Caitlin Mackenzie & Gabriel Comerford

Caitlin Mackenzie & Gabriel Comerford

Queensland-based dancer-choreographers Caitlin Mackenzie and Gabriel Comerford spent an Asialink residency at Rimbun Dahan in 2013, developing the duet work Uncommon Ground.

Gabriel and Caitlin studied together at Queensland University of Technology, where they were featured as a duo by various choreographers including Csaba Buday, Vanessa Mafe and Alice Hine. Since university they have established a professional partnership and work together on several platforms. They are founding members of emerging dance collective MakeShift, and were selected to perform in Backstage at the Ballet Russes at the National Gallery of Australia, performing an excerpt of an adaptation of The Ballet Russes’ Petrushka. They have choreographed for QL2’s Chaos project and have performed in Toowoomba, in the Ausdance Queensland Bell Tower II Series, the Brisbane Festival, and at the Judith Wright Centre for Contemporary Arts.

 

Uncommon Ground is a cross-cultural, interdisciplinary work that depicts a story of two identities coming together in one place, transitioning through friction, destruction, compromise and progression, concluding with something that extends beyond the sum of its parts. This concept speaks to an internal and external landscape; a personal struggle to discover and understand oneself and the realities of living in a diverse and ever-changing society.

Uncomfortable within your own skin.
Uncertain of the land beneath your feet.
A place to call home.
Indigenous to where.

 

Uncommon Ground was performed on Wednesday 4 December 2013 at the Fonteyn Studio Theatre in Petaling Jaya. A site-specific version was presented at the Melaka Art + Performance Festival. The performance included live music by Malaysian musician Gideon Alubakhan Chen.

This is an Asialink Arts Residency Project supported by Arts Queensland and the Australia-Malaysia Institute.

The BOW Project

The BOW Project

In July 2013, Ng Mei-Yin, a Malaysian choreographer based in New York, and Cathy Seago, dancer and dance scholar from the UK, conducted a version of their ongoing performance work, the BOW Project, at Rimbun Dahan. The development concluded with a showing on 12 July 2013 at Damansara Performing Arts Centre.

BOW 2013 brought together choreographers/dancers from different dance forms to workshop together to explore starting points and ways in to dance-making, according to their tradition/practice. The aim was to create a number of short works from shared starting points, and to trace the journey in a meaningful and embodied way.

This was a creative and playful opportunity for inquisitive/ imaginative choreographers to develop their art, their perception and their network. Through exposing, sharing and exploring some of the innate mysteries of dance work with other artists and with a wider community we might find a greater depth to our understanding of dance, our own work and of each other.

Lead artists: Mei-Yin Ng (USA/Malaysia) & Cathy Seago (UK)

Malaysian choreographers: Christine Chew, Maniyarasi Gowindasamy, Rithaudin Abdul Kadir

Music performers: The Music Professional Academy.
Project partner: Damansara Performing Arts Center and ASWARA.

This project is supported by grants from the University of Winchester, MEI-BE WHATever, kakiSeni and JKKN (Jabatan Kebudayaan dan Kesenian Negara).

Stephen Shropshire

Stephen Shropshire

American choreographer spent a month in residency at Rimbun Dahan in 2013, developing a new contemporary dance duet with French dancers  Aimee Lagrange and Martin Harriague.

The work-in-progress of the duet, ‘one day without harming you’, was performed at ASWARA on 30 March 2013.

Stephen Shropshire (b. 26 December 1972) is a graduate of the Juilliard School in New York City. As a choreographer he has created works for o.a. Scapino Ballet Rotterdam, Norrdans,The National Dance Company of Wales, The Holland Dance Festival, and the Iceland Dance Company. In 2003, his work ‘The Piper’s Progress’ was awarded the Grand Prize and the Public’s Prize at the 8th international choreographic competition ‘Tandances’ in Luxembourg. His work ‘sugarwater’ was named one of the top ten dance triumphs of 2008 by the London Telegraph. From 2009 to 2012, Shropshire was the artistic director of Noord Nederlandse Dans.

‘one day without harming you’ is a short study for an evening length work to premiere in 2014 as part of the Holland Dance Festival. The work is an intimate portrayal of love and loss that explores narrative dance structure through contemporary abstract form.  Darting between the present and the past, the work struggles to reconstruct fragmented memories in an attempt to come to terms with what it is to love and be loved in return.

