Memories Revelation

Memories Revelation

Date & Time: 18 & 19 Mar 2011, 8pm

Venue: NUS University Cultural Centre Dance Studio

 

Synopsis:

Brought to you by ECNAD’s stage wizard, Lim Chin Huat, and dance master, Tan How Choon, Memories Revelation is an original cross-disciplinary creation with powerful visual elements that celebrates ECNAD’s 15th anniversary in Singapore’s contemporary dance scene.

Memories Revelation is a tribute to both late ballet master Tony Llacer, and fashion designer Andy Ng. Fueled by memories of their encouragement and belief, shared experiences and sentimental ties, ECNAD assembled a team to co-create this fashion show-like dance production. Using belongings like old costumes and cassette tape ribbon left behind by Tony and Andy, designers reuse, recycle and recreate these materials into images and characters.

 

Additional information:

Concept/Design Director/Choreographer: Lim Chin Huat

Dancers: Eileen Lee, Esther Kong, Bryan Chen, Melissa Chua, Bernice Lee, Koo Yuan Hui

Costume Designers: Lim Chin Huat, Chua Ai Hua, Candy Lee, Loo An Ni, Wee Sheau Theng

Original Costume Design: Tony Antonio Llacer, Andy Ng

 

This event is in conjunction with NUS Arts Festival 2011.

 

Reviews (1)

Flawed Recollection

By: Stephanie Burridge

Date: 18 Mar 2011

Rating: 2.5/5

 

Memories Revelation was full of good intentions, large ideas and concepts that had a strong visual component. The parade of costumes was historically interesting and the idea to honour two important and respected Singapore artists, Filipino-born ballet master Tony Antonio Llacer and Andy Ng, was commendable.

The evening began with a solo by Lim Chin Huat, one of Ecnad’s artistic directors. He entered with a chair, placed it centre stage and created a slow, absorbing sequence by precariously balancing around this prop. However, we were rudely awakened by the usual announcement requesting for mobile phones to be switched off, cutting through an atmosphere that was quite promising. (And anyway, later in the performance an audience member actually answered her phone during the show!)

After the announcement, dancers in high-necked robes entered in a dramatic fashion, stripping to reveal costumes that featured pink tights on one side to represent ballet and black lycra on the other to suggest jazz dance. This was a strong dramatic statement as, during Llacer’s time, the technical and philosophical split between ballet and contemporary dance was very marked. A ballet sequence followed and set the scene for a disappointing evening.

Ballet is the most unforgiving form of dance and a show of poor technique (even considering that the dancers were supposed to be students in a class), and disjointed sequences that were often out of sync did not allow the evening to unfold coherently. Similarly the upbeat contemporary sections were out of time and the final jazz group seemed out of place in the overall concept, though the dancers looked like they were most comfortable with this athletic style. Generally more rehearsal was required. Perhaps too many collaborators threw in their ideas, resulting in some over-long diva moments and not enough group solidarity and care about the overall concept and the intention of the work.

Despite this, Lim provided some dramatically interesting moments as the stage-crossing “ghost” of Llacer, and there were some fine duets between dancers Bryan Chen and Bernice Lee. Artistic advisor Tan How Choon contributed some special sound effects, particularly the reverberations of wave-like sounds, bird calls, a simple pulse and some live percussion sections (a reference to the early days of modern dance when a tambour was used to accompany technique classes). Many of the costumes were spectacular, including a voluminous red number paraded around by Esther Kong; yet this sequence was far too long and its purpose unclear to both the dancer and the audience.

Unfortunately the Ecnad team did not have the artistry to pull it all together. The images that remain were the striking costumes and the interesting use of recycled materials – particularly the giant train of black plastic that twirled on its metal wings and floated miraculously in the final scene, reminiscent of Loïe Fuller’s trademark costume. The company has some talented, qualified performers that need to be nurtured, mentored and showcased in works that highlight their abilities and strengths.

 

Photos

 

Web Design:
Audrey Lim

Banner photography:
Yuan Zhiying

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