edgy, current and
fiercely independent
T.H.E-Website-CONTACT2017

UPCOMING PRODUCTIONS:

M1 CONTACT Contemporary Dance Festival

Discover rising artists and fresh works from the Asian and international contemporary dance scene at the M1 CONTACT Contemporary Dance Festival. This annual festival is billed for its bold curation, residency programmes, commissioning of local and international works across its several platforms. For dancers, and students, watch out for our dance workshops and technique classes taught by our international guest instructors. 

2017 marks its eighth edition of the Festival.

This year M1 CONTACT Contemporary Dance Festival starts on 2-Jun to 7 Jul 2017! Mark your calendar.



PURE (2016)

Choreographer: Kuik Swee Boon
Sound Designer and Composition: Jing Ng
Costume Designer: Jamela Law

Inspired by the philosophical adage, l’existence précède l’essence (existence precedes essence), Pure examines the complexities of “living together” as both a unit of family and society.

Pure is driven by the perpetual cycle of tension and compromise that accompany every form of social interaction. An inevitable consequence of Man’s fundamental craving to belong. We may own the freedom to decide our individual actions, but so long as we exist amongst other humans, we may never escape the full forces that dictate the ebb and flow of existence. They are one and the same no matter the varying shapes and forms that manifest within different cultures and societal tiers.

 
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EQUILIBRIUM (2016)

Choreographer: Kim Jae Duk
Sound Designer and Composition: Kim Jae Duk

Equilibrium probes Asia’s ancient wisdom-specifically, Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu. The work contemplates the pitfalls of Western Capitalism: increased greed, jealousy, and unhappiness. The dancers seek the “purest state of contentment”.

Do we need fame and wealth in order to by happy?

“Instead of inhaling from the world to fill the emptiness within, one should endeavour to empty one’s mind and soul.”

 
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ATTACHANT (2016)

Choreographed by Arthur Bernard Bazin

To engage, appeal, endear, attach.

Feeling trapped in the complex web of life, yet existing as part of it. Attention to details, behaving sensibly, becoming predictable: these are the ways of living that define the individual so deeply they solidify as structures – even more dangerously, as limitations. It is impossible to separate what is ingrained. The more one melts into the world, the more one is defined by its codes. Hence the title of Bazin’s new creation, Attachant: ways and habits that have adhered too closely to the point of no release.

 
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AGAINST (2016)

Choreographer by Zhuo Zihao & Yarra Ileto
Lighting Design Adrian Tan
Original music composed by Zhuo Zihao
Additional music by Justin Hurwitz and Tim Simonec
Adapted and arranged by Zhuo Zihao & Jing Ng

Against finds its origins in an unsuccessful proposal for T.H.E’s Emerging Choreographers I platform (2009) by Zihao. Intended then as a rebellious counterpoint to the eventual piece presented, Against evolved alongside the choreographer’s sensibilities to reflect his 8 years with the company. It is borne of the inspirations, ideas, misunderstandings, and head-on collisions that occur when bodies come together in a space. The sense of conflict arises not to destroy, but to motivate one another, fuelling the artist’s creativity and affirming his individual beliefs in the process.

 
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HELIX, IN PROGRESS (2016)

Choreographed by Kuik Swee Boon
Lighting Design Adrian Tan
Music From THE GROUP 罗思容与孤毛头乐团
Adapted and arranged by Jing Ng

Prescribing patience, the choreographer negotiates a modern-day quandary – the culture of self-serving egotism. Pragmatism has distorted our original ideals of individuality and freedom of expression beyond recognition. As a man who wears multiple hats – leader, mentor, dancer maker, father – he asks the inevitable questions: how does one nurture a young artist to be dutiful to the collective purpose, yet uncompromising of personal beliefs?

 
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DOS CUERPOS (2015)

Choreographer: Iratxe Ansa

Two woman enter a space. Their way of moving suggests a conversation that began a long time ago. We see them hovering, embracing absent bodies. It is not clear if these bodies are something ancient or of the present. The two women move with a sense of unity, they contaminate each other. They share bones, blood and bodies. They play a game of life and death, they imitate and are opposed; push, hold, and manipulate. We do not know yet where this game will lead them.

Dos Cuerpos takes shape from these concepts that choreographer, Iratxe Ansa, has been developing in the last few years:

The body. The body is what all beings share, before anything else. We are thinking beings; we feel; we communicate we feed; live and we move; express ourselves; we identify amongst others. Above all, we are flesh, blood, bones, skin, nails, sweat… We are our body.//The absent body. What is it that provokes a sensation when another body is close to us, to see it move, to smell its scent? Each in his way, sharing the same base emotion,knows( without knowing) that other must feel similar to how we feel. What we feel having – or no having- a body near us, characterises us as human.//The pollution. Iratxe uses the word pollution when an idea or a feeling enters our minds/ bodies and affects us so much that we being to work differently…

 
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THE HIGHEST ANIMAL (2015)

Choreorapher: Jecko Siompo
Music composuer: Jecko Siompo
Special Thanks: JeckoSDANCE Management

“In the science of biology, Man is the highest animal.”

