Esplanade Presents | da:ns festival


Coffee Chats

Various artists
21, 22, 28 & 29 Oct 2017
Sat & Sun
Sat: 2.30pm, 3.30pm & 4.30pm
Sun: 3pm, 4pm & 5pm
21 & 22 Oct 2017 : 2.30pm, 3.30pm & 4.30pm
28 & 29 Oct 2017 : 2.30pm, 3.30pm & 4.30pm
Esplanade Tribute Corner
This event is over


Per session per pax

(Inclusive of 1 slice of cake and coffee/tea)

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What is dance about? How do choreographers think when creating a dance piece? Why dance? What challenges do these artists have? How does one run a dance company? After creating a work, how do you bring it to a local audience? A global audience?

If you have burning questions about dance and how it is created, performed or organised, here is your chance to get answers.

Coffee Chats is a rare opportunity to have an intimate conversation with a dance artist or practitioner over coffee and dessert from Suzette, so come on down for this one-on-one and get ready to be enlightened.  

Come prepared to fill your mind, soul and body at Coffee Chats.

Pichet Klunchun (Thailand)
21 Oct, Sat, 2.30pm

The Contemporary Body in Traditional Dance
Dancer and choreographer Pichet Klunchun shares his experiences in contemporising khon and how traditional dance forms can remain relevant today.

About Pichet Klunchun

A recipient of the John D. Rockefeller 3rd Award (2014), Pichet Klunchun is known for creating movement vocabularies and methodologies that expand the boundaries of traditional and contemporary dance in Bangkok. He trained in Thai classical mask dance khon at the age of 16, under Chaiyot Khummanee, one of the most regarded khon masters in Thailand. Klunchun's many awards include Routes ECF Princess Margriet Award for Cultural Diversity (2008) and the Chevalier of the French Arts and Literature Order (2012).

Nidya Shanthini Manokara
21 Oct, Sat, 3.30pm

Dramaturgy in Dance
What is a dramaturg and how can dramaturgy shape the creative process of a work? Join Shanthini as she shares her perspectives as a dramaturg and dancer!

About Nidya Shanthini Manokara

Dr Nidya Shanthini Manokara (PhD NUS) is a dance researcher-practitioner who is currently a dance dramaturg with RAW Moves. Trained in bharatanatyam, her academic research interests include evolving Asian performance practices and their affective registers. She has taught a range of courses at NUS, NTU and LASALLE College of the Arts, and has completed a dramaturgy apprenticeship with Centre 42. She is also an external assessor for dance with the National Arts Council. Fascinated by diverse approaches to performance-making in the region, Shanthini aspires to inculcate a culture of discursive conversations about dance processes (of dancing and dance-making) that would strengthen professional ties between choreographers, dancers and audiences.

Shining Goh
21 Oct, Sat, 4.30pm

From Dancer to Production-Stage Manager
Although Shining has a dance background, her long illustrious career in dance is as a production and stage manager for dance companies. How does the stage look like from the technical side?

About Shining Goh

Shining Goh has been managing professional and collegiate dance productions for the past 12 years. With over 190 to her name, she has worked on local and overseas festivals, including M1 Singapore Fringe Festival (2006, 2009, 2010 and 2013); NUS Arts Festival (2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014); Singapore Arts Festival (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011); Esplanade’s da:ns festival (2007, 2009, 2012–2017); the 4th and 8th Guangdong Modern Dance Festival (Guangzhou, China); 17th Changmu Dance Festival (Goyang, Korea); SiDance Festival 2013 (Seoul, Korea); 17th  and 18th Contemporary Dance Festival (Bytom, Poland); 34th les hivernales, festival de danse (Avignon, France); Beijing Dance Festival (Beijing, China); 32nd  Oriente Occidente Festival (Rovereto, Italy); and Singapour FestivArts (Paris, France).

Shining has worked with dance companies such as Raw Moves (2012 and 2013), Re:Dance Theatre (2012 and 2013), Frontier Danceland (2010–2012), and The Arts Fission Company (2005–2012). She has also toured extensively with T.H.E Dance Company and has been involved in all their local and overseas productions since its establishment. She was the company’s production stage manager from 2013 to 2016.

Shining was also a part-time stage management lecturer at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts from 2013 to 2016.

A recipient of the National Arts Council grant, she was assistant to the technical director of City Contemporary Dance Company (Hong Kong) that produced Sang Jijia’s latest full-length work, Post-Perception/Transcedence, presented in Mar 2017.

Currently, she is a freelancer who works with independent artists or companies.

Ricky Sim
22 Oct, Sun, 3pm

Interdisciplinary: inter-dialogue
As Artistic Director of RAW Moves, Ricky Sim’s mission is to redefine movement through inquiry and experimentation with different artistic disciplines. Join Ricky as he talks about his journey as an artist pushing and exploring the boundaries of dance!

About Ricky Sim

Ricky’s dance career spans over 20 years, working as a professional dancer, choreographer and dance educator. He has a Master of Fine Arts degree in dance from Queensland University of Technology, Australia, and a Diploma (Dance) from National Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), Singapore.

