FreeQuencY — Tradition, Innovation, And Street Dance Theatre In Singapore

Street dance artists Gin Lam and Xue Hui redefine the local dance landscape with experiential dance festival FREE-QuencY.

Presented by Stirring Ground, FreeQuencY graces our bustling city this month, from 11 to 19 November 2023. This experimental dance festival, an innovative brainchild of street dance artists Gin Lam and Xue Hui, is poised to redefine the local dance landscape by embracing a fusion of street, contemporary, and traditional dance forms.

With a strong emphasis on nurturing local talent, FREE-QuencY is committed to incorporating traditional dance forms into this new movement. In hopes of fostering a cultural fusion through the collaboration of international dance makers, the team is introducing three captivating programmes: Free Our Body, Free Our Mind, and Free Our Soul.

Credit: Joshua Jerome Joseph Tan

Seasoned traditional arts practitioners in Singapore, from Chowk Productions, P7:1SMA and Singapore Chinese Dance Theatre, will be conducting workshops and aiding in introducing cultural perspectives into dancers’ movement expressions.

Additionally, esteemed dance makers from Europe; Justin De Jager, duo Alesya Dobysh and Simon Bus, and Kamile Karpalovaite. Renowned for their extensive experience in both the street dance scene and
theatre movement direction, they will be involved in judging, leading workshops and delivering a performance.

“FREE-QuencY is not just an event, it is a movement, a cultural shift, and a bridge between the traditional and street. A first of its kind, this platform embodies the spirit of creativity and innovations, to forward the street-theatre dance scene in Singapore,” the team and organisers shared.

Credit: Elizabeth Quek

At its core, FREE-QuencY is driven by the passionate vision to establish a creative culture within Singapore’s street dance community. Its mission is to provide a platform for local street dancemakers to showcase their talents and support their artistic development by bridging our local dancers with dance practitioners within and beyond Singapore.

Along with that, the dance festival’s goal is to broaden the audience’s perspective by presenting a diverse array of dance programmes and performances, igniting curiosity to explore beyond the confines
of conventional offerings.

Developing FREE-quencY has been an insightful journey for Festival Director Gin Lam. Reflecting on its development since its inception, she said, “We aim to bring dance to a neutral space for exploration and self-discoveries, experimental dance takes on no specific form and it has the notion of being personal and interactive.”.

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Free Our Body

From 11 to 13 November, three dance intensives will be conducted by renowned international dance makers from Europe, namely Justin De Jager, duo Alesya Dobysh and Simon Bus, and Kamile Karpalovaite. Each workshop focuses on specific goals to help dancers grow and improve on their craft.

Justin De Jager will be focussing on the exploration of Threading, a movement concept from Breaking. His extensive knowledge of Breaking and Threading allows participants to move beyond their comfort zone, understanding the concept and philosophy behind his movements that can be applied to different bodies.

Alesya Dobysh and Simon Bus will be focussing on Improvisation and how to improve the
quality of movement in participants from different dance backgrounds.

Lastly, Kamile Karpalovaite will be focussing on understanding the connection between the mind and
body; focusing more towards internal intention and clarity in being present in movement.

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Free Our Mind

On 18 November, there will be an exciting 90-minute street dance theatre production that spotlights the diverse dance collectives driving the street dance theatre movement.

The lineup features both local and international acts, each granted creative freedom to showcase their artistic philosophy in their performances for the show.

There will also be a post-show dialogue where audiences can indulge in an opportunity to interact with the choreographers on their presented works.

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Free Our Soul

Closing off the last day of FREE-quencY is a 1-on-1 experimental dance battle that challenges the boundaries of conventional dance battles by incorporating the use of traditional elements as part of its criteria.

In preparation for the battle, three traditional dance workshops (Chinese, Malay, and Indian) by seasoned traditional arts practitioners will be held. Battle participants are encouraged to attend one traditional dance workshop to get acquainted with these elements. This urges them to infuse the essence of these traditional styles into their movements.

Unlike the conventional battle format, in each round, they will be given different challenges like using props, working with scenarios given, or poetry. Additionally, dancers will be grouped together after their successive solo rounds, as decided by the judges. They then must work together in a group challenge to create a short dance piece. This would be the ongoing format leading to the finals.

FREE-QuencY is led by a collective of artists, choreographers, and producers, including Gin Lam, Xue Hui, Ashrielle, Ho Shu En and Nur Arianty.

Creative Team
Festival Director and Producer: Gin Lam
Festival Director and Co-Producer: Xui Hui
Venue: Step Studio (Free Our Soul), Blackbox SportSg Auditorium (Free Our Minds), Blackbox SportSg Auditorium (Free Our Body)

Tickets for Free Our Soul are priced at S$350 (per intensive) and S$900 (all intensives). Free Our Mind tickets go for S$42. Entrance fees for Free Our Body are priced at S$25 (audience) and S$35 (battle participants). There is also an audience bundle for Free Our Mind and Free Our Body at S$60.

Grab your tickets at eventbrite now!

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