Work It!

Work It!

Image: Doris Uhlich in 'Rising Swan', photo: Andrea Salzmann.

Work It! was a project bringing together female performing artists from Asia and Europe whose work revolves around the gendered depiction of the body on stage. For 10 days in November 2012, these artists met in Kuala Lumpur to share their artistic practice, create new networks and explore their diverse understandings of feminism.

Participating artists:

  • Cynthia Ling Lee (Taiwan/USA)
  • Rita Natalio (Portugal)
  • Donna Miranda (Philippines)
  • Joavien Ng (Singapore)
  • Cuqui Jerez (Spain)
  • Doris Uhlich (Austria)
  • Naomi Srikandi (Indonesia)
  • Mia Habib (Norway)
  • Geumhyung Jeong (Korea)
  • Un Yamada (Japan)
  • Margarita Tsomou (Greece/Germany)
  • Mislina Mustaffa (Malaysia)

Download: Work_It!_Press_Release
Download: Work_It!_Participant_Bios

Teater Garasi, in a play directed by Naomi Srikandi.Public Performances

2 nights of sharing their work and perspectives

Program A: 8.30pm, Friday 9 Nov
Program B: 8.30pm, Saturday 10 Nov

Venue: The Black Box, MAP @ Publika, Solaris Dutamas

How do you perform a woman onstage? How do you negotiate how a society regulates work, power, sex and truth? What is creativity’s reaction to convention? And how will women thrive in the performing arts in the current global climate?

The Work It! public showing tackled these questions with theatre, dance, music and good old fashioned women’s wit.

Entry by donation at the door
RM 20 regular, RM 15 for students, seniors & MyDance Alliance members.
Q&A session with the artists following the performance.

Cuqui Jerez, 'Croquis Reloaded'. Work It! Open Studio

The focus of the Work It! project is on the week of closed-door studio sessions for the participants at Rimbun Dahan, in which they will be sharing and developing their arts practice with each other. For one afternoon only, join the artists in an open studio session to get a taste of the Work It! project. All practicing artists, in visual or performing arts, and both male and female, are invited to attend.

2-5pm, Wednesday 14 November 2012
The Dance Studio at Rimbun Dahan

Free entry, but attendance is limited, so please register by emailing bhijjas@gmail.com with your name, phone number, and brief bio.

Donna Miranda. Photo: Brendan Goco.

Work It! Panel Discussion

At the conclusion of the 10-day project, the participants of Work It! will present a public panel discussion to discuss the process of the closed-door discussions at Rimbun Dahan and to share their findings.

2-5pm, Saturday 17 November 2012
Annexe Central Market
Free Entry

Work It! was co-produced by Bilqis Hijjas of Rimbun Dahan, Anna Wagner (Germany) and Fumi Yokobori (Japan).

Main Sponsors

tanzconnexionsGoethe_institutCreative-Encounters

Supported by

JFKL  wao

Public performance venue sponsor

map_publika

 

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.

T.H.E. Dance Company

T.H.E. Dance Company from Singapore enjoyed a short residency at Rimbun Dahan in January 2012, rehearsing new works for premieres. During their residency, artistic director Kuik Swee Boon and T.H.E. Dancers conducted a workshop in the Dance Department at ASWARA, and generously included Malaysian dancers in their daily company class. Malaysian tai chee master Tangkok Lee was invited to teach occasional company class during the company’s residency.

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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Natalie Kim Kyungmi

Natalie Kim Kyungmi

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Korean artist Natalie Kim Kyungmi began to explore her interests in contemporary dance during a stay in Malaysia in 2010. She performed in Dancing in Place in August 2010, followed by a brief mentorship at Rimbun Dahan with Japanese-Australian butoh dancer Yumi Umiumare and an appearance at the Melaka Art & Performance (MAP) Festival in November 2010. Natalie moved back to Korea in 2011.