Hailing from Indonesia, Jecko Siompo, for many years, has been developing “Animal Pop”, something he terms “a new genre of dance”. It’s a fascinating formula: a cross between ancient, Eastern forms and Western pop dance, from hip hop, street styles to contemporary dance. “My dream is to break the boundaries between these different forms. I don’t want to just follow a fixed or known style of moving,” says Siompo, “I want the freedom to interpret movement in a different way.”

With The Highest Animal, Siompo might have just found his most primal inspiration. “Animals are very high-tech; they are always moving to their own internal beat,” says Siompo, “That’s the most beautiful and natural kind of dance.”

 
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PELLUCID (2015)

Choreographer: Kuik Swee Boon
Music: Darren Ng
Set Design: Kuik Swee Boon
Originally Performed by: Singapore Dance Theatre

Pellucid resides in the quietest and the simplest acts. Beauty, when stripped to its bare essentials, fulfills the promise of full richness.

Pellucid, part of the Redoubled double bill, was commissioned and first presented by Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Singapore as part of da:ns Festival 2008.

 
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IMPULSE (2015)

Impulse – a backstage site-specific work

In this original site-specific creation by T.H.E Dance Company’s resident choreographer from Korea, Kim Jae Duk, unexpected spaces in the Esplanade backstage become the playground for the dancers of T.H.E to think outside the (theatre) box.

Working with the natural condition of each space, Kim’s choreography creates a seamless impression of organically occurring movement. The dancers engage and react to the surrounding elements, creating an experience that is unique to every performance.

Kim’s works possess a signature style that is darkly humorous, stylishly self-composed, and features fast-paced choreography set to beat-driven music. Described by critics as the brainchild behind some of the most attention-grabbing, refreshing and innovative works today, Kim’s pulsating and energetic work will create a dynamic relationship with Esplanade’s physical spaces.


Impulse
is commissioned and presented by Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Singapore as part of da:ns Festival 2015.

 
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ABOVE 40 (2015)

“As artists first and foremost, it simply is a blessing to be back onstage.” the four choreographer-dancers on Above 40

After years of creating choreography and nurturing dancers in Singapore, da:ns festival brings together four established choreographers from Singapore to return to their first love-dancing on stage. Kuik Swee Boon, Silva Yong, Jeffrey Tan and Albert Tiong, have dedicated their lives to cultivating a professional dance scene in Singapore. As seasoned dance-makers in their 40s, this work is an expression of intimate reflections from the paths they have chosen to take as dance artists, and the developments in their personal lives after retiring from the stage. Artistically directly by Kuik Swee Boon, the presentation is a collaborative culmination of four individual artistries, performed with an assured command of the stage that comes from decades-long dedication to their art.

Above 40 is commissioned and presented by Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Singapore as part of da:ns Festival 2015.

 
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SILENCES WE ARE FAMILIAR WITH (2015)

The 2015 revisiting of Silences We Are Familiar With transports choreographer Kuik Swee Boon and music collaborator Bani Haykal to the emotions and sensations they inhabited for the 2012 creation. This re-worked rendition retains the core themes of the original, yet at the same time reflects the inevitable growth and maturation of the artists – including the dancers returning to this work, and the new cast experiencing it for the first time. What remains as the essential conviction: the silent acts of love often surpass by far exaltation of the same.

Silences We are Familiar With was commissioned and first presented by Esplanade – Theatre on the Bay, Singapore as part of the da:ns Festival 2012.

 
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REMAINS REMAIN 《余》(2015)

Choreographer : Jeffrey Tan

Remains Remain draws inspiration from this poem by Iaan Subhan:

Layers of sand seep
as water washes upon the barren shores
as time wastes by in sorrowful cries
absence weighs heavily
in the hollow of a grieving heart,
in the emptiness of yesterday’s home
remain remains
from your resounding whispers
that I am ready for tomorrow…

Remains Remain is a re-working of an original commission by the NUS Centre for the Arts and presented at NUS Arts Festival 2012, as part of the Solo/Duet triple bill.

 
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NEXUS《 续繁 》(2015)

Choreographer: Sun Shang-Chi

A series of experiential possibilities.

Nexus is a choreographic sketch, a trip from one imaginary world to the next, a travelogue of a state of mind.

 
Upcoming Video Shang Chi

AS IT FADES (2014)

As It Fades is Kuik Swee Boon’s new full-length creation for 2011. This Arts Festival commission sees Kuik exploring two thematic threads that have been pertinent to him since establishing T.H.E Dance Company.

The first is memory and how they serve as a window to ourselves. This time, he tackles memory from a broader, more objective perspective instead of delving into personal histories.

The second is the possibilities of the body in dance. Since the establishment of the company, Kuik has recognised that dance has the unique ability to communicate in a way that other art forms fall short. This unique trait is found in the immediacy of the body, its visceral impact when it is in motion, its ability to capture physical nuances not easily expressed in words. In this work, he focuses on using the body not only to convey a story but to actually embody emotion, psyche and expression; the bodies are not mere storytellers, they are the emotions and ideas themselves.

Praise for As It Fades
‘A breakthrough for the Singapore group’
– Tara Tan, Straits Times

A production commissioned for The Singapore Arts Festival, first performed at The Singapore Arts Festival 21 May 2011.

