Spotlight on new talents: Singapore Dance Theatre presenting 3 new ballets from Friday

The Singapore Dance Theatre's Passages Contemporary Season includes 4Seasons (left) by Australian choreographer Natalie Weir, as well as works by Indonesian choreographer Gigi Gianti (top) and Singapore's Max Chen (above).
The Singapore Dance Theatre's Passages Contemporary Season includes 4Seasons (above) by Australian choreographer Natalie Weir, as well as works by Indonesian choreographer Gigi Gianti and Singapore's Max Chen.PHOTO: BERNIE NG
The Singapore Dance Theatre's Passages Contemporary Season includes 4Seasons (left) by Australian choreographer Natalie Weir, as well as works by Indonesian choreographer Gigi Gianti (top) and Singapore's Max Chen (above).
The Singapore Dance Theatre's Passages Contemporary Season includes 4Seasons by Australian choreographer Natalie Weir, as well as works by Indonesian choreographer Gigi Gianti (above) and Singapore's Max Chen.PHOTO: SINGAPORE DANCE THEATRE
The Singapore Dance Theatre's Passages Contemporary Season includes 4Seasons (left) by Australian choreographer Natalie Weir, as well as works by Indonesian choreographer Gigi Gianti (top) and Singapore's Max Chen (above).
The Singapore Dance Theatre's Passages Contemporary Season includes 4Seasons by Australian choreographer Natalie Weir, as well as works by Indonesian choreographer Gigi Gianti and Singapore's Max Chen (above).PHOTO: SINGAPORE DANCE THEATRE

The Singapore Dance Theatre's annual contemporary showcase will present full-length works by up-and-coming choreographers

The Singapore Dance Theatre will present three new ballets from this Friday, as part of its annual Passages Contemporary Season.

The platform was previously a showcase for up-and-coming choreographers, following a two-week workshop with the company's dancers under the tutelage of the dance company's artistic director Janek Schergen.

Schergen, 63, who introduced Passages in 2010, says: "It is the first time that we will be featuring fully realised works instead of studies, which are experimental by nature and are shorter, underdeveloped pieces."

This year, two young choreographers are in the spotlight - Indonesian Gigi Gianti, 30, and Singaporean Max Chen, 31.

Both are presenting their first complete works for the company since being involved in the choreographic workshops of Passages in 2011 and 2013, respectively.

Swiss-Canadian Kinsun Chan is choreographing a new work this year as well. He was last here in 2013 when he presented a work that was also part of Passages.

Previous editions uncovered choreographic talents such as Christina Chan, who is with Frontier Danceland.

Gianti, a Lasalle College of the Arts graduate, will present Bliss, the exploration of a state of bliss where mind, body and soul are in harmony.

She says she is "honoured" to be presenting at Passages.

"This experience sets a mark of where I am as a choreographer in the Singapore dance community," says Gianti. She is the artistic director of her own Jakarta-based dance company, Gigi Dance Company, and is also a part-time dance lecturer at Lasalle here.

"I feel happy as a creator, satisfied as a mover and I feel that I'm in bliss," she adds.

For Chen, participating in the 2013 choreographic workshops was like being in "paradise".

He credits it for helping him feel "genuinely proud" of his own voice.

Since then, he has presented new works with dance collective, Paragraph, which he formed last year with his friends.

In his new work for Passages, Incandescent Dream, he explores a non-linear dream-like state, in which one feels like one is searching for something.

Switzerland-based Chan pre- sents Sticks And Stones, a primal, all-male tribal-like performance that he describes as "a ball of adrenaline".

Sticks and stones will be used as props in the choreography, but the title of the ballet also refers to the nursery rhyme Sticks And Stones, which Chan finds interesting "as we are very instinctive as children".

Chan, who has choreographed for Zurich Ballet and Basel Ballet, is happy to be back in Singapore with this new work.

He says: "No matter how many works you have already created, each choreography is a new and unique experience that gives you another chance to breathe life into your inspirations."

Besides these three new pieces, there will also be a performance of 4Seasons by Australian choreographer Natalie Weir. The piece, set to the Vivaldi composition after which it was named, debuted in 2013 at the company's popular Ballet Under The Stars season.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 27, 2015, with the headline 'Spotlight on new talents'. Print Edition | Subscribe