Off Stage

Not losing sleep over a show

Christina Chan is choreographing half of Flux Of Time.
Christina Chan is choreographing half of Flux Of Time.PHOTO: ST FILE

Christina Chan is choreographing half of Flux Of Time - which is part of Frontier Danceland's annual year-end show, Milieu 2015 - together with its artistic director Low Mei Yoke.

Chan, 27, is a company artist and rehearsal head for the dance group.

In Flux Of Time, the dancers will be accompanied by live contem- porary Chinese music by Chinese chamber music ensemble Ding Yi Music Company.

How do you go about creating a new work?

Some creative people have a process. For me, it's different every time. I've had times when I start with nothing, so I go in blind and whatever happens, happens.

Eventually, the concept evolves from it.

Where do you get inspiration from?

Sometimes I start with movement, sometimes with music. I'm not always creating for one kind of platform, so the platform and the audience I'm creating for influence how I approach it.

I'm inspired by the group of people I'm working with at that time.

  • BOOK IT / MILIEU 2015

    WHERE: Esplanade Theatre Studio

    WHEN: Friday, 8pm, and Saturday, 3 and 8pm

    ADMISSION: $25 for 8pm shows; $20 for 3pm show (go to or call 6348-5555)

    INFO: E-mail or call 6336-1526 for ticket inquiries

As a dancer, what do you think about on the day of a performance?

I'm incredibly calm. For me, the rehearsals and the show feel quite similar. I derive equal pleasure from them.

Do you believe in wearing lucky charms when you perform?

I don't use any lucky charms.

For me, the lucky charms are the relationships that you keep with the people who go on stage with you. And also where you are in yourself - how comfortable you feel.

What do you like to do after a show?

Recently, I've been drinking a lot of bubble tea. I go on a major pig-out, probably on something with lots of sodium such as fries or other kinds of salty things. After sweating, you just want salt.

When you are immersed in a show, do you get obsessed?

No, I don't. I know many creators who do, but I don't lose sleep over creation. I do not spend hours watching YouTube videos obsessively about one topic. I try to stay open to the moment.

If you are worried about the end product a lot, then you try to force something to go a certain way and you don't recognise good things that drop from the sky.

What is the nicest thing an audience member has done for you?

The best experiences are when people watch contemporary dance for the first time.

I remember someone came up to me and said: "I've never seen contemporary dance before, but if this is what it is, I love it."

It's the best kind of audiences to perform for because they don't have expectations and they are just experiencing what they feel from the show.

And that's how art should be experienced.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 10, 2015, with the headline 'Not losing sleep over a show '. Print Edition | Subscribe