 

 

 
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ORGANISED CHAOS (2014)

The second collaboration between T.H.E artistic director Kuik Swee Boon and resident Korean Choreographer Kim Jae Duk is borne of an ongoing conversation on the inner workings of the human condition. Pieced from the chaos of free-flowing improvisation, Organised Chaos, is the aftermath of Kuik and Kim giving free rein to creativity.
Working apart at first, each choreographer casts a critical eye on the social constructs that dictate human behaviour, tearing apart all that appears logical and rational in order to forge their own, distinct interpretation in dance. Only at the end to Kuik and Kim crystallise these ideas in verbal conversation, picking up from the interplay of different concepts and movement that manifest in the dancers’ bodies.

Special Thanks to Korea Arts Management Service and  MCST, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Organised Chaos makes its world premiere at M1 CONTACT 2014.

 

 
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THE ORDINARY MAN (2014)

Choreography: Kuik Swee Boon (Singapore) & Wu Yi-San (Taiwan)
In collaboration with lighting designer Goh Boon Ann, music composer Chang Hui Ni, and crosstalk pioneer Han Lao Da.

A crosstalk-inspired performance that speaks, leaps and communicates through dance.

At once fresh and innovative, The Ordinary Man finds its roots in Chinese crosstalk, drawing meaning from daily life to express and evoke emotion and imagery. Set to the rhyme and rhythm of crosstalk, it explores the bittersweet ironies of life and living through the ebb and flow of dance, in a journey that resolves in tears and laughter. Co-choreographed by Taiwanese choreographer Wu Yi-San and T.H.E Dance Company Artistic Director Kuik Swee Boon, and featuring Taiwanese guest dancers Kao Hsin-Yu and Chen Ying-Chih, the work draws extensively from the unique cultural backgrounds and experiences of each dancer. Singapore crosstalk pioneer Han Lao Da serves as Crosstalk Consultant.

A Huayi 2014 festival commission. The Ordinary Man is developed from Crosstalk, one of a triple-bill of dance works featured in Solo/Duet, which was commissioned by the NUS Centre for the Arts and presented at the NUS Arts Festival 2012.

Praise for The Ordinary Man:
“T.H.E Dance Company makes bold strides with… the unabashed laugh-out-loud funny The Ordinary Man.” – Germaine Cheng, The Straits Times

“《像生》开启了对现代舞的全新体验。舞蹈中‘跳’出来的相声,吸引了全体观众的目光,爆笑全场,也冲击震荡我心。”- 沈芷华,联合早报

Premiere: Huayi – Chinese Festival of Arts 2014, 16 February 2014, Esplanade Theatre Studio.

 
T.H.E Ordinary Man 2014

COLLISIONS (2013)

Choreography: Dimo Kirilov (France/Spain)

Guest choreographer Dimo Kirilov, a former principal dancer of Spain’s Compania Nacional de Danza, creates an intimate work for T.H.E Dance Company titled Collisions. Collisions explores the complexity of modern human relationships, and how the energy of the people we meet in life affect us in positive or negative ways. Even the subtlest of encounters leave traces on us, wether as brutal scars or haunting memories.

Collisions is part of DiverCity 2013, an annual platform showcasing the best of local Singaporean contemporary dance companies.

Praise for Collisions:
“The six dancers commanded the stage with conviction as they explored the complexity of modern human relationships… each duet possess(ed) its own distinct flavour coupled with brilliant execution.” – Lisabel Ting, The Straits Times

“T.H.E continues to lead the way for contemporary dance in Singapore… The dynamism, athleticism and aesthetics… were breathtaking. All the dancers played their roles with individuality, finesse and strong technique” – Stephanie Burridge, The Flying Inkpot

Premiere: CONTACT Contemporary Dance Festival 2013, 7 – 8 December 2013, Esplanade Theatre Studio

 
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MR. SIGN (2013)

Choreography: Kim Jae Duk (Korea)

Resident choreographer Kim Jae Duk’s first full-length creation for T.H.E Dance Company, Mr. Sign centres on the subject of thoughts and ideas. Framed by a larger inquiry on existence and rationality, Mr. Sign examines the individual’s place in a hierarchical society, where relationships may not necessarily provide emotional satisfaction and peace of mind is only achieved through the realisation of self. Ultimately, it questions if communication is indeed important to humans.

Displaying his keen musicality, Kim reworks traditional Korean ‘trot music’, Indonesian gamelan, and parts of Tchaikovsky’s classic piece Swan Lake to create an edgy, heart-pounding music score.

Praise for Mr. Sign:
“The work’s stunning sections of danced unison are a sign of solidarity, as well as a commentary on social conformity… (the dancers) rise to the occasion as confident performers, impressing beyond their usually faultless dancing.” – Germaine Cheng, The Straits Times

“《符号先生》呐喊出令人奋发的勇气和催人反抗的号角,舞得血脉喷张、看得神魂激荡!。。。(它是)舞人舞团创团至今最好的作品!”- 王一鸣,联合早报

“《符号先生》是可以在不同国家上演而又能带来共鸣的超越性作品。。。作品广袤的相像空间,是它能超越文化界限的原因之一。”- 李海燕, dance journal / hk

Premiere: CONTACT Contemporary Dance Festival 2013, 29 – 30 November 2013, Esplanade Theatre Studio

 
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T.H.E 5TH ANNIVERSARY: NEW VISION (2013)

Choreography: Jeffrey Tan (Singapore), Kuik Swee Boon (Singapore), Zhuo Zihao (Singapore)
In collaboration with sound artists Bani Haykal, Tze Toh and effects creation studio Hong Wei Global

To celebrate T.H.E’s fifth anniversary in 2013, the company presented two major productions featuring the main and second companies at full strength: Bedfellows in July and New Vision in September.