Ricky has worked with local companies such as The Arts Fission Company and Singapore Dance Theatre, as well as international companies including Katsura Kan & Saltibanques (Japan), Theatre Nordhausen (Germany), Fattore K and Teatro alla Scala (Italy). He has created works for professional companies, institutions, and festivals, and has been in interdisciplinary collaborations with local and international artists.

Ricky is often invited as a speaker and guest lecturer at dance and education at international forums and institutions.

Some of his accolades include: Distinguished Alumni Award (NAFA); Artist-in-Resident at Thammasat University in Thailand; Djerassi Residency Program for Choreography in the USA; UNESCOAschberg Bursary for Artist Programme (France/Greece); and Shell-NAC Arts Scholarship.

In 2011, Ricky founded RAW Moves, a contemporary dance company based in Singapore.

Germaine Cheng
22 Oct, Sun, 4pm

Writing for Dance: Nailing Jell-O to the Wall
Freelance dance artist and writer Germaine Cheng shares her experience reviewing local and international dance productions to shed some light on the importance of critical writing.

About Germaine Cheng

A freelance dance artist and writer, Germaine Cheng is a graduate of the Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance in London. Since returning home, she has performed with local dance company RAW Moves, and won the award for Best Dancer at the 5th edition of Sprouts. In 2016, Germaine created an interactive installation work for Pop-Up Noise: Soul Searching in Chinatown and was recently commissioned to create Corollary for the M1 Contact Contemporary Dance Festival's Divercity platform.

Germaine was one of a select few to be mentored by leading dance critics in London, and her writing has since been published on various arts websites and dance magazines globally. She currently reviews dance for the Straits Times and is on the dance faculty of School of the Arts, Singapore. In 2015, she authored Momentum: SG50 Years of Dance for Singapore Dance Theatre.

Martin Schick (Switzerland/Germany)
22 Oct, Sun, 5pm

The Unexpected
Expect the unexpected as Martin Schick shares why the element of surprise is important in a performance and for the audience.

About Martin Schick

Martin Schick is an independent performer and performance maker, choreographer, curator and author born in Switzerland, currently living in Berlin and in a cottage in the swiss alps. Educated at a private ballet school and at the High School of Arts in Berne, he worked two years as an actor for the state theatre, television and the cinema. Since 2007, he has been realising his own scenic plays in the independent dance and theatre circuit, treating theatre as a place of permanent transformation while looking out for the awkward, impure and uneven, with an aim to interfere with conventions within the theatre and in everyday life.

In 2016, he presented his solo work Halfbreadtechnique at da:ns festival. Martin appears in Coffee Chats courtesy of LASALLE College of the Arts, where, in a two week residency he works with the students to present a work in this year's da:ns festival.

Hoo Kuan Cien
28 Oct, Sat, 2.30pm

Presenting Local Works to the World
“All the world’s a stage,” as the saying goes. Singapore dance artists have much to offer the international audience, but how can they get their work out there? What are the considerations when transporting a local work to the global stage? Join Kuan Cien as he talks about his journey bringing creations by Singapore artists to the world.

About Hoo Kuan Cien

A graduate of the National University of Singapore (NUS) Theatre Studies programme, Kuan Cien has been working in the arts since 2006 and holds a keen interest in the interstices between contemporary art, theatre and dance. As an arts manager and producer, he has worked with Art Stage Singapore, the Singapore Arts Festival (now known as SIFA), TheatreWorks and The Necessary Stage. At CultureLink, Kuan Cien actively champions and enables the work of Singapore artists at international platforms, which includes 50/50 by Loo Zihan (Brisbane Festival 2016), Christina Chan and Ricky Sim (Dance Lab, OzAsia Festival 2017) and a forthcoming partnership with Supercell: Festival of Contemporary Dance Brisbane in conjunction with the biennial 2018 Australian Performing Arts Market.

Dr. Irving Chan Johnson
28 Oct, Sat, 3.30pm

Dance as Ritual in Bali
In Bali, dance, music and drama go beyond the entertainment value of performance; their main purpose is to please the deities and ancestral spirits. Dance, therefore, is not just a part of ritual, but rather a ritual in and of itself. Professor of Southeast Asian studies at NUS, Irving Johnson discusses the ritual significance of dance in Bali, as well as the various dance forms that are performed at temple ceremonies.

About Dr. Irving Chan Johnson

Dr. Irving Johnson is a social anthropologist who completed his PhD from Harvard University in 2004. His research focuses on, amongst other things, the anthropological concerns with borders, encountering multiple histories in the forging of Thai ethnicity in Malaysia. He is also trained in and performs Balinese masked dance.

Edith Podesta (Australia/Singapore)
28 Oct, Sat, 4.30pm

Alternate approaches to choreography, movement, and improvisation: Instructional performance pieces, physical tasks, movement scores, and dance notation
Edith Podesta’s work in both theatre and dance performance explores powerful ideas, concepts and stories through movement. Join her as she talks about her various approaches to creating a work, and in translating these ideas to performance.

