da:ns 2011

I spent the last three evenings at da:ns 2011, an annual celebration of dance held at Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay. I asked myself why organizers referred to it as an “international” dance festival when the three Centerstage productions were all European. It irked me to no end that only a handful of people, yours truly included, stood up at the end of each of these performances. But these are minor complaints. I had a wonderful weekend. A few thoughts:

Sevilla/Madrid/Sevilla by Ballet Nacional de España. *sigh* The New York Flamenco Festival was a fixture on our calendar. I studied this form with the late Andrea Del Conte and, in Seville, Spain, at Taller Flamenco. In other words, we love Flamenco. So, it was such a delight to see Ballet Nacional de España, one of Europe’s premiere companies, here in Singapore. The performance was as dazzling as we expected it to be. It also inspired me to pull out my dance shoes and brush up on my palmas and zapateado technique. Los Tarantos offers Flamenco and Spanish dance classes in a shophouse/studio in Geylang. My 2012 resolution, perhaps?

Transposition by LASALLE College of the Arts. I was keen on seeing at least one “local” performance and, given my background in arts and education, it was either this or The Third Space: Contemporary Asian Explorations in Dance
by Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. I admit, I was underwhelmed by LASALLE’s students. I expected tertiary students of modern dance who are aspiring to be professional dancers to have impeccable technique. While several of them did, many of them didn’t, IMHO. It made me wonder how some of these young artists might fare in the “real world” where standards are much higher.

6000 miles away with Sylvie Guillem. Is there a better way to end of weekend of dance than with a performance by one of the world’s greatest dancers, Sylvie Guillem? (Short answer: no.) I loved, loved, loved Mats Ek’s “Bye,” a whimsical solo set to the last movement of Beethoven’s final piano sonata, Opus 111. Want a proper review of last night’s show? Read “Collaborations Bring Cascades of Motion and Emotion,” reflections on a performance in London earlier this year.

(Additional credits: Photographs via da:ns 2011.)

5 responses

  1. Exactly. Why are some so stingy with the standing ovation? Well, a whole row of us jumped up for ‘Political Mother’. :D

  2. @sinlady, thanks for your personal recommendation. 2012, here I come! And I know we’re planning to get together soon. Perhaps, we can meet at a Los Tarantos performance?

  3. I loved watching flamenco when I was in Spain some years back and I tried Sevillas once at a da:ns workshops. It was HARD! It’s pretty cool when you can do it well!

  4. Ah, thanks for the post! I’ve been reminding myself to go to da:ns since 3-6 months ago, but I’ve been completely engrossed in work. I’ve really been wanting to see the Hofesh Shechter Company and it’s good to see imp’s comment! BTW, I completely support your endeavors to go back into dance, especially Flamenco! I had no idea! I hope things are going smoothly with you! :-)