New Vision concludes T.H.E’s fifth anniversary celebrations with the promise of bolder artistic risks, as the company experiments with technology and other cutting edge developments in the contemporary arts scene. The inaugural edition of New Vision marks the beginning of an annual performance series, where the visceral immediacy of live dance seamless integrates with the larger-than-life experience of film, video and multimedia art.

Newly-minted T.H.E Associate Artist Jeffrey Tan creates Command Pattern, an exploration of man’s over-reliance on technology resulting in blurred lines between benefit and detriment to society. For Kuik Swee Boon, the inclusion of multimedia in On top of white provides a blank canvas for the creative imagination unfettered by terms and labels frequently used in modern dance, to recapture a missing sense of playful freedom. An edgy blend of 3D soundscape, film, and live dance, Zhuo Zihao’s ‘Felt’ Sense literally immerses audiences in his study of the devastating effects of trauma that linger on the human psyche.

Praise for Command Pattern:
“(Jeffrey Tan’s) piece was a magnificent exercise in contrasts… watching the two (dancers) come together was a powerful reminder of Tan’s depth of experience.” – Lisabel Ting, The Straits Times

Premiere: 13 – 15 September 2013 at National Museum of Singapore, Gallery Theatre.

 
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T.H.E 5TH ANNIVERSARY: BEDFELLOWS (2013)

Choreography: Kuik Swee Boon (Singapore), Lee Mun Wai (Singapore), Yarra Ileto (Australia/Singapore)

To celebrate T.H.E’s fifth anniversary in 2013, the company presented two major productions featuring the main and second companies at full strength: Bedfellows in July and New Vision in September.

Bedfellows celebrates our home-grown talent with three choreographic works by T.H.E company dancers Lee Mun Wai and Yarra Ileto alongside Artistic Director Kuik Swee Boon, seamlessly woven into a sixty minute-long work. Lee’s second work for the main company, In The End We Strive To Convey Meaning, charts the ups and downs of human emotion as we attempt to fill our lives, surroundings and relationships with meaning.

Ileto’s piece, perfect strangErs, places the spotlight on our second company dancers. Swathed in bedsheets and sleepwear, they negotiate the peculiar intimacies of relationships in various forms and permutations, effortlessly striking a balance between sensuousness and humour. Kuik’s Parallels completes the triple bill as an offering of thanks to all whom have contributed to T.H.E’s remarkable growth, including our own dancers. Like parallel lines, we move in harmonious accord as inhabitants of a shared space and time, yet still retain our distinct qualities.

Praise for Bedfellows:
“(T.H.E’s) performances have been forceful, dynamic, and uncompromising, with the dancers relentlessly embodying the physical, emotional and spiritual ethos of this special company.” – Stephanie Burridge, The Flying Inkpot

“舞人舞团的舞是每个舞者用领悟、情绪、专注所共同构筑的一件件 ‘感性艺术品’,‘舞’是其次,‘人’ 是第一。”- 王一鸣,联合早报

Premiere: 19 – 21 July 2013 at National Museum of Singapore, Gallery Theatre.

 
T.H.E Dance Company - Bedfellows 2013

SOLO/DUET 2013

Choreography: Kim Jae Duk (Korea), Kuik Swee Boon (Singapore), Mui Cheuk-Yin (Hong Kong)

The second installation of T.H.E Dance Company’s Solo / Duet series continues to showcase the individual artistry of each company dancer through short works in the solo or duet format, Yarra Ileto works with noted Hong Kong choreographer Mui Cheuk-Yin on a solo piece titled Untitled, creating unexpected shapes and narratives with a single roll of silk unfurling around her body.

Meanwhile, dancers Wu Mi and Zhuo Zihao engage in a physical dialogue on existence and being; one representing the pursuit of reason, the other of value, in resident choreographer Kim Jae Duk’s Present.

Finally, Kuik Swee Boon collaborates with dancers Jessica Christina, Lee Mun Wai and Sherry Tay to create Un-form, a rumination on the artist’s role in society and the perpetual questioning of the validity and value of their chosen profession.

Commissioned by the National University of Singapore (NUS) Arts Festival 2013.

Praise for Solo/Duet 2013:
“Edgy, current and fiercely independent… a celebration of movement, creativity and the power of dance to ask questions and tell stories.” – Stephanie Burridge, The Straits Times

Premiere: NUS Arts Festival 2013, 9 – 10 March 2013, NUS University Cultural Centre Theatre.
Tours:
Present: August 2013, Haikou International Youth Experimental Arts Festival in Haikou, China.
Un-form: August 2014, Gwang Jin International Summer Dance Festival 2014 in Seoul, Korea.

