In sharing my first hand experience in East Malaysia of the upcoming “2 IN 1″ dance performances to be held in early May in Peninsular Malaysia, I will not dwell much on describing the dance performance itself, but rather I will share the experience and things we learnt during the two premiere performances of the April 2015 tour in Sabah.
Borneo Dance Theatre (or BDT), the one and only full-time professional dance theatre in Borneo, kick started our “2 in 1″ dance tour this year on Saturday, 11th April, at the Lecture Hall of Yu Yuan Secondary School, Sandakan and on Sunday,12th April 2015, at the school hall of Gek Poh SJK (C) Sin Hwa, Tawau. This was the 2nd dance tour of BDT since 2012 – the first tour started in April 2014 and toured 6 different cities in Borneo. The tour performances aimed to share contemporary dance theatre with the general public and create more dance art lovers.
BDT was founded in August 2012, which was nine years after I graduated from the Dance Department of Chinese Culture University in Taiwan. To date, BDT is the pioneer and the only private funded full-time professional dance theatre in Borneo. By running the company full-time and professionally, we aspire to contribute more fully to the dance industry, and consequently to share more of Borneo Culture and new interpretations of Borneo, through dance and arts.
“2 IN 1″ is divided into two parts and both parts are presented in a unique experimental dance theatre setting. The first part is entitled “HANDSOME Construction Company”. The dance utilizes colourful costumes, intense choreography and multimedia effects to create an exciting new experience for the audience. In the beginning, many of the audience was sitting facing only the stage set as they didn’t expect that the performance would utilize the whole entire theatre throughout the performance. For the new audiences of this experimental dance theatre, it was a “terrifying” experience to find dancers performing just beside them. However, the lively scenes of the audiences moving aside to give way to the performers created a lot of laughter and a fun-filled experience for the entire performance. Besides that, the comical dance movements and humorous choreography created an exciting interaction with the audience. Moreover, the first item successfully created a delightful and profound impression of the four “construction workers”.
Then it was intermission, and
the choreographer chose an indirect way to disperse the audience for intermission and to gradually lead to the starting of the second half of the programme. While the audience was still puzzling and wondering why they have to stand up at that the moment, the entire theatre was rearranged. It was interesting that the audience reacted in a more relaxed, natural manner after the intermission and most of them chose to sit around the typewriter which was preset in the centre of the performing area. Most of the audience had never operated a typewriter before, some had never even touched a typewriter before.
The second part (centred around the typewriter) was entitled “The Whispering” and started with multimedia, presenting pictures or images in a symbolic way. The nature of this choreography invited the audience to visually follow the dancers moving around the theatre. Due to the different sitting positions, everyone had a different viewing experience. The atmosphere of this performance was classic and traditional, but it also included a lot of new creative and provoking ideas. The choreography was designed to provoke thoughts, questions and issues through the watching experience. Through these expected reactions, the flow of “The Whispering”
was exclusively paved to uncover the stories of four different characters. “The Whispering” was created based on true stories of the Borneo people. There were happenings, stories, rumours, that we felt sorry and regret for, but the most terrifying was when they were being intentionally “forgotten” and deliberately covered up. Through this work, the choreographer intended to provoke deeper thoughts and reflections from the audience about the issues.
The audience remarks for this performance included comments about the fact that sitting on the floor and having to move around whenever necessary meant that you could foresee that it would be “a very special experience to watch the show”. The programme “demonstrated a combination of contemporary dance and the culture of Borneo”. “Besides bringing a deep sense of meaning, it also created laughter and excitement among the audience”. These experiences are to be experienced personally by the audience only in the theatre.
In continuing to share dance arts with the public, BDT also conducts free seminars and dance workshops based on the request of the co-organizer/sponsor. Through these activities, we hope to gather art lovers to discuss more about the art of dance, and also to share with new audiences that dance is actually an approachable art form, not so obscure and difficult to understand. On Saturday, 11th April, 2015, from 8-9am, BDT conducted an intensive dance workshop for the dancers of “Yu Yuan Secondary Dance Troupe” of Sandakan to share contemporary dance technique and performing skills. The participants’ expressions portrayed their eagerness to learn and the joy of exploring new knowledge. We were also touched by the liveliness of movement projections that they were able to deliver. Throughout this workshop, I was looking forward to using more creative ways in guiding the dancers to develop a deeper appreciation of dance movements and performing qualities.
On another aspect of the touring, I would like to share an unexpected challenge faced by the production team: on the performance day in Tawau, BDT was expected to board the flight from Sandakan to Tawau at 8.55am; however, the flight was cancelled at the last minute due to engine failure. The whole team waited nervously at Sandakan airport until at last we boarded the 4pm flight. The scheduled time of performance in Tawau was 7.30 that same evening. Upon landing in Tawau, we immediately switched to “combat mode.” In the car taking us from the airport to the school, a teacher asked me, “Can we be ready in time?” and I answered, “If we focus enough, we can”. We arrived at Xinhua school hall at 5.30pm, but we had a lot to arrange in the two hours before the scheduled performance time of 7.30pm. As is often the case in theatre, there was no extra time for mistakes, each step and each decision was focused on creating a perfect viewing experience for the audience. At last, we made it: the start of the performance was delayed by only ten minutes – and thereafter everything went smoothly. Back at the hotel, everyone’s heart was still beating fast for some time.