Lina Limosani

Lina Limosani

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Australian dancer and choreographer Lina Limosani undertook an Asialink residency at Rimbun Dahan in 2008, during which time she developed and presented the full-length contemporary dance work A Delicate Situation. Lina returned in 2012 for a short redevelopment of the work, with Australian dancer Carol Wellman-Kelly.

About the Artist

Lina Limosani graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts in 1999 and became a member of the Australian Dance Theatre (ADT) from 2000-2005. In 2003 she was awarded the Emerging Artist award by the Adelaide Critics Circle for her works in ADT’s in-house choreographic seasons of Ignition. In 2004 Lina was nominated for a Green Room Award for her performance in The Age of Unbeauty at the Melbourne Festival. She also featured in Anton’s dance film When You’re Alone, which was a finalist in the 2004 Reel Dance International Dance on Screen Awards.

After leaving ADT Lina worked with artists including Narelle Benjamin, Lucy Guerin and Gideon Obarzanek. She has since maintained a performance career both in Australia and New Zealand, and gone on to create her own works independently. Lina’s works are known for their fast, aggressive movement style, as well as their humour, and use of speech and theatre.

Below: Suhaili Micheline rehearsing for the redevelopment of ‘A Delicate Situation’ in the studio at Rimbun Dahan.

Residency in 2012

Australian choreographer Lina Limosani has returned to Rimbun Dahan on a short redevelopment of the work A Delicate Situation, which she created at Rimbun Dahan in 2008.

Accompanied by Australian dancer Carol Wellman-Kelly, and reconnecting with Malaysian dance Suhaili Micheline Ahmad Kamil who was involved in the original work, Lina reformed A Delicate Situation to confront different cultural approaches to death, dying and the afterlife.

The original work investigated Malaysian superstition through the story of the pontianak, a female vampire ghost believed to have died at childbirth. The redeveloped version is also set in Malaysia, but is the story of a Western woman’s struggle to come to terms with death surrounded by a culture saturated in legend, myth and superstition.

“What I found compelling [with the pontianak] is the seemingly universal necessity for humans to personify death,” says Lina. “This tendency became central to A Delicate Situation and it was through the character of Death that I invite the viewer to be deeply drawn into the work. Death, its personification in the lore surrounding it, and the fear that accompanies it remain fundamental in A Delicate Situation.”

The finished work will premier in the inSPACE program at the Adelaide Festival Centre in August 2012. Lina Limosani and Carol Wellman-Kelly’s residencies at Rimbun Dahan in May 2012 are supported by Arts SA.

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Below: Lina Limosani, Carol Wellman-Kelly and Suhaili Micheline learning the classical Malay dance tari inai from Malaysian dancer Hasmizan Abdul Hamid from ASWARA.

Residency in 2008

Lina was resident at Rimbun Dahan from September to December 2008, with the support of a performing arts grant from Asialink. During her stay, she created a new contemporary dance work for performance in December 2008. She collaborated with physical theatre artist Al Seed and costume designer Eve Lambert who were resident at Rimbun Dahan for short periods.

Lina Limosani worked with four accomplished local dancers — Elaine Pedley, Suhaili Ahmad Kamil, Low Shee Hoe and Rathimalar Govindarajoo — to create A Delicate Situation, a full-length performance with a strong visual and emotional impact, which was performed at Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre in December 2008.

Riki von Falken

Riki von Falken

Echo II

EchoII

From 9 to 10 December 2011, German choreographer Riki von Falken and the Dance Programme at Rimbun Dahan presented a new dance work performed by eight Malaysian dancers.

riki_portrait_th“The language of my body echoes a special experience: working with the students at the ASWARA, the national arts academy in Kuala Lumpur, in 2010. For me, there is a connection between the energy of the martial art Silat and my abstract form in dance. I use the particular expressions of the dancers for a meeting of cultures in these two different forms.” — Riki von Falken, dancer & choreographer from Germany

Riki arrived at Rimbun Dahan in mid-October 1011, having already led an audition for her work at Rimbun Dahan and ASWARA earlier in August. The eight Malaysian dancers whom she chose worked intensively with her in the process of creating this work. Echo II followed Riki’s creation of the original Echo work with four dancers in New Zealand earlier in 2011.

