Contemporary dance company, Maya Dance Theatre, together with Noise Singapore has created a dance initiative to provide young dance-makers and dancers a new dance programme titled [MOVE].
[MOVE] is a 6-month intensive mentorship programme to provide an opportunity for young dance-makers to enhance their choreography skills in dance, culminating in a work-in-progress showcase.
Facilitated by experienced dance-makers and industry professionals, [MOVE] will provide guided training and mentorship to both young dance-makers and their dancers to support their creation of a new work for presentation at the end of the programme.
Before our participants present their choreographies on the 31st of October 2015, we would like you to meet two of our participants from [MOVE], and find out what their throughts are about the programme and what inspired them to join [MOVE].
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
Rynne Tham: I had always been praised to be quite "dance-talented" among my peers, ever since I was in kindergarten. I had always been involved in dance as a co-curricular activity, but this changed after I entered secondary school. After completing my university studies, I finally returned to what I craved so badly for the past 10 years – dancing.
Ahmad Hannan: I am currently studying in the BA(Hons) Musical Theatre programme at LASALLE College of the Arts and training to become a triple threat – being equally good at singing, acting and dancing. I have always loved the dance aspect of musical theatre the most and wish to inculcate the styles of choreographers I admire, namely Michael Kidd and Busby Berkeley, into my works when I become a professional choreographer myself.
2. What attracted you to be part of [MOVE]?
Rynne: I previously attended a masterclass taught by a dancer from Maya Dance Theatre, which is well-known for being strong in contemporary dance in an Asian context. [MOVE] was an opportunity for me to get back into dance, receive formal dance training as well as to perform.
Ahmad: It's honestly a very silly story... I had taken note of the [MOVE] posters around LASALLE's lift lobbies but paid no attention to them because I knew very well that I could not do it by myself and that I did not fit their requirements. My classmate, Hwan Haw, then mentioned that he wanted to participate in the programme as a dancer instead of a choreographer as he had no ideas in coming up with a work. Since I had many ideas, I requested to make a joint application with him for [MOVE] where we could work out a piece together.
3. How has the programme been so far?
Rynne: I wasn't wrong about the 'advanced' level of [MOVE]'s classes. As I did not have any formal dance training prior to this programme, the context of the techniques classes was really foreign and tough for me. I am now slowly catching up with the encouragement and help of fellow dancers and learning new things every lesson.
Ahmad: It has been enjoyable and fun. All the classes have been extremely indispensable in honing my craft in dance. The aspect of creating and showing original work is something I constantly look forward to in every class, which are conducted by a variety of well-known choreographers in the industry. The myriad of teaching styles and methods they have taught us is something that could cost much more outside of this programme.
4. What do you hope to gain from being part of [MOVE]?
Rynne: I am already gaining a lot from the programme! For example, the opportunity to be dancing again, to receive formal training in contemporary dance, and to dance alongside so many other passionate dancers. If there is one more thing I can ask for, it will be the memory of a great performance at the end of the whole course in October.
Ahmad: Frankly speaking, I have already gained most of what I wanted by being part of [MOVE]: experience, technique, exposure to dance, meeting new people and soon enough, a chance to showcase the work that Haw and I have created. In essence, I hope that we can have our artistic voices heard and seen by other artists, who may wish to collaborate with us or even provide us with more opportunities in the arts industry.
5. Any last words?
Rynne: I am really fortunate to have chanced upon [MOVE] and to have met wonderful people through it. I believe this kind of programme will be hard to come by again. Thank you, Maya Dance Theatre, for this opportunity!
Ahmad: "Carpe Diem", or "seize the day". Take as many opportunities as you can. You never know if you will get it or what it may lead to. Maybe something bigger, or someone who has plans for a person like you.