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 Post subject: Singapore Dance Theatre
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2005 8:24 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Singapore Dance Theatre
By Jann Parry for The Observer

Singapore Dance Theatre, on its first visit to London, as part of Singapore Season 2005, claims it wants to be a cultural jewel in its country's crown, as the Royal Ballet is in Britain. Founded in 1988, SDT has a repertoire which reflects Singapore's ambitions to span east and west, traditional and forward-looking. Unfortunately, the three pieces in the Peacock Theatre were so non-specific in their efforts to seem contemporary that the company could give no clear impression of its identity.

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Singapore Dance Theatre
By Debra Craine for The Times


THIS is Singapore Dance Theatre’s first appearance in London and it comes as part of an umbrella season celebrating the tiny republic’s artistic life. The triple bill that the company brings to the Peacock showcases work by Asian and Australasian choreographers. There are 22 versatile dancers and a lot of goodwill involved in the trip. But it’s not enough to rescue the troupe’s UK debut from mediocrity.

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 Post subject: Re: Singapore Dance Theatre
PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2005 1:11 pm 
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Location: Canada
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Singapore Dance Theatre

by SANJOY ROY
The Guardian

The Lost Space, by Indonesian choreographer Boi Sakti, is in a very different style, moulded from regional folk dance and martial arts, the performers dressed in local costumes.
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<small>[ 20 March 2005, 02:11 PM: Message edited by: ksneds ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Singapore Dance Theatre
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 2:43 am 
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Location: Estonia
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Singapore Dance Theatre, Peacock Theatre, London

by ZOE ANDERSON
the Independent

As bad ballets go, this one is weirdly plausible. There are steps, there are solos, there are groupings for the corps, and they are all pretty much in time to the music. But the ballet itself is blankly incoherent.
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 Post subject: Re: Singapore Dance Theatre
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 9:51 am 
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Location: Canada
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You will now be creative!

by PETER CULSHAW
the Daily Telegraph

This is the place that famously banned chewing gum, where it is illegal to be gay, where freedom of expression is limited and there is strict censorship. Good for shopping, but not promising as a new global centre of the arts. The writer William Gibson called it "Disneyland with the death penalty".
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 Post subject: Re: Singapore Dance Theatre
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 9:52 am 
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Location: Canada
From Ana Abad-Carles:

On Wednesday 16th of March, Singapore Dance Theatre gave their first performance in London at the Peacock Theatre, as part of the Singapore Arts Festival. The company was founded in 1988 by the Artistic Director Goh Soo Khim and, though it is a young company in terms of its existence, it certainly has a wide repertoire and very good technical standards. There are strong connections with the Australian Ballet through Paul de Masson, who is the Ballet Master for the company, and through the dancers themselves within the different ranks of the company. This link with the Australian tradition is also emphasised by some of the choreographic work the company performs. For their London season, the company actually presented a work by Stanton Welch, who belongs to the new generation of Australian choreographers. This connection, without any doubt is one of the reasons why the company is very strong in its technical performances and assured in the presentation of its work.

There are beautiful dancers within the company and the whole group has a unified image and style in their performances. It is only a pity that the works they chose for their London season were not perhaps the most becoming for a troupe that performs in the capital for the first time. Though of obvious significance for the history of the company, the works they performed were not the best in giving the group a sense of identity.

The first work of the evening was Birds of Paradise, a work created by Singaporean born choreographer Goh Choo San. The ballet was created in 1979 and it certainly shows its age. Goh Choo San trained at the Singapore Ballet Academy but then moved on to Dutch National Ballet and found his choreographic home in America. The piece showed all these influences, especially, it reminded me of the aesthetics developed by Glen Tetley in some of his works. It consisted of a plotless piece in which the dancers keep using imagery related to the Birds of the title. It was beautifully danced, but the ballet has lost its lustre in the sense that it tries to use a kind of vocabulary and aesthetics that, by now, are more than surpassed. At a time when Balanchine has become mainstream, there is no sense of novelty in this kind of works that try to exploit lines and motifs without really involving the audiences in the mood of the piece. Perhaps that is why Tetley’s Voluntaries is still such a wonderful work, because even though it uses this same sort of vocabulary and technique, it does move the audience. It is also a sign of the times that audiences are used to much more radical works from classical choreographers or even contemporary choreographers working with ballet companies. The novelty these works had in the seventies in that they tried to explore new means of contemporary expression within the realms of classical dance have long been surpassed. Still the company danced it with precision and commitment and we should be grateful to see a company honouring a choreographer who was part of their culture and country and whose work is rarely seen nowadays.

The second piece was Maninyas, by choreographer Stanton Welch. A more recent piece, the ballet was created in 1996 for the San Francisco Ballet and it has been staged for the company by Sabina Allemann. The first movement of the piece started with a group of women in what seemed to be some sort of despairing, angst filled opening. I must admit I feared the ballet would keep this vein, but luckily it changed its mood and became a fast paced piece for the whole company. Welch is better at allegro than he is at adagio and therefore both first and third movements were better than the second one that featured the slow part of the piece. This was danced beautifully by Sakura Shimizu, Xia Hai Ying (who had also led Birds of Paradise) and Jacek Bres. Ying gave a powerful performance, just as she had done in the previous ballet, but not even her commanding presence could save the movement from its over sentimentality, which seems to be a constant in this new generation of male ballet choreographers. They seem to be very good in all the dynamic parts of their pieces but fail in their adagios due to a sentimentality that looks somehow lacking in real depth. The recently staged by the Royal Ballet, Pavane pour une Infante Defunte by Christopher Wheeldom, showed exactly the same problems these young choreographers have when trying to evoke a more sentimental mood. Perhaps it would be high time female choreographers were back on the ballet scene in order to get a more balanced point of view and style. Personally, I have always related better to Tharp’s women on stage than to Forsythe’s.

The last piece The Lost Space was the most original in my opinion. Choreographed by Indonesian Boi Sakti, the piece was more in keeping with recent choreographic discoveries and it was, from a Western point of view, more interesting to see as the piece dealt with the problems of “urbanisation and modernisation against a more rural, traditional way of life”. It did so by mixing the traditional setting, costumes and steps with a more contemporary feeling. There were beautiful moments, especially when the women appear in a diagonal on the benches that acted as props and scenery and they seem to be hanging onto a timeless space. There were entrances and exits that led nowhere and ironic comments on an increasingly alienated space where tradition and modernisation coexist, yet seem to resist each other. The concept worked and the dancers, once again, paid good compliment to the choreographer’s vision.

Overall it was a good evening, though not one that sticks to one’s memory due to the lack of challenging choreography for some very good dancers. However, it must be difficult for a country like Singapore to come to terms with its own heritage and use it to create something unique and that has a resonance within their culture.

<small>[ 21 March 2005, 12:16 PM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Singapore Dance Theatre
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2005 2:46 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Birds of Paradise/Maninyas/The Lost Space
By John Thaxter for The Stage


Founded in 1988, Singapore Dance Theatre has grown to become one of the foremost contemporary dance groups in the region, now with an international troupe of 22 youthful dancers from eight different countries.

It has already left its calling cards in many principal cities, including Paris. But its ballet master Paul de Masson saw this debut London season as a significant passage to maturity and his dancers acquitted themselves with a stunning display of dancerly wit, style, grace and astonishing precision.

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 Post subject: Re: Singapore Dance Theatre
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:28 am 
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I think it should improve more quality in their performance which audience love to see and enjoy and they should plan the programs so that it should be reached to the audience and they should come again and again.

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