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Singapore’s Frontier Danceland makes a move on Melbourne

Sarah Lim

Wed May 09 2012

One Show Only

SINGAPORE dance company Frontier Danceland is in town for the first time to show off their moves – and we’ve got tickets to give away. Sarah Lim gives you the lowdown.

Formed in July 1991 in Singapore, Frontier Danceland was created as a non-profit contemporary dance company. The founders, Tan Chong Poh and artistic director, Low Mei Yoke, had envisioned the style of their dance to be a combination of east and west – a mixture of both Asian and Western flavour.

More than 20 years later, the company is now not only earning worldwide recognition for their performances, but they are also collaborating more frequently with international artists in dance and choreography.

During their first visit here to Melbourne the group will be performing ‘One Show Only’ as a collaboration with award-winning dancer, director and choreographer Byron Perry. The piece will explore how simple interactions can result in complex systems of emotion.

Byron visited Australia in October last year when he presented his first work of contemporary dance choreography during the 2011 Melbourne Festival.

Regarding the theme for the performance, Byron says the title refers to organic processes in life cycles and social patterns.

“The processes of life are a singular performance of sorts – with a beginning we missed and an end we’ll never see,” he says.

One of the dancers, Bernice Lee, 25, briefly explains the process of preparing for the show.

“Byron Perry came to Singapore a few times over the course of last year and this year. Eventually the dancing developed into this routine that we will perform for the show,” she says.

Having been part of the company since the start of 2010, Bernice says experimentation is a big part of contemporary dance.

“It’s great that we get to dance and experiment. I love the openness of the people and the dancers in the company,” she says.

Another dancer, Christina Chan, 24, agrees.

“We do a lot of different styles. Everyone is very different as individuals, so that makes it interesting.”

Frontier Danceland rehearsing for 'One Show Only'

Their contemporary style and artistic merit has earned them opportunities to represent Singapore in international dance festivals around the world, such as Cambodia, Thailand, France and Indonesia.

With many upcoming events in Frontier Danceland’s calendar – one of them including a trip to Taiwan; it is certain this group of dancers is definitely one worth watching out for.

Meld is giving away two pairs of tickets to watch Frontier Danceland’s ‘One Show Only’ on Saturday, May 12 at 7:30pm, and another two pairs for Sunday, May 13 at 5pm. For your chance to win, email by 6pm, Thursday, May 10 with your name and contact number, and the subject heading One Show Only.

The winner will be picked in a random draw and notified via email on Friday, May 11. The competition is only open to those who are living or studying in Victoria.