Our second choreographer in our 'On the dance floor' series is Fairul Zahid from Malaysia.
Not new in collaborating with international and local artists, Fairul Zahid is a prolific and versatile choreographer and dancer working in the disciplines of contemporary dance, Chinese classical Dance, Indian classical dance, and ballet. He was a choreographer and principal dancer several Company including in NYC and Malaysia. He have received several outstanding awards inside and outside country including Malaysia, New York and Berlin. He is currently an artistic director of Asia Duo Dance Company and a Dance Lecturer in ASWARA.
Let's hear what he has to say.
OTDF: Can you tell us a bit more of yourself?
FZ: I have been a Principal Dancer/Choreographer in Aswara Dance Company for several years and also a Dance teacher in several Local Universities in Malaysia including National Academy of Arts Culture and Heritage.
I am one of the country's leading young artist, a prolific and versatile choreographer/dancer working in disciplines of Contemporary, Ballet, Malay Dance, Chinese Classical Dance, Indian Classical dance.
I collaborated with several artist local and international including Riki Von Falken (German), Gideon Oberzanek (Australia) Un Yamada (Japan), Ena Herosie (Japan), Sean Curran (NYC), Netta Yerusalmy (Israel), Chunky Move (Australia), Patrick Suzeu (U.S), Jeff Tsei (Taiwan), Brigel Gjoka (German) Pamela S.Pietro (New York), Yachao Zhu (China), Herbert Alvarez (Philippines), Akram Khan (London), and many more.
I have also produced several full-length and a mix bills performance for tour in Beijing, Los Angeles, New York, Jakarta Indonesia, Philippines, and Chicago. Worked with several companies in New York City including Christina Noel Dance Company, LaneCoArts, Sean Curran Dance Company and The Nutcracker NYC. I also danced for Akram in their performance at Beijing.
I performed in several festival local and international and also have been awarded in several choreography competitions in Malaysia and other countries.
In 2015 I have been Awarded as Star Scholarship by Sime Darby Foundation to pursued his MFA study in NYU Tisch School of the Arts. I have been invited to several residency in America including University of California (UCLA) as international guest artist and Djerasi Residency California, The Tel Aviv Choreography Competition 2015 has name my latest work "Pur(e)gatory" one of the top 5 in the competition and my work "Draw-err" has been awarded crystal Award best international choreography in NYC.
My latest work "Draw-err 2.0" has tour local and international including Beijing, New York, Singapore, and Sri Lanka. Recently in 2015 while I was in New York City.
"Draw-err" has been representative of NYU Tisch School of the Arts for National Ballet of China Performance at NYU Skirt ball Center.
OTDF: As an artist, where or how do you draw inspirations for your work?
FZ: As an artist, pedestrian movements, restoration behaviour (things that people normally do), I use my eyes as a tool to combine my surroundings and create work with it.
Starting my work with technical time helps me discover things that can be integrated from the studio. This helps me explore.
I like to understand the body of dancers, how they can interpret my movements into something that possibly different from what I gave them, giving texture and colour to my work.
OTDF: We understand that you presented a work in RELEASE 3.0 some time back to much positive feedback. This will be your second time in a RELEASE production, can you tell us a little more about your work you will be presenting this time?
FZ: I will be presenting "Draw-err" a multi-dimensional study of Richard Schechner's "Is or As" theory of performativity and Restoration Behavior.
I am from Malaysia and Yachao Zhu is from China. The cultures of our respective countries are deeply engrained in our artistic practice as choreographers and dancers and we both have focused on becoming well-versed in the dances from our countries.
Western classical and contemporary dance have undoubtedly shaped our choreography and performance, and we use contemporary as a medium to create movement.
However, for "Draw-err" we are more interested in what the "contemporary" part of contemporary choreographer or dancer means.
We are first and foremost people from two different cultures living together in contemporary times, with the common goal, at the most basic level of life, to survive.
Yachao Zhu will delve into the nature of daily life in Mongolian culture, its rituals and philosophies. I will mine my Malaysian culture, and my privilege to live in a society that is economically developed.
As we perform movements together, movement that is at times pedestrian, we may have the same intentions but because these movements and our bodies are derived from different cultures, we are essentially transforming the performative nature.
True, where we perform the movement affects how it "is" performance or is "as" performance. However, through the scope of "daily practice" and what that means, we are investigating "culture is" and "culture as." The results of the competition are not inconclusive, there is no "draw," because despite commonalities of movement, the individuals performing the movement, and the cultures that have influenced these individuals, are not identical. They are the human error to the draw, the "err."
OTDF: Is there any message you would like to send-out to contemporary dance lovers out there?
FZ: Come and support our artistic work. We will not promise you that we will be the best but we will give our best. Hopefully, more people will get the idea of what contemporary art is.
Thank you Maya Dance for always supporting us.
Catch DRAW-ERR in RELEASE 6.0 from 20-21 January 2017 (8pm) at Goodman Arts Centre Blackbox.
Tickets available here.
"Draw-err" is an example of fantastically beautiful and serene work by Fairul Zahid and Yachao Zhu" - Jonathan Hollander- Festival Director of Battery Dance Company (New York)