DanceWorks presents Yvonne Ng/tiger princess dance projects’s In Search of the Holy Chop Suey and Zhong Xin as part of Harbourfront Centre’s NextSteps dance series, November 24–26.
DanceWorks spoke with choreographer Yvonne Ng about the upcoming world premieres and her creative process, which included working with the dancers in isolation from each other for the past year.
DanceWorks: In your new solo work, In Search of the Holy Chop Suey, you examine the concepts of creation and imitation in movement and explain: “When I imitate, I also uncover something unique in myself. Each time I fail to become more like my mother (or my favourite kung fu hero Bruce Lee), I become more me.” Can you talk more about your exploration? What did you discover and how did this translate to the movement we will see on stage?
Yvonne: This solo work is inspired by my father – his maxims and eccentricity and that I am his daughter and who does that make me? The set, was a way to find my potential answer to my exploration. Designer, Silvie Varone, took my vision into an amazing and fantastical reality.
A key aspect to note, is that my original concept was to have a set/costume that would have fascia or ligaments attached to me. The set would be a part of me, and be every thing you could want in a ‘home’, so to speak.
Part of the inspiration for the set was growing up with food hawkers, particularly in Singapore, where they peddled or foot carried their entire store. This work is not about the hawkers – instead is used as a metaphor for what we carry with us, what we are ‘given’ or presented, and what we do with it all, that perhaps makes us who we are or who we are not?
DanceWorks: The creative and rehearsal process for Zhong Xin was quite unique. After many months of creating in isolation from each other, dancers Mairéad Filgate, Luke Garwood, and Irvin Chow, unite to complete the work. What motivated you to to choreograph in this way?
Yvonne Ng: I began with a simple experiment – what if each artist, Irvin, Luke and Mairéad, were given the same map but not at the same time? What kind of world and dance would emerge? Each time we rehearsed, we were always surprised that there were new discoveries. Sometimes, there were metaphorical connections to each other and other times, it was how the the movement unfolded. The challenge of course, is how to shape all of this in to a dance work. Also, another challenge has been trying to schedule rehearsals!
Don’t miss tiger princess dance projects’s DanceWorks DW:218 In Search of the Holy Chop Suey / Zhong Xin at the Harbourfront Centre Theatre November 24–26.