Singapore Arts Festival 2003 Presents Needcompany (Belgium)


Needcompany (Belgium)




(Asian Premiere)


 Date:  4 & 5 June  
 Time:  8 pm
 Venue:  University Cultural Centre Theatre 
 Tickets:  $42, $32, $22 
 Duration:  80 minutes (no intermission) 


Post-show Dialogue with Grace Ellen Barkey


Accommodation by Hotel Rendezvous


“(AND) is more clearly a dance spectacle with text and music and…some remarkable dancers who throw themselves fearlessly into the physical extremes and fluid knots of Ms Barkey’s choreography.” ~ The New York Times


Answer the three riddles or die.


So proclaims ice princess Turandot, who nurses a hatred of all men, to every suitor who seeks her hand.


When a mysterious stranger, the son of an exiled king, solves Turandot’s cryptic riddles and demands his reward, Turandot orders the death of both father and son.

At this, the palace transforms into a glass house, and all at once the princess loses her ability to speak. Seeing her behind the glass, the people of China stare at her, for she resembled a fish, a beautiful fish. They stared and stared and were so silent that they lost their memories of sound.


They could not remember a sound.


Set in ancient Peking, Brussels-based Needcompany’s (AND) is a dance spectacle with a collision of song, dance and theatre loosely based on Giacomo Puccini’s opera Turandot.


Making its Asian Premiere here at this year’s Singapore Arts Festival 2003, (AND) was conceived by Needcompany’s resident choreographer Grace Ellen Barkey, who twists this Persian fairytale into a ludicrous and yet oddly mesmerizing feast. Created as a sequel to her internationally acclaimed funky Chinese opera Few Things, (AND) features six performers and explores the grotesqueries of fairytales.


Barkey has choreographed previous Needcompany productions like Need to know (1987), ça va (1989), Julius Caesar (1990), Invictos (1991), Antonius und Cleopatra (1992) and Orfeo (1993). Her anarchic quest for gestures and images that transcends dance has created a bizarre cast of characters who each struggle to deal with fairytales and fish in their own way.


With a score that blends original music, with hints of Chinese opera, James Brown, pop, rock-and-roll, and touches of rap, (AND) digs at that awkward emotional space where one both desires and disdains love.


Please refer to attached annexes for more information:

  • Annex 1 – Profile of Choreographer Grace Ellen Barkey
  • Annex 2 – Profile of Collaborators and Composers
  • Annex 3 – Credit List