu I-Ling (Taiwan) that navigate the theme of loss of control.
A Reason for Falling by Hwa Wei-An
What exists between a loss of balance and a meeting with the ground? How can we let go of control, to look for what's just beyond our grasp? Drawing inspiration from various disciplines of freeriding, this work is an exploration of how our bodies can be a vehicle into flow.
Wei-An has spent his whole life falling down; it's a by-product of perpetually thinking he can do more than he actually can, whether that meant attempting to spin on his head or backflip before he was ready or trying to learn how to snowboard on his own. And though he might not be the best at these activities, he's become quite good at falling, building his artistic practice around his love-hate relationship with gravity, while also working with how the flow state can feed curiosities and unlock possibilities.
A Reason for Falling is commissioned by Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay. The development of the work received support from Dance Nucleus (Singapore), Rimbun Dahan (Malaysia), KongsiKL (Malaysia), Seoul Dance Center (S. Korea), and Campbelltown Arts Centre (NSW, Australia).
Project Consultant: Dance Nucleus (Singapore)
Normal Life by Liu I-Ling
If the body is the carrier of the soul, can the soul still be free when the body is trapped?
In 2020, a pandemic with no immediate vaccine occurred. Staying at home became a temporary solution to stop the spread of the disease. With the internet, we were still able to reach out to the world and fulfil our need for entertainment, but another question quickly emerged: can virtual interactions replace our innate desire for physical connection?
Liu I-Ling, a professional Taiwanese contemporary dancer with one of the top dance companies in New York, chose to self-isolate there in a city with no quarantine policies. She even enjoyed the solitary life.
She pressed on with her movement training in isolation and reflected on the contrasting approaches to dance that have permeated her professional life: those years of training in Taiwan that were rooted in discipline and perfection, and her current stint in New York that calls upon her to undo it all.
As time stretched on and with the end of the pandemic seemingly out of sight, her perspectives on dance and life started to spiral beyond her control. If things were to continue on like this, what then is the purpose of life? What makes us dance? What does the future look like?
The creation of Normal Life is supported in part by the Cloud Gate Art Makers Project. The presentation at da:ns festival 2022 is co-produced by Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay and made possible in part by the National Culture and Arts Foundation, Taiwan.