Pesta Raya 2022 An Esplanade Commission The Wrong Geng 2.0 by Norhaizad Adam (Singapore)
Conceptualised and performed by dance artist Norhaizad Adam, The Wrong Geng 2.0 is a solo dance performance from the perspective of the jantan joget (male dancer). Here, he negotiates the social, imaginative and affective aspects of human labour within contemporary capitalism, while posing the question: What if the role of the perempuan joget (female dancer) was undertaken by a cis-male?
Historically, joget, also known as ronggeng, has been recognised for its lively beats and fast-paced rhythms. It has always been a form of music and dance that encourages interaction between male and female performers, a means of expressing flirtatious intent as well as courtship. This was particularly true for the dance halls within the entertainment parks of 1930s to 1960s Singapore.
The term “wrong geng” is a play on the term ronggeng, which reflects the stigma of joget dancers as “dirty”, speculating on the contentions of Malay conservatives who may perceive joget as an erotic and titillating social past time. Today, joget has been sanitised and modernised. Currently it is practiced as a respectable Singapore Malay dance form and commonly performed at festive events such as weddings and gatherings. Equal parts playful and challenging, The Wrong Geng 2.0 confronts the myriad perspectives towards labour in dance, running parallel with Norhaizad Adam’s practice of addressing Malay identity through movement and performance.
The earlier iteration of this performance, The Wrong Geng, was first commissioned by Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay in 2018, presented under the Pentas series in the dance showcase, Joget.