Published: Monday December 9, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Monday December 9, 2013 MYT 7:05:31 AM

Poetry in motion on dance stage

With a bang: 'Coexistence' by Kim Boram (Korea) promises an explosive affair.

With a bang: 'Coexistence' by Kim Boram (Korea) promises an explosive affair.

The inaugural d’MOTION International Dance Festival 2013 rounds off the dance calendar for the year nicely.

IT has been a fruitful year in the performing arts scene with plenty of delights to thrill the community. From local festivals to solo acts, collaborations and experimental works, the industry has witnessed significant growth, especially with the provision for more arts grants.

To cap the year off on a high, the d’MOTION International Dance Festival 2013 is set to take place from Dec 11-15,

Co-presented by the Damansara Performing Arts Centre (DPAC) and T.H.E Dance Company, the inaugural festival brings together international and local choreographers in a series of dance performances and master classes for aficionados seeking to immerse themselves in an intensive dance experience.

The brainchild of Wong Jyh Shyong, DPAC’s artistic director, the festival will feature three different programmes with six performances and nine masterclasses by choreographers and artistes from Denmark, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, China, Singapore and Malaysia.

The idea for d’MOTION sparked when Wong was invited to perform at the Contact Contemporary Dance Festival 2012 in Singapore, where there were multiple performances and workshops for 10 days.

T.H.E Dance Company premieres a full length work titled Mr. Sign.
T.H.E Dance Company premieres a full-length work titled Mr.Sign.

After four years of producing the festival, Contact was finally able to develop a bigger audience for contemporary dance, which is what Wong intends to do locally.

“There are some local dance troupes that actively produce contemporary works in Malaysia, but international works in this genre are rare.

There is also a lack of opportunity to take dance classes from different teachers.

This year, Contact proposed a collaboration with DPAC to bring some programmes to Malaysia, hence the festival,” explains Wong.

He believes that performing arts ranks lowly among other entertainment arts.

“But, for an artist, we have the responsibility to develop interest with the public to appreciate all kinds of arts.

For DPAC, it’s a bold attempt to host such a festival. Gradually, we hope to develop a better festival structure.

Besides the festival, we wish to incorporate dance educational programmes to introduce performing arts to the younger generation.”

Artistes were selected based on the line-up at the Contact festival. Since this is the first festival, Wong says the focus is on international artists, hence no local dancers are involved in the performances, except himself and Rachel Chew Zi Xin, who was selected to participate in the Asian Festivals Exchange.

To open the festival, Aswara Dance Company will present a Malaysian contemporary dance number.

For master classes, various artists will conduct different workshops for all levels.

These include classes in technique, style, improvisation and body awareness. Even if you are a newbie with two left feet, there is something for you.

Wong says, “Some workshops are open for everyone. So, as long as you want to move, you can be part of this class to enjoy exploring the possibilities of your body.

Then there are workshops catered for those with a dance background, so that they can experience the diverse style of the international artists.”

The future plan for d’MOTION is to highlight both local and international programmes, and also provide the opportunity for local artists to present their works in other festivals abroad.

But Wong is taking it one step at a time.

* The d’MOTION International Dance Festival 2013 runs from Dec 11-15 at the Damansara Performing Arts Centre, Empire Damansara, Jalan PJU 8/8, Damansara Perdana, Petaling Jaya. For ticket bookings, call 03-4065 0001 or 03-4065 0002, or log onto

Art for art's sake

Programme A: Asian Festivals Exchange consists of works by Yokohama and Seoul Dance Collections. Transcending language barriers, they conceive fresh, new works that embody the unique colours and customs of their respective dance cultures.

Programme B: International Programme features four diverse works by noted choreographers: Stigma by Kitt Johnson (Denmark), Coexistence by Kim Boram (Korea), twilight by Shimada Tadashi (Japan) and a new dance piece by Yang Hao (Hong Kong/China).

Programme C: T.H.E Dance Company premieres a full-length work called Mr.Sign by resident choreographer, Kim Jae Duk. With their unique brand of highly kinetic works, T.H.E digs deep into the human experience, highlighting the compelling details of life in our contemporary environment.

In Mr.Sign, six dancers seek release in unexpected ways: conventional language is broken up and spouted in random consonants to produce absurd forms of expression.

Superficial conversation crumbles in the face of seeming gibberish, compelling the audience to listen for nuances and unspoken meaning. Accompanied by reworked music from Tchaikovsky’s Swan LakeMr.Signpromises to be a visual and aural treat for the senses.

Tags / Keywords: Entertainment, contemporary dance, DPAC, d’MOTION International Dance Festival 2013


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