 
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HEY MAN! (2012)

Choreography: Kim Jae Duk (Korea)

Resident choreographer Kim Jae Duk returns for the third time to create another scintillating work for the company, a 30 minute-long creation titled Hey Man!. Once again, Kim takes a dig at the silliness of modern man’s behaviour, this time questioning the need for excessive rules and structures in society. Modern society introduces structures in the hopes of trying to make things easier to understand. Yet even as we communicate, things seem to get lost in meaning. We cannot learn or even start to understand everything just by obeying these structures. In the end what matters most is that we feel a sincerity of expression when communicating with one another.

Praise for Hey Man!:
“… the company has really synergised with palpable energy and confidence after years of dedication, experimentation and working together.” – Stephanie Burridge , The Flying Inkpot.

Premiere: CONTACT Contemporary Dance Festival 2012, 7 – 9 December 2012, Esplanade Theatre Studio.
Tours: May 2014, Busan International Dance Festival 2014 in Busan, Korea.
June 2014, International Dance Festival Cultural Ecotopias in Katowice, Poland.

 
Hey Man

AS IS (2012)

Choreography: Xing Liang (Hong Kong/China)

As Is is Xing Liang’s first work for T.H.E. The renowned Hong Kong choreographer delves into his new found spirituality to create a dance that will resonate deep within the soul of the audience. As Is blends fast and accurate movements with text and a haunting soundscape. The work makes a powerful statement, yet displays the subtle, fleeting and often inexplicable nuances of existence all at the same time.

Praise for As Is:
“The company has really synergised with palpable energy and confidence after years of dedication, experimentation and working together.” – Stephanie Burridge , The Flying Inkpot.

Premiere: CONTACT Contemporary Dance Festival 2012, 7 – 9 December 2012, Esplanade Theatre Studio.

 
As Is

ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE (2012)

Choreography: Yarra Ileto (Australia/Singapore)

Same scene, different points of view.

T.H.E Dance Company member, Yarra Ileto, creates her first work for the main company, a playful, offbeat piece that highlights the different relationships between the dancers as seen from different perspectives. Humourous, light-hearted and charming, Ileto presents T.H.E’s dancers in a refreshing way as they shed their usually heavy and weighted themes and attitudes.

Praise for Accidentally On Purpose:
“The five performers from T.H.E Dance Company are brilliantly understated; never exaggerating the humour or overplaying the melancholy, they allow Ileto’s movement to take centre-stage” – Germaine Cheng, The Flying Inkpot.

Premiere: CONTACT Contemporary Dance Festival 2012, 29 November – 1 December 2012, Goodman Arts Centre Black Box

 
Accidentally On Purpose

SILENCES WE ARE FAMILIAR WITH (2012)

Choreography: Kuik Swee Boon (Singapore)
Featuring live original vocal and music composition by Bani Haykal

T.H.E makes our much awaited return to the esplanade da:ns Festival 2012 with this brand new work choreographed by artistic director Kuik Swee Boon. Performed to live music and vocal compositions by local sound artist Bani Haykal, Silences We Are Familiar With delves into life, death, love and everything in between; a dance that draws from our truest and deepest emotions and reactions to life. Together with Bani Haykal, this local collaboration will explore the most fundamental elements of what makes us human using the superb artistry and sincerity we have come to be known for.

Commissioned by the Esplanade da:ns Festival 2012.

Praise for Silences We are Familiar With:
“A sophisticated work with a contemporary vision about aspects of love.” Stephanie Burridge, The Flying Inkpot.

“This melding of Bani (Haykal)’s music and T.H.E’s dance, sometimes approached something close to the sublime.” – Mayo Martin, TODAYOnline

Premiere: Esplanade da:ns Festival 2012, 19 – 20 October 2012, Esplanade Theatre Studio.

 
Silences We Remember

SOLO/DUET 2012

Choreography: Davit Fitrik (Indonesia), Jeffrey Tan (Singapore), Wu Yi-San (Taiwan)

The inaugural edition of T.H.E’s Solo/Duet series features three original creations tailor-made to spotlight the dancers’ strengths in solo and duet formations.

Davit Fitrik’s Saya Bukan Saya unravels the farce and hypocrisy of contemporary Man in our march towards materialism and progress, in a powerful duet by Jessica Christina and Yarra Ileto.

Wu Yi-San’s Crosstalk employs the traditional Chinese art form in a dialogue of movement and spoken word that traverses the contemporary and traditional; Singaporean and Taiwanese, performed by Lee Mun Wai and Zhuo Zihao.

In the wake of the 2011 Japanese Tsunami, Jeffrey Tan’s Remains Remain explores its lingering, devastating effects on the universal consciousness, poetically conveyed by dancers Jessica Christina and Wu Mi.

Commissioned by the National University of Singapore (NUS) Arts Festival 2012.

Praise for Solo/Duet 2012:
“Comedy, dialogue, sensuality matched with muscular athleticism and aggressive confidence: the hallmarks of T.H.E Dance Company were present in abundance” – Stephanie Burridge, The Flying Inkpot

Premiere: NUS Arts Festival 2012, 16 – 17 March 2012, NUS University Cultural Centre Theatre

 
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VAGUE INDIVIDUAL SITUATIONS (2011)

Choreography: Lee Mun Wai (Singapore)

In his first creation for T.H.E Dance Company, company dancer Lee Mun Wai continues his exploration of text and dance. Four people gather in a space, seemingly domestic, and begin vague conversations. With both words and their bodies. Do they share the same situation or are they living different stories? Lee crafts a work that speaks of ambiguity, a feeling he increasingly feels in this contemporary world.

