Close the distance under same roof

Their intimate pas de deux began when they were oceans apart - with e-mail messages, followed by telephone calls. Finally, dancers Scarlet Yu and Ming Poon flew from Hong Kong and Berlin respectively to meet in Singapore last year.

The result of that meeting was the 15-minute performance, The Infinitesimal Distance Between Two Bodies. It was commissioned by the Esplanade as part of the venue's 10th anniversary celebrations last year.

For this year's da:ns festival, the pair will be presenting an hour-long version of the show.

Associate producer of the festival Faith Tan, 30, says of last year's work: "Within a short period of time, they managed to show to the audience what a dancer's life is like backstage." The premise of the first show was two dancers warming up backstage and preparing for a dance that never happens.

Singapore-born Ming, 45, who is now a German citizen, says: "You don't see a duet. What you see is two people getting ready for a duet."

This year's work is built on a similar dynamic between the two dancers.

Ming says: "We have not recapped the movements or returned to the steps. We are reworking the whole thing and it may come out quite different this time around."

To create the piece, Hong Kong native Yu, 35, flew to Berlin for 10 weeks to stay with Ming. Until the end of last month, they lived together in Ming's house, learning more about each other's character, habits and preferences. The pair hopes that the bond forged between them will be evident in the show.

Ming says: "When two persons come together, there's always a subtle, unexplainable connection.

"We wanted to get closer, to let that unseeable connection appear, to show that we're comfortable with each other, and that's the background information which fuels the duet."

When Life! spoke to the two artists, who are both not married, over the telephone from Berlin, they had been living together for two weeks and both said that everything had gone smoothly so far.

Yu says: "I'm finding out more about Ming, what he likes to eat for breakfast, how he prepares himself in the morning. He also loves his garden, and will take time to water the plants."


Book it


Where: Esplanade Theatre Studio

When: Oct 11 and 12, 8pm

Admission: $30 from Sistic (call 6348-5555 or go to


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