Young dancers who push the envelope
Three groups of young dancers have risen to the test and they have been crowned winners of the inaugural fusion dance competition D:2 Dance Competition Vol. 1.
The contest, which ended last month, was organised by the People’s Association. It was held online as part of the popular Chingay festival, which takes the form of a digital event this year. Snippets from the performances will be featured during the one-hour show on 20 Feb.
An open call for the competition was issued last November for dancers aged 6 to 35 to express their creativity with performances that bring together different dance genres. The winning groups impressed the judges and the public with their dynamic moves and costumes.
The respective champions of the three age categories in the contest – 6 to 12 years old, 13 to 25 years old, and 26 to 35 years old, were Rocketeer, K-East and Mad Rush.
Read on to find out how the dance groups are pushing the envelope with their unique performances.
What was your inspiration for the dance?
Rocketeer: We were inspired by the Bollywood movie Om Shanti Om (2007), and we incorporated Bollywood dance moves into our dance routine. Bollywood dance itself is a fusion dance style, and our performance had a mixture of swag and feminine movements.
K-East: Our dance teacher Alif Aircho discovered our dance track while scrolling through Spotify. It is Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained (2005) by Huang Sheng Yi. Its dramatic melody made it perfect for a dance with a Chinese martial arts theme. We used Chinese martial arts moves throughout our hip-hop dance. Our costume designs were inspired by Chinese martial arts uniforms.
Mad Rush: Our 2-min performance was inspired by palace fights in ancient China. The performance showed everyone fighting one another to come up tops, which speaks of man’s desire for power and status.
How did you make your performance stand out?
Rocketeer: We studied Bollywood dance scenes starring the famous Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, and we learnt his signature moves for our performance. We wanted anyone watching us dance to be able to easily identify our inspiration.
K-East: As everyone was required to do a fusion dance performance, we hoped that our strong execution and performance shone through the performance. We focused a lot on our facial expressions and hoped our energy rubbed off on the audience through our dance routine. We had weekly practices over the course of a month, and Alif made sure we were performance-ready before our final dance routine on stage.
Mad Rush: Our dance had a strong storyline. We wanted viewers to feel as if they were watching a drama unfold in our short 2-min dance.
How did your group feel about winning the competition?
Rocketeer: We were so happy! Due to the pandemic, we were unable to compete for more than a year, so this was our first time performing after so long.
K-East: It felt both surreal and joyous. We enrolled in this competition to do our best because it would be our final performance as a team. Having joined numerous competitions over the years, it is now our turn to pass the baton, and let our junior members represent the team. We did not expect to win the competition, but it has been an amazing way to start the year.
Mad Rush: Being professional dancers, we have high expectations for ourselves and the dance we choreographed, but art is subjective. So, we were delighted to know that people appreciated our art.
Replies were edited and condensed for clarity. View the groups’ performances on the Passion Chingay Club’s Facebook page.