A guide to Singapore's da:ns festival 2019 at a glance

Immerse yourself in a whole-hearted celebration of movement this October at the da:ns festival by Esplanade – Theatres By The Bay. 

Whether you are a mover and shaker, a dance lover or just have a curious mind, this annual 11-day festival invites you to fall in love with dance – perhaps for the first time, or perhaps all over again in new ways.

With powerful performances from around the world, exciting new creations and a wide range of opportunities to learn various kinds of dance, da:ns festival will open your mind, lift your spirit and get your body moving.

Here's what's on offer:

Acosta Danza

Photo courtesy: Toti Ferrer
Photo courtesy: Toti Ferrer

Following an exceptional career, acclaimed international ballet superstar Carlos Acosta brings his company Acosta Danza to da:ns festival for its first performance in Singapore. 

Raised in an impoverished district of Havana, Acosta is the first Cuban principal dancer of London’s Royal Ballet and one of the most celebrated dancers in the world. This international mixed bill includes works which pay tribute to Acosta’s Cuba and presents the exceptional talent from his beloved country. Dancers from the company combine both classical and contemporary dance effortlessly, imbibing Cuba’s rich musical and dance influences.

When: October 10-11
Where: Esplanade Theatre
Entry: SGD 40-100

Princess

Photo courtesy: Jörg Baumann
Photo courtesy: Jörg Baumann

Jocson is a contemporary choreographer and dancer from the Philippines, trained as a visual artist, with a background in ballet and pole dance. She exposes body politics in the service and entertainment industry as seen through the unique socio-economic lens of the Philippines.

In Princess, Jocson investigates the entanglement of affective labour, embodiment, mobility and the construction of racial and gendered identities.  

When: October 11-12
Where: Esplanade Theatre
Entry: SGD 30

Forward Shift

Photo courtesy: Pichet Klunchun Dance Company
Photo courtesy: Pichet Klunchun Dance Company

Forward Shift is a platform that focuses on new creations by Asian dance-makers pushing dance forward in their respective forms or communities. Each choreographer will perform a complete scene from a work they are currently creating, which aims to eventually become a full-length production in the future.

Audience members will be able to watch these performances which are fresh from the rehearsal studio, and experience a range of artistic practices and ideas from the strongest dance artists in the region in one evening, as well as offer support or feedback.

When: October 11-13
Where: Esplanade Annexe Studio
Entry: SGD 30

Humans, slugs and other creatures

Photo courtesy: LASALLE College of the Arts
Photo courtesy: LASALLE College of the Arts

Meet the next generation of dance talents in Singapore from LASALLE College of the Arts, as they present dances by local and international choreographers.

This performance celebrates the flaws, abilities and subtleties of the body. It questions and challenges our habitual ways of moving, through the works of international artists such as Rachel Lopez de la Nieta (UK), Eisa Jocson (Philippines) and Ery Mefri (Indonesia).

When: October 12-13
Where: Esplanade Recital Studio
Entry: SGD 20

The third space

Photo courtesy: Jeff Low
Photo courtesy: Jeff Low

Celebrate the talents and diversity of Singapore’s dance landscape in this showcase by pre-professional dance students from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA).

In The Third Space, post-colonial culture academic Homi Bhabha’s theory on hybrid identities is used metaphorically to describe Singapore’s increasingly complex cultural landscape. Drawing on their diverse backgrounds, NAFA choreographers including Aditep Buanoi (Thailand), Gillian Tan (Singapore), Hwa Wei-An (Malaysia) and Richard Chappell (UK) position their work at the “inter”— defined by Bhabha as the cutting edge of translation and negotiation.

When: October 12-13
Where: Esplanade Recital Studio
Entry: SGD  20

FULL OUT!

Photo courtesy: Esplanade
Photo courtesy: Esplanade

Watch out for this epic showcase of mind-blowing street dance from some of the best crews from Japan, Taiwan and more, coming from slaying the stages of World of Dance and Hip Hop International. With various street dance styles and unique choreography, they prove that age, gender, location and language are no barriers to the power of dance.

When: October 15-16
Where: Esplanade Theatre
Entry: SGD 35-68

Grand Finale

Photo courtesy: Rahi Rezvani
Photo courtesy: Rahi Rezvani

Internationally celebrated choreographer Hofesh Shechter’s latest work for Hofesh Shechter Company, Grand Finale, is a bold and ambitious piece featuring 10 dancers and a live band of musicians. 

The work is at once comic, bleak and beautiful, evoking a world at odds with itself, full of anarchic energy and violent comedy. Filtering this irrepressible spirit, Shechter creates a vision of a world in freefall — part gig, part dance, part theatre, and wholly original.

When: October 18-19
Where: Esplanade Theatre
Entry: SGD 40-100

Pas de Deux

Photo courtesy: Rosa Frank
Photo courtesy: Rosa Frank

Raimund Hoghe is regarded one of the pioneers of dance dramaturgy. As an artist, he is a true vanguard of contemporary dance in Europe, challenging conventional notions of the body and beauty in dance and society through works which are “concentrated examinations of humanity”.

In Pas de Deux Hoghe is joined onstage by one of his regular collaborators, the Japanese dancer Takashi Ueno. With subtlety, humour and an eclectic profusion of jazz, classical music and poetry, Hoghe structures a series of delicate interactions around quintessentially everyday objects of Japanese culture, imbuing them with layers of meaning. Fragile and gentle movements, marked by ritual and deep human connection, expand into a cathartic resonance of time and beauty.

When: October 18-19
Where: Esplanade Theatre Studio
Entry: SGD 30 

Echoa

Photo courtesy: CIE ARCOSM
Photo courtesy: CIE ARCOSM

Two percussionists and two dancers meet onstage. Will they be able to understand each other? Their friendly competition and jubilant play make delightful use of both expected and unexpected instruments, while dance emerges in moments of comedy, non-verbal conversation and tenderness. Echoa will make you tap your feet, hold your breath and then laugh along as you see dancing with new ears. 

When: October 18-19
Where: Esplanade Recital Studio
Entry: SGD 30

Author
CtoI News Desk
CtoI News Desk – CtoI

Singapore-headquartered online media company targeting Indian Diaspora across Singapore, US, UK and Dubai. Connected to India covers developments around Indians abroad, informing, engaging and entertaining its audiences.

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