Hwa Wei-An

Hwa Wei-An

Photo by Nicholas Chung @nicchunglowWei-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 trying to spin on his head or backflip before he was ready, or learn how to snowboard on his own. And though he may not be the best at those activities, he’s become quite good at falling. He has, in fact, built his contemporary practice around his love-hate relationship with gravity, and the connections this relationship has with the psychological state of flow.

Out of this practice, Wei-An created The Art of Falling during his first residency at Rimbun Dahan in April 2018. This work has since been performed in Malaysia, Northern Ireland, and South Korea. This period also saw Wei-An begin working on translating the movement language of action sports – freeride mountain biking in particular – into a dance form, during a residency at Dance Nucleus in Singapore, with mentorship by Arco Renz (Belgium).

Currently, Wei-An is building on these two lines of inquiry, to develop a full-length solo that continues to delve into falling, freeriding, and the flow state. (Working title: A Reason for Falling)

He will be working on this solo at Rimbun Dahan throughout the month of July 2020.

Since mid-2017, when Wei-An started working as an independent artist, work has taken him to places such as South Korea, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and most recently, Luxembourg.

On top of his choreographic and performance work, Wei-An organises an annual event called Paradigm Shift in Singapore. First held in 2017, the event brings together street and contemporary dancers in an experimental jam and competition, aimed at discovering creative opportunities that arise when these dance forms interact.

Note: A Reason for Falling is being co-produced by Dance Nucleus (Singapore).

You can follow Wei-An on his Instagram and found out more on his website.

Annalouise Paul

Annalouise Paul

Annalouise Paul is a contemporary-flamenco choreographer and performer from Australia whose works explore identity and transformation through the intersection of contemporary and traditional forms.

Annalouise has been working in the field of intercultural dance in Australia and internationally for over thirty years. More recently she has developed choreographic tools to push dance hybridity. There is no established ‘method’ for creating cross-cultural movement or for practitioners to model from, so there has been slow but constant emergence of process and vocabulary, evolving out of a pool of processes for various works. ‘Hidden Rhythms’ is one process that employs traditional rhythms for shifting the dynamic of dance movement. ‘Dance DNA’ is the most recent method Annalouise has been investigating largely through workshops internationally and in Australia. She has held cross cultural workshops in Singapore, France, India, Melbourne and Sydney supported by World Dance Alliance, Create NSW and Critical Path.

Developing cross-cultural and hybrid processes with local dance artists at Rimbun Dahan, Annalouise will research and create material for new interdisciplinary works, Mother Tongue and Self Portrait exploring the existence of multiple cultural affinities, histories and languages in the single body.

Annalouise is the recipient of the Australian Arts in Asia Award in Dance. Creative Exchange at Rimbun Dahan is supported by Asialink Arts and the NSW Government through Create NSW.

You can view more of her works at her website.

 

Shermaine Heng

Shermaine Heng

Shermaine is a Singaporean contemporary dance choreographer. She completed a Bachelor of Arts (Mass Comm & Political Science) at the University of Melbourne before embarking on a full-time career in dance. She then studied a Postgraduate Diploma in Performance Creation (Choreography) and subsequently, a Master of Dance at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, Australia where she was awarded the 2014 Victorian Government Scholarship for Dance.

Throughout her postgraduate years, Shermaine was also funded by various arts organisations such as Creative Victoria, Regional Arts Victoria, Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council to create two works “Breathe, Woman!” (2015) and Things They Said (2016) as part of her arts residencies in Ballarat, Victoria. Her works have since been featured across various platforms such as The Courier, The Ballarat Miner and ABC Radio and News.

After nearly 10 years in Melbourne, Shermaine returned to Singapore to continue her work as an artist and choreographer. She staged a work-in-progress The Intimacy of Corners (2018) as part of the M1 Contact Festival in June. She also heads contemporary dance at Jitterbugs Swingapore, a musical theatre studio under the CSTD Jason Winters Contemporary Dance Syllabus. She has also cohesively worked as an associate choreographer for Singapore Repertory Theatre (The Little Company), for their re-staging of The Nightingale this year.

Shermaine is currently invested in the relationship between performer and viewer, particularly in understanding kinaesthetic empathy, which involves developing empathy through observing the movements of another. She is also playing with text and writing as a choreographic method for dance.

Shermaine is at Rimbun Dahan for three weeks as part of our Choreographers Residency. You can find out more about her works at her website.

Morganne Mazeika and Zach Khoo

Morganne Mazeika and Zach Khoo

apparatus dance collective, consisting of dancer-choreographers Morganne Mazeika and Zach Khoo are currently at Rimbun Dahan developing a new work called “discussions with”. The intention with the residency is to explore human interaction through a physical means of communication. Their method of movement invention is extrapolated into a thematic focus of the work: how does one communicate.

As the founders of apparatus they attended The University of Texas at Austin. During their time there they danced in the projects and residencies of established international choreographers. Their research that led to the creation of the company began in the studio that gave way to their current process; incorporating multidisciplinary approaches into dance and the method of dialoguing movement.

At their recent open studio, they spoke about collaborating long distance by sending each other videos of themselves dancing, and how to now translate that exchange through verbal and nonverbal communication when in the same physical space.

 

Citra Pratiwi

Citra Pratiwi

Citra Pratiwi (b. 1981 in Pati, Indonesia) works intensely between body, story, movement and  expression — presented in her works in dance and theater. She’s a founder of Migrating Troop Performing Art Network, a hub for artists who want to work in multi and interdisciplinary art to refresh their work and expression. Citra is a graduate of Ethnomusicology from Indonesia Institute of Art Yogyakarta, and was one of the awarded artists for Empowering Women Artists by Kelola Foundation. She is an art-activist, engaging her work to speak about women’s issues, especially women’s issues in Indonesia and she’s also worked as a curator at Padepokan Seni Bagong Kussudiardja, a private cultural centre in Yogyakarta.

During her one month residency at Rimbun Dahan, Citra will be developing her new project named Finding Stillness. It will be a research project exploring body memory, conscious and unconscious body, using Jathilan or Kuda Kepang folk dance as entry material.

I want to research what is stillness in the unconscious and bring this concept into contemporary dance work.

Natalie Kim Kyungmi

Natalie Kim Kyungmi

n6

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.”