Diverse triple bill

T.H.E. Second Company, the youth wing of contemporary dance group T.H.E. Dance Company, presents its third annual choreography and dance showcase, LiThe.

This year's edition is a triple bill featuring the creations of company members Lee Ren Xin, Marcus Foo and Goh Shou-Yi.

Their works will be presented by a cast of 21 dancers, aged 18 to 32, at the Goodman Arts Centre Black Box next week.

Lee's She's Chinese, And I'm Twenty-Five is an exploration of what it means to be female and the common threads which are woven through the psyche of the female gender.

Lee, 25, says: "We're exploring what's common among females. Not what you can read online, but things which are more subtle, which I can't really articulate.

"Things we feel when we walk down the street, wake up in a female body, go to sleep in a female body."

Lee, who worked with her four female dancers to create the piece, says of its demographically inspired title: "At the end of the day, they are the only parameters of which we can be sure - that this woman is Chinese and 25.

"Outside of age and the obvious markers, everything else is not black and white."

Goh's piece 112319892416856 was sparked by a visit to the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem earlier this year.

The 24-year-old says: "My piece is nothing about the Holocaust, but it's just that what I saw shocked me on a very personal level." He channelled his reaction into a piece about routine and repetition.

He says: "Life is always a cycle, we have a routine, we wake up, we eat, we bathe and we do what we've always been doing. But every time we do it, it's different, it's just how big or small the contrast is."

The title of his piece, a string of numbers, is cobbled together from the biographical data of him and his six dancers - details such as weight, height and birth date.

He says: "I didn't want the title to have any words in it because I didn't have any specific message. I think numbers are universal." The final part of the triple bill is Foo's Notes Of Last Thursday.

Foo, 30, says: "The whole work revolves around the idea of memory and in that memory, I look at relationships between people and places, friendships and romantic relationships as well."

He began the piece with six self-penned poems which explored his past, such as a piece about the old National Library building in Stamford Road.

However, as Foo delved deeper into the creative process, he found that there was no need for the spoken word.

"Initially, I thought about putting in six different texts and even pre-recorded some of them.

"But when I got into the studio with the dancers, I felt like I didn't need them anymore, it was so much more powerful with just movement itself.

"I also don't want to guide the audiences too much on how they should feel. It's better to leave it a bit more open to interpretation."


This article was first published on June 17, 2014.
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