Curtain Call: RE/PLAY Dance Edit

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The performance of RE/PLAY Dance Edit ended last month, and we would like to thank everyone who came down and show their support!

We’ve been catching up with some audience members after each show, and also got to hear some of your thoughts and questions during the post-show discussion on the first two nights.

‘Initially found the steps and repetition tiresome. But eventually saw the energy they put into each repetition that finally exploded so colourfully’.

Koh Xin Rui Eleora, 18 Feb

 ‘It was interesting how the different dancers never crossed each others’ paths – almost like different realities all occuring in the same space’.

Clarice Handouo, 20 Feb


Some of our audience members shared how this performance had even challenged their understanding of dance.

‘The dancers as a vessel for meaningbut I feel this time I get to see the dancer’s body more’ – Akbar, 17 Feb

‘Yes, very much so – is it crucial to know what dance means? Is it different every time? I have lots of questions now’. – Sabrina Wong Si Hwei, 18 Feb


Our audience members also shared with us their thoughts on the space in 72-13.

It looks like the old days of town in Singapore’ – Tok Jot Tat, 17 Feb

I’m able to view things both as an audience member and part of the piece’ – Sabrina Wong Si Hwei, 18 Feb

Very open, leaves a good amount of performance to interpretation’ – Clarice Handouo, 20 Feb


We’re glad to hear that many of our audience members enjoyed, and we hope to see you all again soon!


Two weeks ago, TheatreWorks presented RE/PLAY Dance Edit. Held from 17-20 Feb at 72-13, we had some ambassadors join us for a preview of the show. One of our ambassadors, Ms Jane Zhang Shu shared with us her thoughts and feelings towards the show.

“The Chinese saying of how it takes ten years of practice to perfect every minute of craft presented on stage, resonated strongly with me”.

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Our audience shares

Last Saturday, we presented our last show of RE/PLAY Dance Edit. It was well-received by the audiences. We caught up with one audience member and he kindly shared with us his thoughts and feelings about the show.


Muhammad Dzikri shared with us:

 1. What are your thoughts on about the  performance?

It gets so intense, I was amazed and in awe thoughout the show. It got my heart pumping fast. It was awesome beyond words.

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Dance review: Same same but different in Re/Play Dance Edit

We would like to thank Mayo Martin, for his review of RE/PLAY Dance Edit that came out in TODAYonline on 20 Feb 2016.


‘An audacious dance piece that emphasises the beauty of repetition’

When someone gushes about listening to a song on repeat, we don’t think they mean having it on repeat 10 times — one after the other.

That would be our experience with The Beatles’ jaunty Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, the track that anchors the central bulk of the audacious dance performance Re/Play Dance Edit at 72-13.

A collaboration between Theatreworks and Japan’s Offsite Dance Project, the piece by Junnosuke Tada sees eight dancers from Singapore and Japan simultaneously performing what could be described as organised chaos, where the main conceit was the idea of repetition. The piece itself is a restaging of Tada’s work Re/Play back in 2011, and here the eight repeatedly perform their individual parts, a mix of everyday gestures and dance movements: Static poses of being deep in thought, acting surprised, peering through a spyglass, leaping and prancing, the odd boxing jab, and lots of collapsing. And through much of it, they are accompanied by pop music: We Are The World, a Japanese dance pop tune and yes, the Fab Four’s most weirdly titled hit.

Admittedly, halfway through the Beatles portion, bemusement was replaced by irritation. But such was piece’s single-mindedness of vision, its insistence that we stick with it that, within its Groundhog Day scenario, we eventually end up admiring and being delighted with the beautiful experience that unfolded.

And like that movie’s TV weatherman protagonist Phil Connors, who had to go through one day over and over again, it’s ultimately about what the viewer does with his or her viewing experience that matters. Re/Play Dance Edit is definitely not one for instant gratification. Instead, with all the tweaks embedded — whether it’s the deliberate pauses mid-way through songs, the obnoxiously intentional rise in volume, the subtle changes in lighting tones, or the almost imperceptible differences in the individual patterns and sequences of all eight performers — it urges us to listen to and watch closely this exercise in reading a performance piece.

The rewards are aplenty: With the songs and performances arguably on repeat, one slowly considers the question of what’s being foregrounded and what’s in the background in a performance (Already spacing out because you’ve seen one guy jumping out and down for the third time? Zoom in on Paul McCartney’s bass riff!).

And because the linearity of show has been chucked aside (in what’s mostly an assembly of looped moments somewhat suspended in time), one is prodded to see newness in relative familiarity — after all, you don’t re-read a book the same way or listen to the same song the same way (even if it’s for the 10th time).

The idea of “stretching out” the performances by way of repetition also liberates the performers. Because they’re somewhat locked into their respective patterns, they more clearly “own” their respective dance vocabularies, consequently standing out as individuals for a viewer who now has the luxury of watching them as closely and repeatedly as possible. For instance, Ma Yanling’s training with THE Dance Company is evident while Sheriden Newman exudes a carefree lightness; there’s Jaenny Chandra’s sassy athleticism, and Japanese performer Kitamari’s endearing quirkiness.

This sense of individuality is complemented by a middle segment where they verbally re-enact conversations they had while in the process of rehearsing for the show (a “yam seng” moment, a dig at Singapore Dance Theatre, the friendships forged). Despite the seemingly robotic framework of the piece, they’re far from being dance automatons. Runing an hour and a half, Re/Play Dance Edit also emphasises their capacity for endurance and their collective skill — in the madness of the constant reconfiguration of bodies onstage, there are no accidental bumps, revealing a heightened awareness of their bodies in space.