Here Natalie discusses her experience of the mentorship and the festival, accompanied by photos by Anthony Pelchen.

n4“Just before the festival, I was privileged to have a personal mentoring workshop with Yumi, supported by Rimbun Dahan. We started the workshop by previewing my work and it was a truly valuable and thought-provoking process with lots of mutual brainstorming and discussion. Her methodology was inspiring as she never imposed any answers or theory but just threw questions at me to look into and explore. Her tremendous mentoring helped me focus on natural strength and emotion while understanding the virtues of dance performance.

Personally we’ve became very close friends with extra gin and tonic sessions every night during festival and her enthusiastic mentoring has never had a break since the festival till now!”

n2“Here I am performing ‘Mapping’ with Agung Gunawan (Indonesia) in one of the site-specific performances around Melaka town.

Each performer performed twice a day in different sites, either solo or in collaboration. I was lucky to get to perform with performers from diverse backgrounds such as Malaysia, Vietnam, Australia and Indonesia. It was a valuable learning collaboration process, seeing how my emotion and body could react and tune into all the different energies and movements, and, finally, with the audience.”

n3“Before the festival, I had come across news about a women executed in public in Iran by stoning to death. This piece was dedicated to her and all women who are still oppressed in many ways. It also reflects my personal experiences encountering different cultures which have different values and perceptions of gender.”

 

prophecy“Here I am performing my solo ‘Prophecy’, as part of the Cerita Pendek (Short Works) program. In this performance dance work I explore the hope of transformation across the passage of time.”

“This picture, and the one at the top left of this page, shows Eulogy for the Living, the group performance at the finale of the festival. I am with with Ikko (Japan), Agung (Indonesia) and Tho (Laos-France).

n1The process of creating this work was very inspiring as each performer had his or her own solo, yet needed to tune into others’ independent parts in an improvisational way until the final group encounter. During every rehearsal there was lots of discussion and experimentation to make this finale a ‘community-like’ performance.”

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.

Yumi Umiumare

Yumi Umiumare

Australian-based Japanese choreographer/performer Yumi Umiumare undertook a short residency at Rimbun Dahan in 2010, working with and mentoring performer Natalie Kim Kyungmi, towards a solo work for the Melaka Art+Performance Festival. Yumi also conducted a workshop on 21 November 2010 at The Annexe Central Market. 

Yumi is at the forefront of Butoh fusion in Australia, with work across genres, including ‘Butoh Cabaret’. She works internationally and performed first in  Australia in the early 90’s with Tokyo Butoh company DaiRakudakan. She has had  a commitment to teaching and mentoring for over a decade, initiating with Tony Yap the Beyond Butoh series of annual showings in Melbourne.

Go to the artist’s website: www.yumi.com.au

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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Kristine Nilsen Oma

Kristine Nilsen Oma

kristineNorwegian choreographer Kristine Nilsen Oma was in residence at Rimbun Dahan in 2010.

She developed a solo work, Marilyn Monroe’s last 20 minutes before committing suicide, which was performed at Dancing in Place, a weekend of site-specific work at Rimbun Dahan, 7-8 August 2010.

About the Work

Western neuroses meets the Third World. The work is an experiential exploration of the Buddhist concept that earthly desires can lead to enlightenment.

The work is a response to meeting a whole new environment and culture, and a personal quest to understand both my own desires and how to make them come from a higher perspective. In the context of the Third World certain neuroses becomes ridiculous. Yet they were created as a response to the Western world I have lived in all my life. How do I cope in the Third World? How will my neuroses behave? Is there a control in this experiment?

Marilyn Monroe, goddess of the Western world, a legend still worshiped, becomes the symbol and character of what the Western world promotes as success. Yet I suspect her life was not a happy one. I have my own spin on it. I relate to it.

Judy Garland is singing somewhere over the rainbow. Marilyn is nowhere to be seen, only a hijab lying by the side of the pool, and the record playing and playing again and again…

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.