Mentioned as one of 2011’s notable performances on TODAYOnline.

Praise for Vague Individual Situations:
“Lee creates just enough of a wonderful snapshot of something we can’t really pin down and yet,
despite the uncertainties, something we willingly embrace.” – Mayo Martin, TODAYOnline

Premiere: CONTACT Contemporary Dance Festival 2011, 25 – 26 November 2011, Goodman Arts Centre Black Box

 
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RE:OK…BUT! (2011)

Choreography: Kuik Swee Boon & Kim Jae Duk

In this pulsating work, T.H.E Artistic Director Swee Boon Kuik collaborates with Jae Duk
Kim, T.H.E’s resident choreographer from Korea. Working against a cultural and language
divide, Kuik and Kim connect over the stirring theme music for the Hong Kong wuxia film
classic, The Legendary Swordsman.

Using this theme music as a starting point, they explore the possibilities of gestures extended
into evocative movement phrases. RE:OK…BUT! is a work based on relationships that are not
always smooth-sailing. Negotiation, confrontation, compromise, tension; these dynamics all
come into play in a work that uses physical intensity to bring forth raw emotion and energy.

Praise for RE:OK…BUT!:
“It all came together – the perfect piece to showcase Singapore’s best dance company that, in its willingness to up the stakes, finds itself at the top of its game” – Mayo Martin, TODAYOnline

“One of the top 10 performances of 2011” – Voted by TODAYOnline

Premiere: CONTACT Contemporary Dance Festival 2011, 3 – 4 December 2011, Esplanade Theatre Studio
Tours: November 2014, 11th Guangdong Dance Festival in Guangzhou, China.
September 2014, INTERFACE Festival 2014 in Kolkata, India.
June 2014, International Dance Festival Cultural Ecotopias in Katowice, Poland.
October 2013, SIDance Festival 2013 in Seoul, Korea; The 2013 Padang Bagalanggang Festival in Padang, Indonesia.

 
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AS IT FADES (2011)

Choreography: Kuik Swee Boon (Singapore)
2014 Collaborators: Sound artist Bani Haykal and Guzheng artist Natalie Tse

Hailed as “one of the top three performances in Singapore 2011” by The Straits Times, T.H.E Dance Company brings its landmark production As It Fades back to vivid life this May. Originally created for the Singapore Arts Festival 2011, As It Fades draws upon folk tunes, dialects, and memories to create an emotionally-charged language that connects us to a fading Asian heritage. Restaged in 2014 by 15 members of T.H.E main and second companies, with music by award-winning sound artist Bani Haykal in collaboration with guzheng artist Natalie Tse.

Originally commissioned by the Singapore Arts Festival 2011, As It Fades was restaged in 2014 at the SOTA Drama Theatre.

Praise for As It Fades:
As It Fades was a milestone for contemporary dance in Singapore for its innovation, creativity and local resonance” – Stephanie Burridge, CriticalDance UK Online 2014

“The choreography is minute yet expansive, pointed yet luscious and undeniably demanding.” – The Straits Times, 2014.

“One of the Top Three Productions in Singapore 2011” – The Straits Times, 2011.

“唤醒人们深层的文化情感,重新找回一个被遗忘的记忆” - 联合早报, 2011

Tours: November 2014, 11th Guangdong Dance Festival
September 2014, INTERFACE Festival 2014 in Kolkata, India.
November 2012, Mancopy and More Festival 2012 in Copenhagen and Arhus, Denmark.
September 2012, Oriente Occidente 2012 in Rovereto, Italy.
July 2012, Beijing Dance Festival 2012 in Beijing, China.
March 2012, Les Hivernales 2012 in Avignon, France.
February 2012, Singapore Arts Night in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
September 2011, MyDance Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

 
As It Fades

BOHEMIAN PARODY (2010)

Choreography: Kim Jae Duk (Korea)

Dark humour abounds in this fast-paced work. Choreographer Kim Jae Duk creates a work that pokes fun at the pretentions of the faux-bohemian life – how the bohemian lifestyle today has become a fashionable, commodified lifestyle instead of one with true ideals. This highly kinetic dance drama can be seen as a
satirical work that makes fun of certain sections of society.

Praise for Bohemian Parody:

“Testament to just how willing this young company is to get out of their comfort zones and simply try something new.” – Mayo Martin, TODAYOnline

Premiere: CONTACT Contemporary Dance Festival 2010, 17 – 18 December 2010, National University of Singapore’s University Cultural Centre.

 
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THE MAN IN THE CENTRE (2010)

Choreography: Kuik Swee Boon (Singapore)

Choreographed in 2010, The Man In The Centre signals artistic director Kuik Swee Boon’s artistic shift to focusing on the intrinsic nature of an individual’s existence. Opting for a more organic creative process, he focuses on individuals who look inwards in the attempt to find their centre in modern life; a journey in search of that elusive element that makes us who we are. This work does not begin with any grand concept or theme but instead attempts to flow in a way that feels harmonious; using the simplest and most basic artistic means to find fundamental and revealing answers to a person’s identity.

Commissioned by the National Heritage Board of Singapore.

