Esplanade Presents | da:ns festival 2016

Dance

Rasas – Splendours of Burmese Zat Pwe

Shwe Man Thabin Dance Theatre (Myanmar)
21 – 23 Oct 2016
Fri – Sun
21 & 22 Oct 2016 : 7pm & 8.45pm
23 Oct 2016 : 6.15pm & 8pm
45mins (no intermission)
Esplanade Outdoor Theatre

Zat-pwe, a stylized dance theatre is deeply rooted in the traditions of Myanmar, drawing on the music and songs as well as court dramas of Myanmar’s monarchial past. Zats or stories depicted in a Zat-pwe performance are drawn from ancient Buddhist scriptures but the dance is also highly improvisatory and dancers perform intricate and highly energetic sequences characterised by quick, agile movements and dramatic, angular poses, drawing inspiration from a range of sources – from marionettes to birds in flight to the supposed movement of spirits in the spirit realm.

Traditionally, Zat-pwe performances would last all-night combining dance with melodrama, comedy and acrobatics and would coincide with Buddhist pagoda festivals and ceremonies. The dancers are accompanied by a live percussion and gong ensemble known as a Hsaing Wang, which can be both lyrical and stately or accelerate into dizzyingly fast, percussive tempos. The dance and the music together offer an exhilarating experience, defying expectations of symmetry or steady tempo. The dancers are elaborately dressed, with flowered headdresses, pearl chokers, floral garlands and long pink skirts with gleaming threads.

One of Myanmar's most revered traditional performing arts troupes, Shwe Man Thabin Dance Theatre of Myanmar are heirs to an artistic lineage that stretches back through the centuries, yet effortlessly contemporary in their approach, the members of Shwe Man Thabin are a living link to Myanmar’s rich past, who also ensure that this legacy of court and popular folk traditions will be an integral component of Myanmar’s future.

Special thanks to PUSAKA for their help in bringing Shwe Man Thabin Dance Theatre of Myanmar for these performances at Rasas.

About da:ns festival

To all dance lovers and those curious, Esplanade’s da:ns festival invites you to fall in love with dance through a full-hearted celebration of movement this October. With powerful performances from around the world, exciting new creations and a wide range of opportunities to learn different kinds of dance, this 11-day festival will open your mind, lift your spirit and get your body moving.

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