Production Details / Press Releases
The choreographer and dancer Choy Ka Fai has been documenting the current situation of dance in Asia since 2012 in his multimedia archive and performance cycle “SoftMachine”. The impetus for the project was an exoticising promotional video which predicted the future of contemporary dance in Asia. Choy Ka Fai decided to document the culturally very diverse state of contemporary dance in five Asian countries – independently of Western academic discourses. Four years later he has conducted 88 video interviews with choreographers, dancers and curators from China, Japan, India, Indonesia and Singapore, and has also brought about four performances in which the choreographers outline their version and vision of contemporary dance in Asia. Two of these performances can be seen in Berlin in the double bill “SoftMachine: Surjit Nongmeikapam & Rianto”.
Surjit Nongmeikapam mastered classical Indian dance forms and martial arts. He is one of the first dancers in Manipur, India, to experiment with contemporary dance. His “SoftMachine” performance was explicitly devised for a European audience, and exposes artistic strategies, marketing ideologies and the questionable attempt to exoticise oneself.
Choy Ka Fai – Director/Artist/Multimedia/Performer (Singapore) Choy Ka Fai is an artist, performance-maker and designer. His research springs from a desire to understand the conditioning of the human body, its intangible memories and the forces shaping its expressions. These factors converge into complex articulations at the intersection of art, design and technology. Choy Ka Fai graduated in Interaction Design from the Royal College of Art London, with the Singapore National Arts Council Overseas Scholarship, and received the Singapore Young Artist Award in 2010. He is artist-in-residence at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin from 2014–2015. His works have been presented worldwide at major festival, such as Tanz im August (2013), Singapore Arts Festival (2012) and Festival Tokyo (2011).
Surjit Nongmeikapam – Dancer/Choreographer (India) Surjit Nongmeikapam was born in Manipur and received a BA in choreography from Natya Institute of Kathak and Choreography. He was a contemporary dancer with the Natya Stem Dance Kampni, Bangalore, and a traditional dancer with Natya Maya, Bangalore. He also performs with international choreographers and directors as a freelance dancer. His work was presented at Theater Spektakel Zurich (2013), Monsoon at Bozar, Brussels (2013) and Somarts, San Francisco (2014).
Cast & Credits
Concept, direction, performance, documentation: Choy Ka Fai
Performance, choreography: Surjit Nongmeikapam
Dramaturgy: Tang Fu Kuen
Sound: Zulkifle Mahmod
Lights: Andy Lim (stage “LIVE”)
Production, technical management: Yap Seok Hui
SoftMachine was commissioned by Esplanade – Theaters on the Bay, Singapore as part of the da: ns festival 2015.
The project work has been funded by the National Arts Council, Singapore, with the support of: TheWorks, Singapore; Dancebox, kobe; Kyoto experiment; Attakkalari Center for Movement Arts, Bangalore; And Living Dance Studio, Beijing.
The digital archive for SoftMachine is supported by deSingel, Antwerp.
Tanz im August 2015
Artistic director: Virve Sutinen
Production management: Sven Neumann
Artistic collaboration & project management: Andrea Niederbuchner
Tanz im August is a festival by HAU Hebbel am Ufer, funded by the the Capital Culture Fund and the Governing Mayor of Berlin – Senate Chancellery – Cultural Affairs.
Supported by Aventis Foundation.
The video documentation is produced on behalf of the Senate Department for Culture and Europe. The purpose of this contract is to document productions in the field of contemporary dance in Berlin. The master recordings are archived by the University Library of the Berlin University of Arts. Copies of the recordings on DVD are available for viewing exclusively in the reference collections of the following archives (at media desks in these institutions):