Praise for The Man In The Centre:
“an…important breakthrough for Kuik and his company” – Tara Tan, The Straits Times

Premiere: 12 – 14 August 2010, National Museum of Singapore’s Gallery Theatre

 
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VOID – JENDELA PERADABAN (2009)

Choreography: Boi Sakti (Indonesia)
In collaboration with sound designer Darren Ng and video artist Chen Kunyi

If souls are the windows of civilisation, what would they reveal? Choreographer Boi Sakti confronts the moral decay engulfing society in this insightful and affecting new collaboration with T.H.E Dance Company. At once powerful and poetic, Void is laden with symbolism and meaning, combining movement drawn from the traditions of Minangkabau dance and martial art forms with the aesthetics of contemporary dance.

Commissioned by the Esplanade da:ns Festival 2009.

Praise for Void:
“T.H.E Dance Company was superb in holding its focus and intensity” -Stephanie Burridge, The Straits Times

Premiere: Esplanade da:ns Festival 2009, 23 – 24 October 2009, Esplanade Theatre Studio.

 
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WHERE THE WIND BLOWS (2009)

Choreography: Zhang Xiao-Xiong (Taiwan)
In collaboration with sound designer Darren Ng and video artist Chen Kunyi

Where The Wind Blows is a dance both intimate and outwardly straightforward. In this work, choreographer Zhang Xiao-Xiong uses clean, unfettered lines and movement patterns to create a work that is solid, direct and visually vivid; a reflection of the urban human environment where strangers constantly come into contact and separate. Where the Wind Blows features collaborations with Singapore and sound artist Darren Ng and video artist Chen Kunyi.

Commissioned by the National University of Singapore (NUS) Arts Festival 2009, as part of the double bill titled Variance.

Praise for Where The Wind Blows:
“A company with strong technical delivery and a visually exciting repertoire” – Melissa Quek, Business Times

Premiere: NUS Arts Festival 2009, 27 February 2009, NUS University Cultural Centre Hall.

 
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WATER BLOOM (2009)

Choreography: Kuik Swee Boon (Singapore)
In collaboration with sound designer Darren Ng and video artist Chen Kunyi

Using the environment as a departure point, choreographer Kuik Swee Boon explores the intricate relationship between man and nature in Water Bloom. A solitary green pole referencing bamboo ascends with a stoic silence from the floor of the stage. In this calm, dancers begin their navigation of the many delicate aspects of this relationship. The lyrical female body is contrasted with that of the male’s explosive energy to bring out the theme of man’s relationship with nature, from the antagonistic to the harmonious.

Water Bloom is filled with both gentle lyricism and an underpinning strength, subtly enhanced by the original music composition of Singaporean sound artist Darren Ng. Water Bloom seeks to capture the fleeting moment in which both man and nature are harmoniously united.

Commissioned by the National University of Singapore (NUS) Arts Festival 2009, as part of the double bill titled Variance.

Praise for Water Bloom:
“There is simply nothing quite like it thus far that is made-in-Singapore” – Daniel Kok, Theatrex Asia

“(Kuik’s) language is poetic, sensitive and original” – Jette Skjoldborg, Aarhus Stiftstidende, Poland

Premiere: NUS Arts Festival 2009, 27 February 2009, NUS University Cultural Centre Hall.
Tour: June 2011, 8th Guangdong Modern Dance Festival in Guangzhou, China.
March 2012, Les Hivernales 2012 in Avignon, France.
September 2012, Oriente Occidente 2012 in Rovereto, Italy.

 
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WITHIN.WITHOUT (2009)

Choreography: Kuik Swee Boon (Singapore)
In collaboration with Lee Mun Wai, Yarra Ileto and Zhuo Zihao.

What holds families together or pulls them apart? What causes friction and how are tempers and personal
idiosyncrasies controlled or quelled? Who has the say and when do we cross the line? Choreographed by
four members of T.H.E Dance Company including artistic director Kuik Swee Boon, Within.Without is a piece that highlights the emotional and psychological aspects in a family unit and what it means to be an individual within a family.

A family is a strange entity, almost always founded with a common vision, a shared code of values that its members are expected to adhere to. More often than not, these groups are formed on the basis of status quo. However, change is always inevitable and very soon these groups find it hard to keep up with change while still maintaining their value systems. Old members drop out, new members are added, the outside environment causes change within the group and sometimes new leaders are appointed.
In time friction inevitably arises and differences start to show. But it is these very conflicting dynamics that are strangely essential for the survival of a family. We at T.H.E Dance Company invite you to be part of our whimsical family.

Commissioned by M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2009, restaged at the Goodman Arts Centre Black Box in June 2012.

Praise for Within.Without:
“the choreography was intricate and poignant, and spoke of the balance between dependency and self-assertion in a relationship.” 
- The Straits Times

“This is a very fine homegrown dance” – Chan Sze Wei, ArtZine

Premiere: M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2009, 7 January 2009, Esplanade Theatre Studio.
Tours: 6th Guangdong Modern Dance Festival in Guangzhou, China, July 2009.

 
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OLD SOUNDS (2008)

Choreography: Kuik Swee Boon (Singapore)
In collaboration with video artist Gabriela Tropia Gomes (Brazil), sound artist Darren Ng (Singapore), lighting designer Tommy Wong (Singapore), photographer Tan Ngiap Heng (Singapore).