Performed by Bilqis Hijjas, Dayang Norinah, Khairi Mokthar, Naim Syahrazad, Ng Xin Ying, Nur Ekmal bin Yusof, Pengiran Khairul Qayyum & Rabiatul Adawiah.

8.30pm Friday & Saturday, 9 & 10 December 2011
3pm Sunday, 11 December 2011
Experimental Theatre, ASWARA, 464 Jln Tun Ismail, Kuala Lumpur
Every performance followed by Q&A with the choreographer and performers

Produced by Rimbun Dahan. Sponsored by the Goethe-Institut Kuala Lumpur.

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Daniel Jaber

Daniel Jaber

danieljaberAustralian choreographer Daniel Jaber undertook an Asialink residency at Rimbun Dahan in 2010, with Australian dancers Jessie Mckinlay and Madeline Edwards. He created two works during the residency: WG-Spiel, with Jessie and Madeline, and Poetic Structure, with Malaysian dancers Lau Beh Chin, Hii Ing Fung, Stephanie Lim and Darius Lim Chee Wei. The works were presented at Fonteyn Studio Theatre in Petaling Jaya, from 19-20 November 2010.

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WG-Spiel (50 minutes)

WG Spiel delves into the lives and living habits of 3 housemates coexisting in close living quarters. Set to a vibrant and energetic electronic soundtrack, the work charges forth through images of domestic duties, working life, claustrophobia and relationships.

Performed by: Daniel Jaber, Jessie Mckinlay and Madeline Edwards.

poeticPoetic Structure (20 minutes)

Poetic structure redefines traditional choreography in the context of a modern world. Cyberspace, chartrooms and MSN form the communicative dialogues of the performers as they engage in wickedly abstract choreography created by CSS and HTML coding formulas. Commenting on communication, technology and digital engulfment in the 21st century – Poetic Structure is a sophisticatedly structured short dance work created by Daniel Jaber and featuring four outstanding Malaysian dancers.

Performed by: Beh Chin, Hii Ing Fung, Stephanie Lim and Darius Lim Chee Wei.

This program was made possible through an Asialink – performing arts residency and funded by The Government of South Australia through Arts SA, The Australia – Malaysia Institute, Carclew Youth Arts and Rimbun Dahan.

Bodies Across Boundaries

Bodies Across Boundaries

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From 22 to 24 April 2010, the Dance Programme at Rimbun Dahan presented Bodies across Boundaries: two dance works by Malaysian choreographers & performed by Australian dancers, plus two dance works by Australian choreographers & performed by Malaysian dancers.

In the studio and on stage, we reached across the seas, building bridges with our bodies, and showing that differences of language, background, and home are no barrier to moving together.

‘Bodies Across Boundaries’ presented two new contemporary dance works by acclaimed Malaysian choreographers Amy Len and Suhaili Ahmad Kamil, performed by a group of powerful young Australian dancers. The show also included two contemporary dance works performed by talented Malaysian dancers including Hii Ing Fung, Stephanie Lim, An Nur Azhar, and Bilqis Hijjas, and created by Australian artists who have been in residence at Rimbun Dahan.

8.30pm Friday 22 April, Saturday 23 April 2010
3pm Sunday 24 April 2010
The Actors Studio, Rooftop at Lot 10 Shopping Centre, Jalan Sultan Ismail

Presented by the Dance Programme at Rimbun Dahan
Supported by the Australia Malaysia Institute and the Australian High Commission

Works in the Program

STRINGS is a multidisciplinary work involving Australian visual artist Rochelle Haley, who will be making live drawings in response to the movements of dancers on stage. The dancers themselves will respond to the projection of the drawings as they develop, creating an intricate web of causal connections between the two dimensions of the paper and the three dimensions of the bodies on stage.

SHUTTLING is a dance work choreographed by award-winning Malaysian choreographer Amy Len and performed by the three Australian dancers currently resident at Rimbun Dahan, as well as three of Amy’s dancers from Kwang Tung Dance Company. The work is about the unconscious memories that are aroused when people from different backgrounds meet.

