Thursday, October 15, 2015

da:ns festival :: Above 40 :: 四十不惑

Perhaps the audience knew how rare this performance was. The two shows sold out super fast. Managed to swop tickets with the friends to one show of da:ns festival commission 'Above 40' 《四十不惑》. Artistically directed by Kuik Swee Boon (郭瑞文), he teamed up with three acclaimed choreographers to dance their thoughts about their chosen careers on stage- his wife Silvia Yong (杨秋怡), Jeffrey Tan (陈裕光), and Albert Tiong (张咏翔). 

In an interview with Zaobao (联合早报) before the shows, Kuik Swee Boon (who turned 47 this October) said,


Dance is a cruel master. It demands youth, strength and immense discipline. The years will show between two dancers, one at his/her prime between 24 to 32 years old, and the other who's hit 40. The physical strength and stamina decrease. Dunno if it parallels life, but the performance and its title suggest 40-somethings to possess a certain maturity, self assurance, and a sort of quiet confident je ne sais quoi. I was quite tickled at the idea, but yeah, maybe.

Having retired from the stage, these 40-somethings returned to dance their emotions of grappling with age, a loss of stamina and to a certain extent, flexibility, and ultimately, mortality. Sacrifices for their art, and the ceaseless pursuit of passion. The stage was bare, save for a chair or two. No fancy costumes. They danced as is, burdened yet carefree. Raw, powerful and emotional. It was a fantastic performance.


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