Interview — An Entire Week Of Danz Collective

Renowned Singapore dance studio Danz People brings a special edition of Danz Collective with over 29 guest artistes!

Courtesy of Danz People

After 9 years since the previous season and formerly known as ‘United We Boogie’, Danz Collective is back and bigger than ever this September! With events lined up for a whole seven days at *Scape, it’s clear that they are catering to the entire community of dancers. There’s something for everyone. So, what can you look forward to?

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With plenty of programmes planned, it’s basically an intensive dance bootcamp! Firstly, we’ll kick the week off with the Danz Collective showcase, featuring 11 showcases debuting the event and 13 showcases the following day.

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Not forgetting the special guest appearances of Fariz Jabba and RRILEY! You already know they’ll blow our minds. On top of that, actor Joshua Tan will be the emcee for the showcase. Still not convinced? Admissions for the showcase are free! That means you get to catch this star-studded showcase just by attending it. Now there’s really no reason to miss out on it.

Courtesy of Men’s Folio and Vogue Singapore

Next up, we have workshops held by guest instructors from Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines! Happening over the span of 2 days, there are a total of six overseas guest classes, including a collaboration between Momo Koyama and Sakurako Ozawa.

Sakurako Ozawa. Courtesy of Danz People

Danz People is taking it a step further by introducing The Momo Experience! It is an intensive programme for a video directed and choreographed by Momo. Dancers will get the opportunity to work on their performance skills with this platform. And with only one day of rehearsal before shooting, you can definitely expect to be challenged!

Momo Koyama. Courtesy of Danz People

While we love learning from international instructors, Danz Collective isn’t forgetting about our local talents. Instructors and dancers from Danz People are also holding a day of community classes for kids to adults.

On top of that, Let’s Move It! is also a full-day event of dance classes by DP instructors and it is the event to close off Danz Collective 2022. Let’s Move It! is also free and includes a wider variety of classes such as Waacking Disco, Party Moves and even Parent and Child Hip Hop! Didn’t we say this event was for the entire community?

Besides choreography classes and showcases, it wouldn’t be an all-rounder dance event without a battle. On 25 September, Danz Collective will be hosting the Hybrid Storytelling battle and the Turnt Up! 7 to Smoke Preselection Battle!

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Back for its third series this year, the Hybrid Storytelling 1 v 1 battle adds the extra element of interpreting the song to portray stories and ideas. For the auditions, dancers are free to interpret the song as they wish and the judges will narrow the finalists down to the Top 16. For these 16 dancers, the story or idea will be given by the judges instead. This year’s battle will be judged by Marcus (Marzipan) from Scrach Marcs, emceed by Arif and deejayed by Alif — you can definitely expect an exciting show for sure.

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Alongside this, the Turnt Up! 7 to Smoke Preselection battle will also be happening and judged by Kyung and Ryezal! It features a sick line-up of dancers that includes Peot, Miss B, Josh, Kyumix, SK, Mandy, Fazil and Sherry. If you’re not planning to join the battle, come and be inspired anyway as they are free for audiences too!

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That’s an insane amount of dance for a week if you ask me. To add on to the excitement, we spoke to the organisers of Danz Collective, Danz People co-founder Michelle as well as dance instructor and showcase director Yi Liang, to know more about the event itself!

Dreamfellas: What is the purpose behind Danz Collective?

Michelle: As with all our aspirations and ambitions for the studio, we hope to share our dance, inspire people, celebrate dance as well as connect with dancers and non-dancers to build the community.

Collaboration and inspiration are things to focus on in all of our programming, whether it is just workshops in the studio or events, it’s really to share and connect.

Courtesy of Danz People

DFL: What’s new or different about Danz Collective this year? What can and should participants look forward to?

Michelle: Similar to the previous editions, we will have a showcase, which is not solely for Danz People. It is actually to connect with all our other friends in the community, be it crews or studios so everyone can come on board to present a dance concert, in a way. In past years, we actually held it in the theatre, because we have to manage ticketing to sustain the event but this year, we’re having it at Youth Park and it’s a free event.

Besides that, of course we would have invited overseas choreographers and dancers so they can share their skills, hold workshops as well as judge BOTC. They spend time with the finalists through one-on-one sessions to share input on their final piece.

