Flamenco dancer Maria Pages to premiere new work at Esplanade's da:ns festival

Flamenco dancer and choreographer Maria Pages. -- PHOTO: DAVID RUANO
Flamenco dancer and choreographer Maria Pages. -- PHOTO: DAVID RUANO

Internationally acclaimed flamenco dancer Maria Pages is returning to Singapore for the international premiere of new work, I, Carmen, at the Esplanade's annual da:ns festival this October. Tickets to the festival go on sale on July 16.

The award-winning Spanish dancer and choreographer last took to the Singapore stage in 2009 for Dunas, which was a world premiere. This collaboration with Flemish-Moroccan dancer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui was met with ecstatic reviews. In I, Carmen, Pages will explore the psyche of the eponymous free-spirited gypsy woman, set to music inspired by Georges Bizet's opera of the same name. She will perform at the Esplanade Theatre on Oct 17 and 18.

Pages' work is one of three blockbuster main stage shows at the ninth edition of da:ns, which runs from October 9 to 19. British choreographer Matthew Bourne's lauded interpretation of the ballet classic Swan Lake, previously announced in April, will open the festival.

They will be joined by British choreographer Wayne McGregor, whose fascination with science and technology led him to create FAR, which will be staged on Oct 14 and 15. The resident choreographer at the United Kingdom's Royal Ballet was inspired by the Age of Enlightenment, a movement in the late 17th century which looked to science, reason and rationality in human thought. This piece will also feature an incandescent backdrop of 3,200 LED lights.

In addition to the festival's main stage lineup, it will continue in its tradition of presenting a slate of more intimate and edgy work at the Esplanade Theatre Studio, under its Shift programme.

Some of Shift's highlights include a festival commission revolving around pole dancing and the notions of gender and desire that pole dancing provokes. Titled ALPHA, this cross-country work features contemporary dancers Daniel Kok from Singapore and Eisa Jocson from the Philippines, directed by Belgium's Arco Renz.

Croatian dancer Barbara Matijevic will be drawing from another popular cultural phenomenon for her work - amateur YouTube videos. Titled Forecasting, this 50-minute piece will blend YouTube videos on a laptop screen with Matijevic's own body movements, and look at how modern society has chosen to record themselves and present themselves to the world.

There will be two more productions at the Theatre Studio - 4 & 5 by China's TAO Dance Theatre, and a triple-bill by the Singapore Dance Theatre featuring choreographers Christina Chan, Ma Cong and Toru Shimazaki.


Follow Corrie Tan on Twitter @corrietan

Tickets to Swan Lake are available now from Sistic (call 6348-5555 or go to www.sistic.com.sg). Tickets to the rest of the programmes go on sale from July 16.