International Day of Dance came and went yesterday. Here’s looking back on dance activities of this month, sharing some memorable times of Singapore-Vietnam dance interaction.
Right after conducting flamenco workshops and talks, we scooted off to Hoi An for a chill-out. Rest and relaxation never taste sweeter than right after a project. Hoi An enticed us into its laid-back rhythm, scenic yellow-washed alleys and riverbanks. Down-time in such a space stirs ideas and imagination.
Flamenco in Ho Chi Minh City
This month, our first initiative for Flamenco workshops, performances and talks in Ho Chi Minh city took place over an intense week. Heartwarming to work with different communities, both dance and non-dance, and to see the response.
International Day of Dance could jolly well be a celebration of friendships. As a dance practitioner and producer, I pondered about the dance journey – beyond steps, movement, work and productions.
Journeys are meaningful when wonderful companion-colleagues embark on the path together, bringing goodwill and mutual support. Not to mention spontaneity and fun!
The experiences travelling, living and learning flamenco in Seville for over a decade, morphed naturally to next chapters of working with Spanish artists. Touring together and interacting with local dance communities wherever we go, has been so enriching.
Learning Beyond the Studio
We could not have had these heart-and-mind transformative experiences staying within our usual confines. Dance brings people together, as fellow learners, collaborators, creators and audience. A lot of what I’ve experienced and learned has been beyond the four-wall confines of a dance studio.
Itinerant Ways of Flamenco
The journeys are a metaphor for flamenco too, for it was shaped through itinerant interaction, before accumulating in Southern Spain, into that creative force of expression. And though associated with the Spanish identity, beyond those shores, it continues speaking to humanity. Today in Southeast Asia, it is finding its voice through those who live it and I think it’s exciting to be part of this journey.
People on the Journey
In a world where work, relationships and interaction can be viewed as mere transaction, it is always heartwarming when teachers become your mentors, colleagues and friends; when paths taken lead to trajectories we could never have imagined or planned; when windows to worlds open beyond what you know; when chance encounters lead to friendships, and friendships lead to dreams to look forward to building together.
Here’s what I’d like to introduce you to, in the upcoming weeks/months and take you on a journey:
17 – 19 May Flamenco Appreciation Week (Singapore)
My artistic collaborators, singer Angela and guitarist Adien will be Singapore conducting a series of 3 flamenco workshops in Singapore. Take your pick from 1) flamenco singing, 2) rhythm or 3) flamenco guitar classes.
2 – 7 July Flamenco MASTER Workshop from Spain
This is our annual milestone programme. Intensive flamenco master workshops from Spain’s established Academia de Manuel Betanzos in Seville, one of the great cities and source of flamenco. Flamenco workshops in Singapore conducted by my teacher, mentor and friend, the great maestro Manuel Betanzos himself.
Stay in touch for the full details, coming out real soon!