Thank you for an indulgent Saturday afternoon at dance-Oke!

Thank you for an indulgent Saturday afternoon at dance-Oke!

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dance-Oke was a blast! Held on Saturday, the event was a great time dancing along to music videos in the style of karaoke, with dancing in place of singing. After Kai introduced herself, Bernice and Jereh and the event, we launched into the first video on our playlist: the upbeat Bollywood song Chammak Challo. It took a while for participants to overcome our initial hesitation and ease into dancing along to the video amongst strangers, but by the time we reached the second video, everyone was grooving along to the familiar tune of Happy by Pharrell Williams.

The creative team introduces themselves and the event
The creative team introduces themselves and the event
Kicking dance-Oke off with Chammak Challo
Kicking dance-Oke off with Chammak Challo

One sentiment shared by all participants was that they appreciated the relaxed, intimate atmosphere of the session. There were no rules imposed, no strict choreography to follow – we could move around the space as we pleased, dancing when we felt comfortable enough to and resting when we needed a break. It was very pleasant and very refreshing to be able to dance however we wanted to, together with people who felt just as at ease and had come to the event with the same intention of dancing freely. I personally came out of the activity feeling that I’d lost most of my initial inhibitions with dancing outside the isolation of my own room.

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I found it surreal, in a refreshing way, to see so many people dancing together to music videos of all genres, from pop and hip-hop, to Disney tunes, to Bollywood, K-pop and French music. Not quite a flash mob, but a cosy gathering that evoked the same excitement and awe of seeing a large-scale flash mob. The activity saw participants of all ages, from infants to people over the age of 60. In a such a diverse group of so many people, it was inevitable that a few of the music videos requested would be foreign to some of us. Not that that was a hindrance. Instead, it was exciting to see what videos others had suggested and learn a few new songs to add to my music library.

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Bernice playing with one of the children at dance-Oke

When the dancing segment of the activity came to a close, we settled down for a live interview session moderated by musician Chong Li-Chuan, who previously worked with Kai on a number of occasions. Calling it a live interview makes it sound a whole lot more formal than it really was, though – the atmosphere resembled more of a casual chat between Kai, her collaborators Bernice and Jereh, Chuan and us, the participants. Chuan introduced Kai and her work, inviting her to share more about her previous works, including Fish, produced as part of the Substation’s Director’s Lab, and her fake PhD on choreography.

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Sitting down for a chat with Kai, Bernice and Jereh

Kai’s journey took her from creating work away from arts institutions, in Europe, navigating performance making on her own, learning and indulging in the process of creating art. She would like to keep it that way, always keeping art enjoyable, and not pigeonholing her work into the categories of ‘dance’ or ‘theatre’. Many of us came away enlightened about how she has developed as an artist, and with an admiration for her courage in pursuing her passion for dance and the making the decisions she has made.

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A huge thank you to everyone who came down to indulge in an afternoon with us, dancing and chatting with the three collaborators behind Indulgence! We hope you enjoyed yourselves and shed your inhibitions. If you’d like to see more of Kai and her work, do join us for the performance of Indulgence, which runs from 20-23 May, 8PM, at 72-13 Mohamed Sultan Road. Email indulgence@theatreworks.org.sg or call us at 6737-7213 to book your tickets now!

BY: Yingbi Lee, Engagement Intern

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dance-Oke: What our participants said

dance-Oke: What our participants said

On Saturday, a group of participants gathered at 72-13 for dance-Oke, where we danced along to our favourite music videos, before settling down for a live interview with Kai. Here’s what some of the participants had to say after event.

Sheryl and Sam, both students, shared:

1. Describe your experience at dance-Oke.

Sheryl: I think it was really fun and casual. It was also challenging some times trying to follow some of the dances, but I think one thing I really enjoyed was being able to dance like no one’s watching.

Sam: For me, I was just helping her take photos, but it’s nice how people can really enjoy themselves here, and be casual and just do what they want.

2. How is dance-Oke different from your understanding of dance?

Sheryl: Because I do take classes outside, I’m a dancer outside, it’s very different in the sense that there’s no one standing in front telling you what to do, or teaching you certain moves that you have to follow, there’s no pressure that you have to do it right. So it’s very different in the sense that you have a lot of freedom to do whatever you want, and even if you follow the steps on the screen, you can do it in a different direction, or in a different way. It’s all completely up to you so it’s very different in a sense that it gives you freedom to dance however you want.

(Do you prefer that?)

