Singapore Arts Festival Presents Forward Moves




25 MAY -24 JUNE 2007




Forward Moves




World Premiere


6 & 7 June, 8pm


Esplanade Theatre Studio




105mins (with intermission)


Post-show dialogue with Jo-anne Lee, daniel k and Ricky Sim on 6 June


Following a successful inauguration in the Singapore Arts Festival last year, Forward Movesreturns with another showcase of some of Singapore’s most exciting young choreographers. In the second edition of this dance laboratory platform, Jo-anne Leedaniel k and Ricky Sim will make their Festival debut as choreographers with their new works. Singapore dance critic Tang Fu Kuen will be providing dramaturgy support, working with the choreographers in their creative process.


Forward Moves was introduced by the National Arts Council (NAC) as a developmental platform for promising dance makers in Singapore to create and present their new works. It also aims to profile emerging Singapore talent, and facilitate touring of these works individually or collectively overseas. The return of the programme also underscores the Festival’s commitment to nurturing and developing younger generations of arts talent, as it marks its 30th anniversary this year.


For New-York based Jo-anne Lee, the project presents an exciting avenue to showcase her work to audiences at home after being away from Singapore for a long time. Lee’s work was last seen in Singapore in 2002, when she choreographed a piece in the first Young Choreographer’s Platform series by the Singapore Dance Theatre. As a first-time participating artist in the Festival, Lee said it was an honour to have been invited to showcase her choreography. She shared that Forward Moves provided a great opportunity for young choreographers like her to gain exposure in a high profile event like the Singapore Arts Festival.


Lee’s new work biggerbettersuperfaster is a solo dance piece which revolves around the theme of man versus machine in the 21st century, an idea which Lee admitted to have always been keen on developing. In collaboration with electronic composer, Joe Diebes, Lee weaves a virtual maze akin to a video game environment in which the protagonist has to complete a series of tasks and challenges to proceed to the next level and move ahead in the game. Diebes, whose works address the cultural impact of the digital worldview, has extracted real video game sounds, especially old school Atari game sounds to create the electronic sound score. Lee’s husband, Aaron Draper, will be performing her new work in the Festival.


Multi-talented choreographer, daniel k, will be presenting Morpheus, based on a work which he had performed previously in Hong Kong and has since expanded upon. The dancer, who is also a visual artist and art teacher at a local junior college, was inspired by the intriguing ambiguity in the way people looked at one another in disco clubs as they were dancing or from the sidelines as onlookers.  Through Morpheus, daniel k conjures up a dream-scape in which the identity and inner thoughts of a performer and a spectator are exposed and intertwined. Here, he questions who exactly the viewer is and the generation of desire through a mutual gaze.


Describing his creative process as “a cat chasing its tail”, daniel k has developed his choreographic concept using the text written by Singapore poet Cyril Wong and Bani Haykal,and the drum sequence created for this work.  Using his dance vocabulary, daniel k willengage in dialogue with the text and music as he dances to the spoken word performance and sultry singing by Wong and Bani, and the throbbing drumbeats of Adam Noel Shah.


Ricky Sim, a prolific young dancer, choreographer and dance educator, switches his role from a performer in the inaugural edition of Forward Moves to a dance maker this year withX-Ray. A regular speaker and guest lecturer of dance and education at international forums and institutions, Ricky is a member of the Conseil International De La Danse of UNESCO and a member of World Dance Alliance (Singapore). In this new work, which Sim describes as a deconstructive dance theatre piece, Sim delves into the search for the real self through figures moving between the real and not-so-real worlds.


For the first time, Sim is also working with theatre actors in his work. The choreographer, who professed great interest in collaborations with other artists, has cast young theatre practitioners Janice Koh and Jason Chan alongside dancers Neo Hong Chin and Kenneth Tan. As his choreographic concept had developed from the idea of the womb, Sim said the presence of two mothers, Koh and Neo, in the cast provided the much-needed maternal touch to the creation.


In their different ways, the three contemporary dance makers will bring audiences a heartfelt showcase of their creative exploration and talent in this world premiere. daniel k and Ricky Sim, share about their choreography experience in the Festival in a post-show dialogue on 6 June.


Please find the following annexes enclosed for information:

Annex 1 – Synopses

Annex 2 – Profiles of Choreographers

Annex 3 – Credits