Titled Old Sounds in the 2008 original and renamed O Sounds in 2010, this full-length multimedia dance work is a rich composite of city sounds, endangered dialects, folk songs and dance-on-screen. How much of our tradition can we afford to lose? How much have we already lost and will we be able to reclaim it? O Sounds explores the tensions and complexities arising from the erosion of tradition in our bid to be increasingly progressive and modern.

The work comes at an appropriate time, when globalization, progress and mass consumerism are rapidly changing the way people live. It throws the spotlight on our struggle in trying to maintain the fragile balance between retaining the essence of who we are and our insatiable desire to move endlessly forward.

Through extensive research, choreographer Kuik Swee Boon interviewed and collected material from various Chinese dialect groups around Singapore. These dialects and their history are on the verge of extinction. The collected materials – in the form of spoken memoirs, folksongs and stories – are incorporated into original music composed by Darren Ng, and complemented by video art and film projection by Gabriela Gomes.

Commissioned by the National Heritage Board of Singapore 2009, and restaged at the Singapore Arts Festival 2010.

Praise for O Sounds:
“Kuik had crafted a dance that was both fluid and fast paced, with intricate pairings and engaging ensemble work” – Cheah Ui-Hoon, Business Times

“The intense, careening choreography grappled and mesmerised in stunning duets interjected with fine solos, as well as powerful company work… T.H.E Dance Company is a home-grown force to be reckoned with.” – Tara Tan, The Straits Times

Premiere: 11 – 13 September 2008, National Museum of Singapore Gallery Theatre.
Tours: July 2011, Chang Mu Dance Festival in Goyang, Korea.
November 2010, Dubai, UAE, Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre (DUCTAC).
November 2010, Singapour Festivarts in Paris, France, Quai Branly Museum.
July 2010, 17th Annual International Dance Conference and Performance Festival in Bytom, Poland.
May 2010, Jakarta, Indonesia, Komunitas Salihara Theatre.

 
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SILENCE (2007)

Choreography: Kuik Swee Boon (Singapore)

Silence began in 2006 as a work-in-progress featured at the 8th Asian Arts Festival in Beijing, and in 2007 was commissioned to be developed as a full-length work by the Esplanade’s da:ns Festival.

Silence is a moving work that deals with the concept of communication breakdown in today’s technologically advanced society. Set against an urban landscape, a place of transience and constant movement, choreographer Kuik Swee Boon highlights the erosion of human connection. We choose to connect virtually and become increasingly foreign to physical touch. We speak but do not know what we mean; we hear but do not truly listen.

Featuring the massive electronic soundscapes of Sigur Ros and Radiohead, and the raw and spontaneous compositions from Rafael Rivero, a former principal dancer of the Compania Nacional de Danza (Spain), the work reminds us of the little things we have lost touch of. At times fast and frantic, other times poignant and filled with yearning; in spite of its title, Silence is anything
but quiet.

Commissioned by Esplanade da:ns Festival 2007, and restaged for T.H.E’s 1st anniversary celebrations in 2009.

Praise for Silence:
“Mature and complex, Silence was a delicate, intimate experience” -Tara Tan, Straits Times

Premiere: da:ns Festival 2007, 12 – 13 October 2007, Esplanade Theatre.

 
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SOMEWHERE… WE HEAR (2006)

Choreography: Kuik Swee Boon (Singapore)

During my time in Spain, I have witnessed many migrants. These nameless people
and their fates have led me to think about the idea of an endless pursuit; the things
they seek and risk, the culture and people they have left behind. Some of the
unfortunate ones have risked everything and lost even more. Even when one does not
move physically, perhaps in one’s heart, there is also a sense of restlessness and of
wanting something more; the desire to seek and find.
 – Kuik Swee Boon

A Singapore Arts Festival 2006 commission. Restaged at the CONTACT Contemporary Dance Festival 2012 with T.H.E Second Company dancers.

Praise for Somewhere… We Hear

“…showed that (Kuik) has what it takes to reach out to, and sustain, the interest of the audience…”
– June Cheong, The Straits Times

Premiere: Singapore Arts Festival 2006, 9 – 10 June 2006, Esplanade Theatre Studio.

 





T.H.E SECOND COMPANY REPERTOIRE

Click here for the full list of the Second Company Repertoire.

82 vs 65 | Jackie On, Choi Munsun & Kang Jinan
Enfilats | Annas Borràs
--/-- | Goh Shou-Yi & Kim Hwan Hee
Bouge | Sebastien Ledig
Narrow 窄 | Goh Shou-Yi
The Body Speaks | Lee Ren Xin & Miwa Okuno
Notes of Last Thursday | Marcus Foo
Private Dancer | Idan Cohen
Ramblings of a woozy mind | Liz Fong

 
 
 
In the Distance | Sarah Foster-Sproull
Obscurity of Self | Zhuo Zihao & Miwa Okuno
Those Decisions | Chiew Peishan
Gear | Mikiko Kawamura
Peso | Inma Marin
I See Skies of Blue | Wong Jyh Shyong
Absence | Marcus Foo & Jin Byong Cheol
112319892416856 | Goh Shou-Yi
She’s Chinese and I’m Twenty Five | Lee Ren Xin