I think at certain times I would prefer that, especially if there’s no one watching, like I can just be myself and dance weird moves, that kind of thing. But also it would be difficult to do that in normal classes because there’s a certain set of things, like for example you’re preparing for a performance or anything like that. So I think if I ever feel stressed and I want to do something then this would be the kind of thing I would do.

Sam: I don’t really dance outside, and I don’t really dance a lot but from what I see it’s like people enjoying themselves. My perception of dance is like people enjoying themselves, doing what they like. And this is what I see today so it’s quite similar in that sense.

3. Which part of the live interview did you find the most interesting?

Sam: It’s about her pursuing her dream. Although she was overseas, she had a scholarship and all that, she still gave it up because of her passion for dance. How she shared about her experiences, I thought that was really brave and courageous about her.

Sheryl: I think also that she made the decision to come back, because it’s true that the dance scene in Singapore is very small, and there isn’t much space for growth. Yet she was willing to come back and start here, start dancing here instead of staying in Sweden so I think that’s very interesting how people’s dreams can come to life even in difficult situations.

4. Will you take part in similar events by TheatreWorks in future?

Sheryl: Yeah, I would!

Sam: Yes.

Yan Ru, a student, shared:

1. Describe your experience at dance-Oke.

I really liked it. Because it’s something that I never usually do, I’ve never danced before in my entire life and it’s something that I’m a bit scared of, so coming here and seeing everyone have fun, it’s quite fun. It’s quite interesting also.

2. How is dance-Oke different from your understanding of dance?

I guess in a way, when we look at dances, we usually think of the very nice figures, people who are very experienced and very good at it. But then I think here, when you bring a group of us together, it shows that dance isn’t something that’s so exclusive, that anyone can just have fun with the movement and the music.

3. Which part of the live interview did you find the most interesting?

I guess I like it when Kai talks about herself and the work that they were doing, in that when you have a performance – I like it when she said like, “there’s no need to classify it as either dance or theatre,” instead of trying to keyhole yourself into a certain stereotype. Maybe sometimes art can just be for art’s sake, you know, you can just put up a performance that people can relate to, there’s no need to say “oh, it’s dance,” so only dance fans will come and watch, or “theatre”, so only people who appreciate theatre will come.

4. Will you take part in similar events by TheatreWorks in future?

Yeah, yeah sure!

Alex, a student, shared:

1. Describe your experience at dance-Oke.

I had a lot of fun trying out things that I don’t usually do, that’s the first thing. Second thing is, it gives me probably a rougher understanding of what Indulgence is going to be like next week, and understanding performance setup. Performance…what’s that word? Performance making. Contemporary performance making.

2. How is dance-Oke different from your understanding of dance?

The concept is very much like karaoke, which is very impromptu. Usually when you go karaoke, you usually go with a group of people, and then all of them will have their different tastes. But in this sense, you are obliged to participate in the dance, so you have to perform the dance in the music video, which in the sense of karaoke, not everybody knows how to sing that song, but people don’t sing. So basically for dance-Oke you have to really try out. I mean, in my case, I tried out most of them.

3. Which part of the live interview did you find the most interesting?

I think the whole live interview was basically talking about how the artist (Kai) came about, the background of the artist, how the artist wants to portray indulgence, what kind of light she wants to project indulgence, how it’s going to be like. So 95% of the interview was that, so it wasn’t very thought-provoking so I didn’t really have any questions.

4. Will you take part in similar events by TheatreWorks in future?

Yes! In fact I’m going for 24-Hour (the 24-Hour Playwriting Competition).


 

Thank you Sheryl, Sam, Yan Ru and Alex!

Still not sure what dance-Oke is? Here’s what’s happening this Saturday

Still not sure what dance-Oke is? Here’s what’s happening this Saturday

This Saturday, Kai, Bernice and Jereh are hosting dance-Oke at 72-13. You are all invited to join us for this exciting, playful and upbeat weekend activity and dance along to your favourite music videos! dance-Oke is like kara-oke with dancing instead of singing, and is all about indulging in fun, uninhibited dancing purely for the sake of it.

In this event for people of all ages and backgrounds, everyone has their own favourite genres. Our playlist is filled with songs past and present, from current chart hits to oldies, and music from both East and West. It’s the perfect time to share your own unique set of songs and videos that you love, while getting to know and enjoy others’ favourites as well.

