Let your body move
Kwang Tung Dance Company’s Double Platter merges the old and the new.
FOR the first time ever, Kwang Tung Dance Company’s newest production will combine the energy and enthusiasm of new dance pieces with the wisdom and gravitas of restaged performances.
Double Platter Series: Fresh And Refreshed welcomes four new numbers ( On The Road choreographed by Mak Foong Ming; Existence by Foong Siew Ching; Yish! By Kyson Teo; Embracing Ignorance by Tan Bee Hung) and two restaged pieces ( Abandoned by Fione Chin; Silent Raid by Tan).
“By presenting the restaged and new works alongside each other, we are able to send what dancers who are in different stages of their career bring to the table. The aura of our trainee dancers – whose ages range from 16 to 23 – are very different from the more seasoned company dancers,” says producer Lee Choy W an.
As for the restaged pieces, it is an opportunity for the choreographer to tweak it to perfection and hone their skills. Not unlike fine wine that gets better with time, some dance pieces need to be given time and space to mature, points out artistic director Amy Len.
Tan’s Silent Raid, which was first staged in 2013, is one such example.
W ith its underlying theme of recycling and wastage, this restaging, with more than half of its first content given an overhaul, is hardly a retelling of the same tale.
W ith three years between its first appearance and its second, choreographer Tan has plenty of time to reflect and ponder on the execution and presentation.
“Sometimes, a single staging is not enough for the choreographer to do everything you want to do. There might be things that you want to do differently, there might be regrets that you want to rectify. Restaging a dance piece gives us an opportunity to modify and expand on what you want to say with the performance,” she says.
Tan shares that Silent Raid, which employs hundreds of plastic bags in its first staging, was then choreographed to be a high- energy piece that progresses into a more moody and mellow ambience towards the end.
“I was never quite satisfied with this, I thought it looked and felt kind of lopsided. So with this restaging I changed the structure of the dance and now it is more balanced in its presentation and conveys the main message with more clarity,” explains Tan.
A total of 27 dancers will take to the stage for Double Platter Series, with most of them dancing in three or four pieces.
Len envisions this to be the first of many Double Platter productions, where two groups are presented on one platform.
Perhaps the next one will be a showcase of international shows and locally- staged shows, she adds with optimism.
It has been 36 years since Kwang Tung Dance Company ( formerly known as Kwang Tung Dance Troupe) was founded. Len credits hard work, determination to grow and learn, and a collaborative spirit, as the key to success.
“W e learn and grow as a family, but we also bear in mind that there must always be continuity in whatever you do. That’s why we have training programmes, because we believe the young and the new must be nurtured,” she says.
Double Platter Series: Fresh And Refreshed carries this spirit high.
Double Platter Series: Fresh And
Refreshed is on at The Sel & KL Kwang Tung Association, 6th Floor, No 44, Jalan Pudu ( opposite UTC Pudu Sentral), in KL on Sept 10 ( 3pm/ 8.30pm) and Sept 11 ( 3pm). Duration: 90 minutes. Entry by donation of RM30. Tickets and enquiries: 03- 2078 4336 / 012- 389 2127 / 014- 248 6248.
Embracing Ignorance choreographed by Tan Bee Hung.
The challenging dance piece Existence, choreographed by Foong Siew Ching.