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  M1SFF09: FALLOUT [Channel News Asia Interview]
« on: January 13, 2009, 04:11:15 AM » by alvintck
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Related VideosExploring the dissolution of the nuclear family through dance

SINGAPORE – It's athletic, narrative, theatrical, and it exposes the dissolution of the nuclear family.

Appropriately titled "Fallout", this dance piece by US dance ensemble RAWdance looks at the way the traditional concept of the nuclear family is redefined and demystifies the notion of families being all "lovey-dovey".

"It’s a piece about the dissolution of the nuclear family, through the lens of 1950s McCarthyism, very specifically American,” said Wendy Rein, who is the artistic director of the ensemble.

“We’ve tried to redefine family ties in today’s climate which can be tense and political and kind of harking back to some of what was going on in America in the fifties,” she added.

Ryan Smith, co-artistic director of the dance ensemble, said that the “return to the nuclear family ideal” is a “falsified” ideal which is what they are trying to highlight in their performance. “We hope that audiences learn to appreciate their family, we hope that audiences learn to realise that there are different models of family, and that you don’t necessarily have to have the ideal 'two parents, two kids, a dog and picket fences' family," Smith added.

So how do they explore such complex ideas through dance?

“We came out with the idea of a family portrait and that’s the image we keep going back to. We actually have a video component which gets projected for the majority of the piece,” Rein explained.

“As we throw each other around and dance, we kind of keep coming back to the central image of the family,” she added.

Part of their performance also involves strong visual movements such as throwing one another around, grappling and a lot of partnership work. “It works for the theme. There’s a certain violence about it that was necessary for the piece,” said Rein.

While "Fallout" is not as athletic and exhausting as some the other dances the pair have performed previously, Smith said that the cardio dance classes which they teach have been "lifesavers" in getting them physically fit and prepared for the physically-demanding piece.

"There’s a lot of rehearsing, a lot of technique classes in the background for all our personal development, we’re also blessed to have worked with two amazing dancers who push us both choreographically and as dancers," added Smith.

Though the piece has been described as "heavy", the performers said audiences should not have any preconceived ideas of the dance and its storyline.

"You can go in cold with this piece, that’s something which we try to do with our choreography. We feel that our choreography should always be accessible. We don’t necessarily want to spoon feed, we don’t want the audience to come and get exactly what we had in mind, your should have their own interpretation, your own feelings," said Smith.

Catch "Fallout" at the Esplanade Theatre Studio on January 13 and 14 as part of the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival. Tickets are available at SISTIC.

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