DAZZLE was created by Australian choreographer Angela Goh for three Malaysian dancers — Hii Ing Fung, Stephanie Lim and Jojo Wong, two of whom she worked with when she was first in residence at Rimbun Dahan in 2009. The work explores the idea of camouflage and deception, being seen and not seen, and how hiding the face makes someone inhuman.

WONDERWHATTALAND has been created by hit Malaysian choreographer Suhaili Micheline with the three Malaysian dancers. A crazy trip inspired by Alice in Wonderland, it includes rap songs made of the names of Malaysian food: gulp, slurp, chomp! Pulling out the bizarre in the most everyday things, Wonderwhattaland will be a work that sends the audience out giggling but thinking.

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Arco Renz & Amrita Performing Arts

Arco Renz & Amrita Performing Arts

Photo by Anders Jiras.

In 2010, Brussels-based choreographer Arco Renz and dancers from Amrita Performing Arts, Cambodia, spent an intensive residency at Rimbun Dahan developing the new work Crack, commissioned by the Singapore Arts Festival 2011.

The development concluded with a work-in-progress showing, “Cracking in Progress” at The Actors Studio Theatre @ Lot 10 Rooftop, on 27 March 2010. During the showing, Arco will presented and explaiedn the movement material created so far and the dance tasks he has set for the Cambodian dancers. Arco and the Amrita dancers also discussed and took questions on their work.

Crack is a performance about the developing individuality of a new generation of Cambodians after their civil war – their conflicts, hopes, dreams, and desires. Physically exploring the themes of emergence from isolation towards integration in the complexities of the contemporary world, this performance promises to ascribe and describe through contemporary dance, music and performance the zeitgeist of a new country.

About Arco Renz

A protegee of famed Belgian minimalist dance artist Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Arco Renz’s productions reveal an intense physicality and explore the emotional force of abstraction. In his creations he consistently broadens the principles of Abstract Dramaturgy to light, sound and multimedia interfaces. Kobalt Works is the production organization founded by Arco Renz. Since the establishment of Kobalt Works in 2000, Arco Renz has developed a successful artistic track, creating and touring several performances as well as developing transcultural and multidisciplinary research and exchange programs. He presented ‘heroine’, a solo work by Taiwanese dancer Wen-Chi Su, at the Singapore Arts Festival 2010.

About Amrita Performing Arts

Amrita Performing Arts is an international NGO based in Phnom Penh whose mission is to preserve the spectrum of Cambodia’s traditional performing arts, while nurturing contemporary artistic expression. In 2011 they presented ‘Khmeropedies I & II’ at the Esplanade, Singapore, created by former Baryshnikov dancer Emmanuèle Phuon.

A Delicate Situation

A Delicate Situation

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The contemporary dance work A Delicate Situation was created by Australian choreographer Lina Limosani. It was first developed during Lina’s Asialink residency at Rimbun Dahan in 2008, and was aso redeveloped with a short residency funded by Arts SA in 2012.  Lina initially worked with four Malaysian dancers to create the version of A Delicate Situation which was performed at Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre, 12-14 December 2008.

A Delicate Situation (2008) was nominated for 3 awards at the 7th Annual BOH Cameronian Arts Awards:

  • Best Featured Performer — Elaine Pedley
  • Best Choreographer in a Feature-Length Work — Lina Limosani
  • Best Costume Design for Dance — Eve Lambert

Performance Notes

In the darkness, things are waiting. Their past is sorrow, their
future is pain, and their hunger cannot be satisfied.

In an empty house, a cold room, they cling tenaciously to the walls.

Are her fears normal, or is her imagination running away with her? Is
he a prisoner or merely insane?

Choreographed by Lina Limosani (and dancers)

Performed by Malaysian dancers Suhaili Micheline, Rathimalar Govindarajoo, Elaine Pedley and Low Shee Hoe
Sound design by Hardesh Singh
Costume design by Eve Lambert
Photography and graphic design by David Loke

12-13 December 2008 (8.30pm)
14 December 2008 (3pm)
Pentas 2, Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre,
Jalan Strachan, off Jalan Ipoh,
Sentul 51100 Kuala Lumpur.

Supported by MyDance Alliance, KLPac, Asialink, Arts South Australia and Scottish Arts.

Promotional Images

Photos by David Loke

In Rehearsal

Photos by Bilqis Hijjas.

Media

Check out the photos of ‘A Delicate Situation’ in performance, taken by Philip Craig.