Esplanade Presents


Forward Shift

Hwa Wei-An (Malaysia/Singapore) & Liu I-Ling (Taiwan)

15 Oct 2022, Sat, 8pm

16 Oct 2022, Sun, 3pm

1hr 30mins

(Intermission: 1 x 15mins)

Esplanade Theatre Studio

This event is over.

Hwa Wei-An
Liu I-Ling | Photo Credit: Eric Politzer

Forward Shift is a platform focused on new creations by Asian dancemakers who are pushing dance forward in their respective forms or communities. Each choreographer will perform a work-in-progress version of a piece they are currently creating, which aims to eventually become a full-length production in the future. In one evening, watch these performances fresh from the studio, experience different artistic practices and ideas from exciting dance artists in our region, as well as offer support or feedback for the development of these works.


This iteration of Forward Shift features works-in-progress by Hwa Wei-An (Malaysia/Singapore) and Liu I-Ling (Taiwan) that navigate the theme of loss of control.


A Reason for Falling  by Hwa Wei-An 

What exists between a loss of balance and a meeting with the ground? How can we let go of control, to look for what’s just beyond our grasp? Drawing inspiration from various disciplines of freeriding, this work is an exploration of how our bodies can be a vehicle into flow. 


Wei-An has spent his whole life falling down; it's a by-product of perpetually thinking he can do more than he actually can, whether that meant attempting to spin on his head or backflip before he was ready or trying to learn how to snowboard on his own. And though he might not be the best at these activities, he's become quite good at falling, building his artistic practice around his love-hate relationship with gravity, while also working with how the flow state can feed curiosities and unlock possibilities.


A Reason for Falling is commissioned by Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay. The development of the work received support from Dance Nucleus (Singapore), Rimbun Dahan (Malaysia), KongsiKL (Malaysia), Seoul Dance Center (S. Korea), and Campbelltown Arts Centre (NSW, Australia). 

Project Consultant: Dance Nucleus (Singapore)


Normal Life  by LiuI-Ling

If the body is the carrier of the soul, can the soul still be free when the body is trapped? 


In 2020, a pandemic with no immediate vaccine occurred. Staying at home became a temporary solution to stop the spread of the disease. With the internet, we were still able to reach out to the world and fulfil our need for entertainment, but another question quickly emerged: can virtual interactions replace our innate desire for physical connection?


Liu I-Ling, a professional Taiwanese contemporary dancer with one of the top dance companies in New York, chose to self-isolate there in a city with no quarantine policies. She even enjoyed the solitary life. 


She pressed on with her movement training in isolation and reflected on the contrasting approaches to dance that have permeated her professional life: those years of training in Taiwan that were rooted in discipline and perfection, and her current stint in New York that calls upon her to undo it all.  


As time stretched on and with the end of the pandemic seemingly out of sight, her perspectives on dance and life started to spiral beyond her control. If things were to continue on like this, what then is the purpose of life? What makes us dance? What does the future look like? 


The creation of Normal Life is supported in part by the Cloud Gate Art Makers Project. The presentation at da:ns festival 2022 is co-produced by Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay and made possible in part by the National Culture and Arts Foundation, Taiwan.


Mask-wearing is optional. However, audiences are encouraged to continue to exercise responsibility and caution, such as wearing masks when in crowded places.


Please be advised that strobe lighting will be used in A Reason for Falling by Hwa Wei-An.


There will be post-show talks with the artists after both performances.

Admission Age:
6 and above.
Language: English, Mandarin
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Artist Information

Hwa Wei-An

Website | Instagram

A street dancer turned contemporary artist, Wei-An spent most of his formative years as a dancer in Singapore, first training at the underpass leading to Esplanade before studying at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, then dancing with Frontier Danceland. During his time with the company, he performed the works of choreographers such as Matej Kejžar, Gabrielle Nankivell, Luke Smiles, Olé Khamchanla, Liu Yen-Cheng, Lee Mun Wai, Sita Ostheimer and Shahar Binyamini, amongst others. Since embarking on his journey as an independent artist, Wei-An’s work has taken him to South Korea, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and most recently, Luxembourg for the 2021 TalentLAB residency. From 2017 to 2019, Wei-An organised Paradigm Shift, a dance event that drew inspiration from dance battles to provide meeting points and opportunities for exchange between dancers of diverse backgrounds.

Liu I-Ling

Instagram | YouTube

Liu I-Ling is a contemporary dance artist from Taiwan with a BFA from Taipei National University of the Arts and a former member of Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company of 11 years. She has been creating and displaying her works as well as collaborating with visual artists, photographers, composers, directors and actors in theatre and film. Her choreographies focus on reminiscence, loneliness and social observation. Most recently, she was part of Australian choreographer Stephanie Lake’s Taiwanese version of Colossus as the rehearsal director. In 2021, she was one of the recipients of the Cloud Gate Art Makers Project. Since 2020, she has been a part of Taiwanese-American artist Lee Mingwei’s Our Labyrinth, performed at the Metropolitan Museum and Tate Modern. Since 2019, she has been collaborating with the Taiwanese filmmaker Su Hui-Yu as a choreographer, performer and movement director for several productions such as The White Waters. In 2018, she joined Luca Veggetti’s production as a soloist, and performed in Bologna, Italy. In 2017, her solo work GENG was nominated for the Taishin Arts Award in Taiwan. She is currently a part-time assistant professor at the Taipei University of the Arts.

Date & Time

15 Oct 2022, Sat


Esplanade Theatre Studio

16 Oct 2022, Sun


Esplanade Theatre Studio
Tickets & Prices

Students, NSFs, Seniors & PWDs

Cat 1 $30 $24

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