DANCER-choreographer Kenny Shim wants you to dive deep into the world he and Suhaili Micheline will create on stage this Thursday onwards with Woman-On-Man-On-Men.
The double bill contemporary dance theatre production, presented with The Actors Studio Seni Teater Rakyat, offers Pendatang Pampers by Suhaili and Wet Room by Shim performed by an ensemble who include Joshua Gui, Pengiran Khairul Qayyum Ag Omar, Tristen ZiJuin, Steve Goh, Lu Wit Chin and Yann Chwen.
Suhaili 's piece explores different bodies — body types of men dressed in corporate clothing — evoking a blend of the male masculinity but with the vulnerability of babies.
“A physical display of powerful-looking men packed with some theatrical elements, Pendatang Pampers revels the ‘baby boss’ effect in an office environment depicting the current as well as historical events that has brought about the new wave of empowered youth, awareness and courage in people,” she says.
For Shim's Wet Room, he says it's a piece that is passionate and highly physical.
“I was very interested in using the masculine body in a confined environment, say, an environment of a locker room where the masculine body is forced to be in a shared space, how that intimate space can bring out interesting and peculiar intricacies between the body and relationships.
“That led to the idea of exploring the ‘ego’ or the ‘self’ of a masculine body. The environment of the locker room quickly became a strong metaphor as a place for self-reflection and dealings on the inner desires that is not exposed to the public.
“Water has been associated with healing, mediation, reflection, flow, thoughts and inspiration. Water is a strong element of reflection and is the core physical exploration in generating movement material. The piece now sets in the reflection of each dancer as they shower in the locker room.”
Sensitivity, power, tenderness, strength, speed and quietness are the shades of the shadowed behaviour each character explores.
While Suhaili is going for a mix of classical and modern music for her piece, Shim is intrigued by electronic music.
“For me, there is something about the electronic sound that digs deep into the psyche of my mind. Maybe it’s the constant repetition of the beat or the way its music is scored. Jon Hopkins is an English musician and producer who performs electronic music. I will be using five tracks from his collection to curate the soundscape and world of my dance performance.”
They are grappling with schedules and funding for this show.
“Much effort and work are hidden behind the shadow of a sparkling and well-put-together performance that audiences don't see.
“The artistic effort and execution are only the tip of the iceberg. For this production, Suhaili and myself are playing many roles on top of just making the dance. We produce the work, manage the manpower needed, market the work, ensure the health and safety of all involved, the morale of the team and other responsibilities.
“While it seems daunting, we do enjoy the challenge and strive to produce works that is substantial,” says Shim.
He feels Woman-On-Man-On-Men is a production that is accessible in nature and style to “first-timers” while remaining a refreshing and entertaining evening of dance for those with a more accustomed dance palette.
“The performance is ideal for adults and young people, and the diverse programme suits a variety of tastes. The double bill format makes it particularly suitable for developing new dance audiences, whilst the high standard of the performance and choreography will delight regular dance audiences.
“We strive that the pieces presented will function much like a mirror, reflecting the various environments that governs us. We hope the pieces will be a snapshot of life, and the resonance of movement to vibrate deep into each audience's memory and experience.
“Come with an open mind?”
When: Jan 16-19, 8.30pm with 3.30pm matinee shows on the weekend
Where: Pentas 2, KLPaC, Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, Sentul, Kuala Lumpur
Admission: RM75 & RM65 (students & senior citizens 60 and above)