Yi Liang: I think this year is still very grand and there are many different components throughout weekends and weekdays, also leading into Turnt Up!, the next event that Danz People is organising — which is also where BOTC will be happening. So it’s a really long-stretched event and this time, the showcase is happening over 2 days and we are very happy to be able to include singers as well.

For the first day, there’s more focus on local talents so we are bringing in reputable local studios and local crews to be part of the event and we are very excited to see how they inspire others. For the second day, the showcase is more focused on overseas dancers so we invited people from Indonesia, Philippines, Japan and Malaysia alongside more local crews and kids crews. The event doesn’t only focus on adults but also kids and student crews. There will also be a lot of new faces and new companies, crews, so it’s very exciting.

The next two days will be the workshops conducted by the overseas dancers and there’ll be collaboration and individual workshops. There will be two battles happening at Danz Collective, and we will have another unique experience — this year with Momo.

Michelle: Yeah, it’s beyond just completing a dance because there are more elements that are actually involved in the creation. So instead of a live showcase, this year’s experience will be a video shoot so the experience will be complete with a concept video. It’s another different experience with learning how a video works, how you want the camera to be and things like editing.

Yi Liang: Yeah and we will only have one rehearsal which will be very long and intensive so that students can quickly adapt and get something like an ‘on-the-job’ experience that professional dancers have when they perform commercial jobs. After that we also have community classes held by up-and-coming dancers at Danz People, so they will get the opportunity and have the platform to share and learn how to teach a class in front of many people.

Courtesy of Danz People

DFL: There are many guest showcases and choreographers brought on for Danz Collective ‘22! Was there any particular reason for bringing these dancers on?

Michelle: Of course, their level of dance is important. We have to set a standard from the past performances so that’s one criteria. Next criteria is their availability.

Yi Liang: Another thing we considered is Covid — it’s not completely gone so we didn’t invite dancers from too far away. Also because we are already inviting dancers from Europe and the US for Turnt Up! so we wanted to keep the selection for this event centred around Asia.

Michelle: Everything sort of fell into place because the planning was done in a very short time frame so I think it’s good that there’s more focus on our local and regional dance communities. Past years also we’ve brought dancers from further countries so it’s a nice thing to do this year.

DFL: What is the desired impact you would want this event to have on the local dance scene?

Yi Liang: This year’s motto is: Dance, Share, Connect. Dance is definitely the main focus since we’re connecting through dance this entire event. Share — we hope to inspire dancers to come back to events, to come together to just share the space, skills and energy. We also hope that dancers will connect. We don’t want to just connect virtually anymore, we want to connect physically through live performances and physical workshops…the energy is different.

Michelle: It’s also a celebration this year because we can finally have a physical event which indicates normalcy because we are able to come together. It’s also very heartening to see other studios come on board to do this together.

Courtesy of Danz People

DFL: What do you hope dancers will take away from this event? Is there anything else you’d want to convey to the participants/attendees?

Yi Liang: Mainly, we hope they can be inspired to connect more in real life rather than just adapting to the Covid life. So just be more open — the more open you are, the more you can take in; learn from others and grow. Also during Covid, studios seemed to be more individualistic and disconnected, so we hope to come together again as a whole instead of being separated. And not only connecting within Singapore but also globally since we can start doing that, we hope to bring that energy to dancers to learn more, grow together and inspire each other.

Michelle: Collaboration is very important and we mustn’t forget that. Covid makes us isolated but the only way to progress is by learning from each other, collaborating across other art forms so we can be better and continue our journey. It’s also about uplifting everyone and looking forward to a hopefully wonderful new year.

DFL: Final thoughts?

Yi Liang: I just feel very lucky because this is my first time being involved in the event. It’s very cool to see everyone come together just by making a decision. I feel like I have the power to help people and give them the platform to connect so I hope the event will turn out great. It’s always the stress behind it but I can’t wait to see everyone come together.

Michelle: I guess it’s a learning experience even for us. Every event, something may happen and we need to put out fires but it’s still a learning experience. It’s nice to see dancers become instructors and directors and be part of the planning team. That’s a nice cycle to witness.

And there you have it. We hope you are as excited as we are for this jam-packed week of intense dancing and growth! You wouldn’t want to miss it. So start purchasing your passes and start registering. We’ll see you there!

If you’re looking for other dance events to attend this month, check out our list here!

For more dance reads, click here.


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