About Edith Podesta

Edith Podesta is a theatre-maker, actor, and choreographer. She studied Acting and Movement Studies at the National Institute of Dramatic Art’s (NIDA), and holds a Master of Arts Fine Arts from LASALLE College of the Arts.

Her previous choreographic work includes; Indices of Vanishment for RAW Moves; Dog Woman, Sleeping On Her Owner’s Coat for LASALLE; MTV Australian Music Awards; Jazz in the Domain; Dardanus and The Fairy Queen for Pinchgut Opera; and Three Furies directed by Jim Sharman for the Sydney Festival. Edith has also collaborated as a writer for Inadvertently Housed Together by Dapheny Chen for Re:Dance Theatre, and Look Up 2.0 by Ricky Hu for NUS Arts Festival.

In 2017 she was awarded Best Original Script and Production of the Year at the Straits Times Life! Theatre Awards for her production BITCH: The Origin of the Female Species, commissioned by the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival.

Elaine Heng
29 Oct, Sun, 3pm

A Ballerina in Singapore
On an island full of pragmatists, Elaine Heng successfully turned her passion into a career. Join her as she shares her journey as a ballerina practising ballet in Singapore.

About Elaine Heng

Born in Singapore, Elaine trained at the Singapore Ballet Academy from the age of six. As a student, she performed in many of Singapore Dance Theatre's (SDT) productions (The Nutcracker, The Red Shoes, Coppélia and The Legacy of Goh Choo San), as well as in the Royal Ballet's Swan Lake when they toured to Singapore in 2005.

In 2007, she received the National Art Council’s arts bursary to further her training at the Central School of Ballet, London, where she had the opportunity to work with guest teachers such as Matz Skoog, Aurora Bosch, Darshan Singh-Buller and Christopher Bruce. In her graduate year, she was part of Ballet Central, the school's touring company that year, performing in its productions of Sir Peter Wright's Giselle and Swan Lake

Elaine joined SDT in January 2011 as an apprentice and was promoted in May 2011. Her repertoire highlights include a solo role as Dewdrop in The Nutcracker (2011, 2016), Big Swan (2012, 2015) and a pas de trois dancer (2015) in Swan Lake, a pas de trois dancer in Paquita (2012, 2016, 2017), Fate in Romeo and Juliet (2014), Kitri's Friend in Don Quixote (2014, 2016), Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty (2015), as well as Prayer in Coppélia (2017).

She has also danced in Bournonville Divertissements, A Folk Tale Pas de Sept, Tarantella, Schubert Symphony, Piano Concerto #2 Opus 102, Opus 25, Midnight Waltzes, Concerto Barocco, Serenade, Divertimento No. 15, Allegro Brillante, Bliss, Peter & Blue Forest Adventure, Peter & Blue Go Around the World, Peter and Blue Birthday Party, Shadow's Edge, Jabula, Organ Concerto, ZIN! and The Four Temperaments.
Elaine was promoted to First Artist in January 2015.

Bernie Ng
29 Oct, Sun, 4pm

Dance from Behind the Lens
How does one capture an ephemeral moment? Join dance photographer Bernie Ng as she shares about capturing movement in stillness.

About Bernie Ng

Born in Hong Kong and educated in Australia, Bernie Ng is a trained molecular biologist. She received ballet training during her teenage years and the love for dance has remained in her ever since. Her passion for dance photography was kindled when she did her first dance shoot in 2012. She then sought mentorship from Tan Ngiap Heng the year after.

Bernie regularly collaborates with and photographs various local arts groups from different disciplines. She is the official photographer for Singapore Dance Theatre, T.H.E Dance Company, Frontier Danceland, Raw Moves, Dance Nucleus, etc.

Working closely with Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay and its da:ns festival since 2014, she has photographed international artists such as Sylvie Guillem, Akram Khan, Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, NDT2, Sarah Baras, Picket Klunchun, etc., during their visits in Singapore.

Jenny Neo
29 Oct, Sun, 5pm

Creation: In Search of my Chinese Roots
Learn about Chinese history as Jenny talks about going back to her roots and applying Chinese dance elements to her choreography.

About Jenny Neo

Neo Jenny started her Chinese dance training with Singapore Chinese Dance Theatre (SCDT) under her tutelage of her mother, Madam Lim Moi Kim.

In 2004, Jenny was awarded a training grant and scholarship from the National Arts Council and the Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan to further her professional training at the Beijing Dance Academy. In 2009, she graduated with a BA (Hons) in dance at LASALLE College of the Arts.

Having fully devoted her youth to dancing, Jenny has gained herself a wealth of experience and opportunities as a dancer. Jenny's grace and strong performing abilities has deemed her an undeniably popular performer on stage.

Besides being a dancer, Jenny is also a driven individual dedicated to her craft. She has created numerous works, earning high recognition in the dance industry.

Besides her strong passion in dance, Jenny also participates in Chinese opera. She feels that being exposed to this traditional art has helped further expose herself to the performing arts scene.

Jenny is currently the principal choreographer of SCDT.

Things To Note

Admission for ages 6 and above, unless otherwise stated.

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General Advisory

For information about late seating, house rules, photography and more, please refer to our general advisory.