Dance to Beethoven and explore effects of war in new works

Dance aficionados will have two exciting new works to look forward to at Singapore Dance Theatre's (SDT) upcoming contemporary season from Friday to Sunday.

Passages began as SDT's choreographic workshop in 2010, but has over the years become a full-fledged annual season where new works are shown alongside older works that complement them.

Premiering as a world's first as part of the Passages programme is Unexpected B by Japanese choreographer Toru Shimazaki (above), who is the directing professor of the dance programme in the music department of Kobe Jogakuin College, Japan.

This will be his third work for SDT, after Absence Of Story in 2012 and Blue Snow in 2014.

The piece, choreographed by Shimazaki using music from Beethoven, is intended to show dancers moving through time - using sound to bring about a playful and unique response in their movement and interaction.

Also on the cards is the company premiere of American choreographer Val Caniparoli's Triptych, which is based on photographs British photojournalist Lalage Snow took of soldiers before, during and after their deployments to combat zones.

Caniparoli's work has been previously performed by two ballet companies in America and depicts the emotional and physical transformations experienced by soldiers in a war zone.


  • WHERE: Studio Theatre, School of the Arts, 1 Zubir Said Drive

    WHEN: Nov 3 to 5, 7.30pm (Friday), 3 & 7.30pm (Saturday), 3pm (Sunday)

    ADMISSION: $35 from Sistic (call 6348-5555 or go to and the Singapore Dance Theatre office. E-mail or call 6338-0611 for ticket inquiries

He said: "When I was choreographing the piece for the first time, I brought in 16 photos and asked the dancers to pick those that spoke to them and to illustrate the emotions they felt through three gestures.

"I also had veteran soldiers come in to watch the performances and speak to the dancers, so we could honestly depict the emotions in the piece."

For SDT artistic director Janek Schergen, new pieces such as these and working with new choreographers are what Passages is about.

"Given it is a contemporary season, we always try and work with new choreographers or showcase pieces that would be new to our audiences. It allows us to experiment with different works and look forward to what is next for our development."

The two premieres for SDT will be showcased alongside two previously performed works: Incomparable Beauty, choreographed by Ma Cong, which explores the four pinnacles of the human state - purity, pangs, passion and power; and dance duet Configurations Pas De Deux, which was created for the American Ballet Theatre in 1982.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 31, 2017, with the headline 'Dance to Beethoven and explore effects of war in new works'. Print Edition | Subscribe