Singapore Arts Festival 2006 - Forward Moves



Singapore Arts Festival 2006

~ One Season. Many Faces ~

1 – 25 June 06




Forward Moves 

Featuring Danny Tan, Elysa Wendi, 
Kuik Swee Boon, & Aaron Khek

World Premiere



: 9 & 10 June 2006


: 8pm


: Esplanade Theatre Studio


: 100 minutes (with intermission)


Supported by HSBC


With the launch of its new dance creation platform titled Forward Moves, the Singapore Arts Festival 2006 aims to inject new impetus into the development and promotion of Singapore dance. Choreographers Danny Tan, Elysa Wendi, Kuik Swee Boon, and Aaron Khek will premiere their new works in the Festival, as individual choreographers expressing in their own dance language on this new platform.


This inaugural programme developed by the National Arts Council (NAC) will support and help create new opportunities for choreographers and dance makers in Singapore. It also aims to seed further development of new creations, and facilitate overseas touring of these works individually or collectively. In addition, Forward Moves will usher in new developments to the Singapore dance scene, including the setting up of an online dance resource web portal.


The project is a welcome move for the featured choreographers. Danny Tan, founder and artistic director of Odyssey Dance Theatre, says the programme gives him the privilege as a Singaporean to proudly promote original work that informs audiences of his culture, identity and passion in dance. Tan will open the quartet of dance creations with Providence. The recipient of NAC’s Young Artist Award in 2004 will depict the yearning for a lost cultural identity, as well as integrate his identity as a local Teochew and a contemporary dance practitioner. Performing solo, he will dance to Teochew opera vocals performed by Lee Sze Yau, a Young Artist Award recipient for theatre in 2000. “This work propels me to confront and challenge the notion of Asian contemporary dance in Singapore and in Asia,“ said Tan.


Elysa Wendi, assistant artistic director of The ARTS FISSION Company, commented that Forward Moves motivated her to keep moving ahead in her choreography. In Touch-Me-Not, Wendi departs from her previous works by taking a minimalist approach and keeping the choreographic structure and external elements such as costumes and lighting to the very basic. Fashioning dance out of everyday actions, Wendi explores the poetry of daily routines and the co-existence of people in a common space, as well as the intentions behind repetitive actions. Two female dancers will perform in this piece created for three, as Wendi invites audiences to sense the existence of this third invisible dancer.


Kuik Swee Boon brings home his first choreographic creation since joining Nacho Duato’s Compañía Nacional de Danza in Spain as a principal dancer in 2002. Inspired by the stories of immigrants who risked everything they had to pursue a better life in Spain, Kuik delves into the basic human need and endless desire to seek a better life physically and spiritually in Somewhere...We hear. In this new work, Kuik also edits and mixes his own music for the first time.  He commented that he is very happy to bring back what he has learnt and experienced in Spain in the past few years. “Choreographers prove their existence through their works. With Somewhere...we hear, I feel that I have presented a part of myself and proven my very own existence,” said Kuik.


The final piece in the quartet is Standing in the Middle of Our See-Saw by Aaron Khek, founder and co-artistic director of Ah Hock and Peng Yu. Said Khek, “This platform (Forward Moves) is a fine example of sharing and pooling of resources that local dance needs. It‘s time we seriously look at alternative ways of operation other than as dance companies, for dance to thrive in the next decade in Singapore.”


The 2005 recipient of the Young Artist Award for dance stressed that the choreographic journey did not end with a single work. “Choreography is but a mere device; it takes meticulous rigor to slice and weave layers of our lives in space to make a dance,” he said. In response to audiences’ feedback that his past works were heavily melancholic, Khek promises a “sensuous duet” in his new work, in which he adopts a comedic approach to dance. Through the spatial tensions created between layers of movement, Khek, who will also be performing, seeks to address the imbalance between humanity and nature in this dance piece.


With a showcase of four contemporary choreographers in one programme, Forward Moves provides audiences the rare opportunity to draw closer to these talented Singapore choreographers, and join them in their exploration of complex yet heartfelt realities and sensualities.


Please refer to the attached annexes for more information:


  • Programme 
  • Choreographers’ Profiles 
  • Dancers’ Profiles & Credits