Joining us for this event is Singapore-born composer Chong Li-Chuan (also known as Chuan). A musician by training, an academic at large, and a design researcher in user experience and strategic design, Chuan will be moderating a live interview with Kai after the dance-Oke programme.

As a composer and sound designer, Chuan collaborates with different practitioners in theatre, dance, visual arts, and architecture. Recently, he had the good fortune to work with landscape designer Chang Huai Yan, visual artist Donna Ong, and theatre director Jeff Chen.

In this session, Chuan will delve into Kai’s journey as an artist, the impetus behind her performance-making and the performance of Indulgence. Chuan asks “Why?” of Kai’s various endeavours and the reasons behind the decisions she has made. You’ll also get to chat with Kai as she fields questions from all of you, and learn first-hand her story, thoughts and hopes.

If the interviews with the creative team and behind-the-scenes videos have made you curious about Indulgence, its meaning and Kai’s inspiration, this is the perfect opportunity to find out more about the performance.

dance-Oke will be held on 16 May, Saturday, from 2-4PM at 72-13. To register, contact Brendan at brendan@theatreworks.org.sg or 6737 7213 with your name, contact details, and your choice of up to three of your favourite dance music videos.

What’s on your playlist?

What’s on your playlist?

What’s on your playlist? What music videos do you love to dance along to?

For Kai, Bernice and Jereh, one of those videos is Chandelier by Sia! Check out the video below:

Chandelier will be on the dance-Oke playlist next Saturday. Love the song and music video? Curious to find out what other music videos they love? Find out at dance-Oke on 16 May, Saturday, from 2-4PM at 72-13!

To register, contact Brendan at brendan@theatreworks.org.sg or 6737 7213 with your name, contact details, and your choice of up to three of your favourite dance music videos.

Video

dance-Oke Sneak Peek

Watch Kai, Bernice and Jereh demonstrate dance-Oke at the Work-in-Progress preview!

If you love to groove to your favourite music videos, join us for dance-Oke on Saturday, 16 May, from 2-4PM at 72-13!

To register, contact Brendan at brendan@theatreworks.org.sg or 6737 7213 with your name, contact details, and your choice of up to three of your favourite dance music videos.

What is dance-Oke?

What is dance-Oke?

You may have heard of our upcoming programme dance-Oke, held in conjunction with TheatreWorks’ presentation of Indulgence. You may also have been wondering: what exactly is dance-Oke and what does it have to do with Indulgence?

dance-Oke is, in essence, kara-oke with dancing instead of singing. Kai’s intention behind initiating dance-Oke is to provide a platform for us all to dance with each other and indulge in our favourite songs, music videos and dance routines, without the vices associated with going to a club or pressures faced when attending dance lessons. It’s a place where we can let loose and dance without inhibition or worry that we have to dance or act a certain way — a true indulgence we are rarely offered these days.

After that, be treated to a live interview session between Kai and our moderator Chong Li-Chuan. Through this interview, Li-Chuan will explore Kai’s motivation and intention in making performances. Also, get to understand Kai better as an artist, and learn why she does what she does. If the interviews with the creative team and behind-the-scenes videos have made you curious about Indulgence, its meaning and Kai’s inspiration, this is the perfect opportunity to find out more about the performance.

If you love to groove to your favourite music videos, join us for dance-Oke on Saturday, 16 May, from 2-4PM at 72-13! To register, contact Brendan at brendan@theatreworks.org.sg or 6737 7213 with your name, contact details, and your choice of up to three of your favourite dance music videos.

Join us at dance-Oke next Saturday!

Join us at dance-Oke next Saturday!

16 May 2015
2 – 4PM
72-13

Have you always wanted to dance like a Pop Diva sans the alcohol or space constraints at a club; or undergo immense pressure during a dance class?

Join us at dance-Oke for a fun-filled afternoon and shed your inhibitions! Similar to the concept of kara-oke, dance-Oke encourages you to indulge and ‘perform’ to your favourite music videos.

Following dance-Oke, stay on to hear how dance-Oke inspires Kai’s Indulgence. Dig deeper into what goes on behind her thinking and her impetus in making performance and her ideas for Indulgence at 72-13.

dance-Oke is held in conjunction with TheatreWorks’ next presentation, Indulgence, by Eng Kai Er.

ADMISSION IS FREE! Come dressed in comfortable attire for dance-Oke.

To register for dance-Oke, contact Brendan at brendan@theatreworks.org.sg or 6737 7213 with your name, contact details and your choice of up to three of your favourite dance music videos!