FOUR years ago, dancer Raymond Liew had planned to perform with fellow dancers Lu Wit Chin and James Kan but a speedboat accident off Tioman Island put that to rest.
Liew suffered major injuries but recovered swimmingly, colostomy bag notwithstanding, to perform and choreograph other dances, including the 2014 Boh Cameronian award-winning piece, Cut The Clouds.
A dance diploma holder from the National Academy of Arts, Culture and Heritage (Aswara), Liew also received international residencies including the Tanzfaktur Inkubator Residency Programme in Koln, Germany.
“I am enjoying life as a freelancer at the moment as it allows me to create my own pieces and work with people I would like to work with. But there are many details I have to deal with; it’s tiring but I take it as a learning process.”
However, Liew, 32, had always wanted to perform with Lu and Kan and is finally making it happen with a trilogy, Continue.
Lu, a contemporary dance graduate of the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, is a freelance dancer and teacher. He also runs his own studio.
In September, he produced the ballet production, Le Corsaire, performed by City Ballet Academy at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre.
Kan is currently pursuing his dance education at Aswara, the Taipei National University of The Arts and the Korea National University of Arts.
PATTERNS OF NATURE AND BEHAVIOUR
Liew is reuniting with experimental music composer Ng Chor Guan for Continue.
“In fact, this is the third time we are collaborating, the first being The Edge and Cut The Clouds.”
Continue, comprising Tongue, Triangle and Touch, deals with continuous patterns in nature and human behaviour.
The first piece unfolds with three dancers endlessly turning around, encircling their thoughts and how to communicate with the outside world.
But their words get stuck in the mouth, questions linger on the lips, and emotions hover over the tongue. It is very familiar yet a helplessly private situation.
Hence, they arm themselves with movement against the dark spells of modern life with all its promising freedom and hidden taboos.
“It’s about communication and relationships. Who exactly are these three individuals? Friends? Colleagues? Enemies? Lovers?
“With time, a change of place, I think the roles and relationship status also changes between us. And this happens to everyone.
“But no matter how it changes, the patterns of life go on,” says Liew about his dance.
TRANSFORMATIONS AND CHANGES
Continue will examine what makes for closeness in a relationship.
“Technically, what is interesting during the process is to realise or to adapt the transformation of each of us after four years.
“How we are in life, how we look at dance, our experiences and the changes.”
German artiste Jascha Viehstadt is co-choreographer and dramaturge. Liew will also dance in the show staged at the Damansara Performing Arts Centre.
Working with Viehstadt offers a European contemporary dance approach which is very conceptual.
“It is a challenge for the three of us as dancers,” adds Liew.
He feels the approach may be too experimental for Malaysian audiences but it offers a good opportunity to at least witness how the three men, who represent Liew’s generation in the dance scene, can perform together after many years abroad.
“It’s a sharing of ideas and passion.”
Subhadra Devan firstname.lastname@example.org
When Today till Feb 11, 8.30pm with 3pm matinees on weekends
Where Black Box, DPAC (Damansara Performing Arts Centre), Petaling Jaya
Admission RM68 (adults) and RM58 (students)
Call 03-4065 0001, 012-511 1027 or visit www.dpac.com.my