After this, BDT will be touring to Johor Bahru and Penang on 9th May and 10th May, 2015. In order to maintain the quality of thisprogramme, this show is not open to children under five years old. Theprogramme will start on time, and late audience members will have to wait outside the theatre until the next suitable break in the programme. Due to the special design of the experimental theatre, the organisers would like to remind the audience that they will be sitting on the floor and so need to wear suitable, comfortable attire.
為了還沒觀賞此 「2 IN 1」 的觀眾著想，我暫時不多著墨於舞蹈的內容，而是以今年2015年4月開始的兩場巡迴演出所看見及體會的事進行分享。
婆羅洲唯一的全職專業舞蹈劇場 「婆羅舞蹈劇場」 (Borneo Dance Theatre，以下簡稱BDT)於四月十一日於山打根育源中學行政大樓講堂及十二日於斗湖新華學校禮堂正式開演 「2 IN 1」 巡迴演出。這是 「婆羅舞蹈劇場」 自2012年創團以來第二場巡迴演出（第一次的巡演是在2014年4月開跑，總共六場），旨在分享舞蹈藝術及劇場演出給普羅大眾及舞蹈劇場藝術愛好者。 BDT成立於2012年8月，是我在畢業于台灣文化大學舞蹈學系回國九年後創辦。此舞蹈劇場是目前婆羅洲首個，也是唯一的私人單位全職專業舞蹈劇場。透過全職專業的模式，希望能夠更專業的投入在舞蹈藝術的領域，分享更多屬於婆羅洲文化特色的新詮釋舞蹈作品與藝術。
「2 IN 1」 這作品主要分為兩個節目進行，以獨有的實驗舞蹈劇場模式呈現。第一個部分為 「帥爆建築公司」 (HANDSOME Construction Company) ，作品以多彩的服裝、俐落的演出與多媒體的轉換達至觀賞的新體驗。許多的觀眾一開始以為演出的方向是面向房間，沒想到正式的演出方向實為整個劇場。對於新體驗實驗舞蹈劇場的觀眾而言，舞者近距離的在身邊演出是件“可怕”的體驗。猶然記得觀眾一看見舞者走進就會迅速的開路的畫面，為整場演出製造許多的歡笑與效果。當然，逗趣的舞蹈肢體設計畫面及互動模式讓所有的觀眾都對這四位冒牌建築工人有著深刻的體驗。
接著的中場休息時間，編舞以婉轉的方式驅散觀眾，以鋪成下一個作品的開始。當觀眾還在納悶為什麼得站起來的當兒，整個劇場演出模式已經在改變。這一趟，觀眾很自然地以整個禮堂中間的打字機為焦點坐下來。許多人都沒什麼機會碰打字機，更甭說用過打字機。「2 IN 1」 的第二場是以多媒體作為開始，有著許多的畫面鋪成及寓意。很自然的跟隨舞者的出沒轉移觀賞焦點是這場 「房裡的聲音」 (The Whispering) 的特性。因為坐的位置不同，每個人的觀賞體驗不盡相同。這作品有著傳統的古早味，但亦添加許多新穎的創作想法。不禁讓人在觀賞演出的當兒冒出許多不同的想法及問題。透過這些反應，鋪成整個 「房裡的聲音」 的思緒架構，進而完成四個人的故事。 「房裡的聲音」 是按照婆羅洲真實的故事編創，有許多的事讓人感到惋惜，但真正的可怕的事實是被遺忘或被刻意淹沒。透過這個作品，編舞希望能夠提出反思，以一石之力投出許多的漣漪。
秉持著分享更多有關舞蹈給大眾，這次的巡迴演出也在各巡迴地點視每個地方的單位需求而安排免費的講座及舞蹈工作坊。透過這些活動，希望能夠讓藝術愛好者能夠共聚一堂來談更多有關舞蹈藝術的知識，也是讓沒有接觸過舞蹈表演藝術的大眾能夠近距離的瞭解舞蹈原來是很平易近人的一門藝術，沒那麼艱深難懂。四月十一日（星期六）於山打根育源中學禮堂八時至九時進行舞蹈工作坊，與 「山打根育源中學舞蹈團」 舞者分享現代舞的肢體訓練及演出技巧的工作坊活動。從這些孩子的眼神當中，你可以看見渴望學習及歡樂學習的神情，還有經過誘導出來的肢體味道。與其一板一眼的將動作交給舞者，我期盼以更創意的方式來引導這些學生如何看待表演及動作特質這回事。
若想要了解更多有關「婆羅舞蹈劇場」的咨詢及有關演出資料，請上網瀏覽 http://mysynergydance.com 。
01. JOHOR BAHRU 柔佛新山
Date : 09/05/2015 (Sat) 7:30PM
Dewan Sekolah Matahari
CONTACT : 016-333 5706 / 016-739 4790
TICKET : RM25
02. PENANG 檳城
Date : 10/05/2015 (Sun) 4:00PM
Dewan Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (139, Jln. Macalister,Penang)
CONTACT : 012-567 8789 / 012-478 3268
TICKET : RM25