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.