While we don’t think we would want to hear Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da again for the rest of the year, Re/Play Dance Edit is one show where “same same but different” applies in the most wonderful way possible. And no, we don’t think we need to repeat that.

Thoughts on RE/PLAY Dance Edit by Ng Yi-Sheng

Writer, Ng Yi-Sheng shared his thoughts with us after catching RE/PLAY Dance Edit on Thursday.

Catch the show if you can! – Ng Yi-Sheng

So you know how the audience started a riot when Stravinsky premiered The Rite of Spring in 1913?

At one point last night, I wanted to do the same thing. Seriously, the fourth or fifth time Obladi Oblada started up, I felt like I was about to start throwing around chairs and ripping up cables and setting the floodlights on fire.

You see, I went into RE/PLAY Dance Edit blind. Tay Tong offered me a ticket and I figured, hey, why not? I didn’t know Junnosuke Tada was engaging in ideas of repetition or anything. All I was prepared for was that it might be weird, as is almost anything that TheatreWorks presents outside a community centre. As I was saying to the arts critic Mayo Martin before the show, “This could be dance, or it could be dance bukan dance…”

And in spite of all Tada’s cute little meditation in the programme notes on Singaporeans refusing to dance in clubs before midnight (“reverse Cinderellas”, he calls us), it really was “bukan dance” for the first hour or so. It wasn’t just the fact that he told the eight dancers to perform non-dance movements–god knows I’ve endured enough contemporary dance works that try and destroy the foundations of their very art form in the name of innovation.

No, it was the cheesy soundtrack on replay. I mean, I can live through two runs of We Are the World, it’s a rousing kitschily epic score, no problem.


Mayo says he’s swearing off any music from the Beatles for maybe the next year. Maybe the next century.

I’m kind of grateful, actually, that Tada’s deconstruction of the dance experience does not extend towards the removal of spectacle. Because I could at least continue to examine the eight dancers while they did their coordinated stretching exercises and play boff/marry/kill with them in my head several times over. Gorgeous shadow play from the lighting designer, too, of course.

And after the sixth or seventh round, there’s a kind of resignation that sets in, an acceptance of the misery that is avant-garde entertainment.

That there is nothing but Obladi Oblada.

That there has always been nothing but Obladi Oblada.

And yet what comes out of that is… precious. The dancers rise and re-enact a plausible conversation they might have after the show’s final run: washing up, a buffet celebration, clubbing, getting drunk, talking about the state of the arts in Singapore, about their lives, about how they might never meet again (false promises of a Japanese reunion), and then there’s another dance to a Japanese rendition of Save the Last Dance for Me….

(There’s a gap in my memory here.)

And then the final explosion of full-on disco clubbing music, where everyone goes all out bonkers in a conflagration of genuine bboying and handstands and K-pop dance moves, all that glorious spectacle that so many shows deny you, wow-wow-wowing you in the climax, performers exhausting themselves until they collapse on the floor…

And then they get up and do it again.

And then they get up and do it again.

And I’m not mad at this, partly because it is a good song (it’s in Japanese so I don’t know the title), partly because they are such funky dance moves from performers I feel like I’ve known half my life by now, and I’ve bought into the fundamentals of the show a little more by now.

There’s a wind-down of other dancing before we actual reach the end and curtain call (I for one did not dare to clap until Tay Tong started clapping). But I guess what moves me about this isn’t the structural experiment of climax after climax but the way there’s a sort of charming window here into performers’ lives. How what we as an audience demands is a final beautiful product, but so much of reality is unglamorous repetition, repetition (the French word for rehearsal is in fact répétition), and the god-awful tech runs where you’re not allowed to perform fully cocked, you’re just going through the motions…

And even when the show comes, you give your everything.

And then the next show comes, and you give your everything again.

Did Tada intend that? Maybe? His interview said something about mass suicides and the Kanto earthquake, so… relevant?

And this strange denial of entertainment, and then its final, full-fledged, three times your money’s worth delivery. Torture your audience and then give ‘em a triple O. (Conventional dramatic structure is sometimes said to be phallocentric as it concentrates on a single climax, whereas an experimental piece may imitate a feminine jouissance through multiple climaxes.)

And this strange denial of entertainment, and then its final, full-fledged, three times your money’s worth delivery. Torture your audience and then give ‘em a triple O. (Conventional dramatic structure is sometimes said to be phallocentric as it concentrates on a single climax, whereas an experimental piece may imitate a feminine jouissance through multiple climaxes.)

And this strange denial of entertainment, and then its final, full-fledged, three times your money’s worth delivery. Torture your audience and then give ‘em a triple O. (Conventional dramatic structure is sometimes said to be phallocentric as it concentrates on a single climax, whereas an experimental piece may imitate a feminine jouissance through multiple climaxes.)

And that’s all I have to say really. Catch the show if you can!

TheatreWorks would like to express our thanks to Ng Yi-Sheng for taking the time to share his thoughts with us!

JCCI’s Magazine features ‘RE/PLAY Dance Edit’

TheatreWorks’ latest production ‘RE/PLAY Dance Edit‘ was featured in the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) magazine’s February issue.

“TheatreWorks’ projects present the hybrid identity of the contemporary Asian and embrace the multiple realities.”

Read to find out more about TheatreWorks’ history and about how ‘RE/PLAY Dance Edit‘ came about.

Click on the image to enlarge.

【月報用】2016 TheatreWorks_R2_Page_1【月報用】2016 TheatreWorks_R2_Page_2

More sneak peak of ‘RE/PLAY Dance’ Edit!

We have more behind the scenes pictures from our rehearsals of ‘RE/PLAY Dance Edit’.

Go to our Facebook page to get up to date information about this production and ticket sales!

Don’t forget to catch some sneak peak videos of the show on our Instagram!

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