Recently crowned Dance Singapore Dance winner and National Arts Council's SPROUTS All Star 2012 Most Promising Choreographer, Shahrin Johry, talks to us about his thoughts and inspirations behind his debut full-length production,- KA-, to be presented at the Drama Centre Black Box from 15-16 January 2016.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself?
A little bit about myself...
I am not a person who likes to talk about myself but allow my experiences and actions speak for me...I am a person who loves to explore and seek adventures, and find ways to make 'impossible' things 'possible' or at least close in achieving it. The main thing is to try cause if never try you never know...
I always believe that sincerity is the key in attaining what you really want... And believing in what you do is important cause if you don't believe it yourself, others will not even be convince or believe in you.
You are the writer of your life story... And I chose to write an adventurous, exciting and magical chapter.
2. We understand that -KA- is your first full-length production. Please tell us how was the process like to direct, choreography and produce a show like -KA-?
The process was long, and that's fine cause with the luxury of time, I was able to explore (certain) parts deeper. However, due to long periods (in between creation), at times segments are harder to develop when there are long break in between where each time we meet is a mere recap. Hence, having intensive period really help me to pick up from where I left and move ahead productively.
The teams that I am working with are very generous and supportive, as they experiment and explored what I am searching for and took up tasks with full of integrity. I am very lucky to have them on this journey.
What was the scariest part for me was to direct my teacher, Kavitha Krishnan (artistic director of Maya Dance Theatre). Giving her instructions can be a little intimidating, as I sometimes am obliged to listen to her opinions and suggestions. Hence, having a dramaturge helped me in pointing out the clearer picture and allowed me to decide not based on biasness but more practicality and appropriateness.
Production of the show could not have been possible without the support of Imran Manaff (company manager of Maya Dance Theatre) with administrative support from Apsara Asia. They assisted me take some load of my shoulder (from producing) so that I can concentrate on my creation. But nonetheless writing of funding and sponsorship was tasked to me and the admin(istration) team helped to disseminate the publicity and marketing for –KA-.
The toughest part for me was all the writing to be honest and crafting a proposal is like choreographing a piece so that the funders understand what I am trying to do. Now my challenge is to materialize what's written onto stage.
3. What does -KA- mean?
-KA- to me means my spirit, the within, the people who feeds my spirit and knowledge itself. -KA- also symbolize my guardian: ak(KA), my teacher : (KA)vitha.
4. What can audience expect from -KA-?
-KA- a sincere performance that tries to highlight the 'Guru-shisyha' relation between a teacher and student. A synthesis of all the knowledge I have attained in my body into my own artistic expression.
Lastly, a spiritual performance to be remembered.
15 January 2016, 8:30pm and 16 January 2016, 4pm and 8.30pm.
Tickets S$28 (Standard) $23 (Concession) and other discounts apply.