Adrian Tan’s lighting makes beautiful work of the many sensual and haunting moments which trace the transformation of the automaton of an office worker into something free-er and more human. I found the deconstruction of corporate life to be one such metamorphosis. At one point, the invisible cubicle walls fall away and Aaron Khek Ah Hock, the office worker karaokes to a Cantonese song while Ix Wong and Joey Chua, his co-workers play out a troubled love affair in the background, one in which their bodies continually lean into each other lifelessly. Suddenly, and surprisingly, Ah Hock almost accidentally lapses into intense moments of exhibitionist sensuality, a foreshadowing of what is unfold.
The brilliance of Ah Hock and Peng Yu’s choreography and Andrew Ng’s direction lies in its nuanced treatment of notions of freedom and identity. I was more than ready to expect that the peeling away of the corporate worker’s uniform would signal freedom for the anonymous dancer in a skin-colored zentai suit. Yet this process of unveiling was gradual and unexpectedly wide-ranging in its commentary. The moving sequence in which the zentai-clad Ah Hock and Ix Wong danced in a maze of conjoined shirts, for example, brought out the complexities of expressing love for the same-sex oriented. The skin-colored zentai appearance was also exchanged for a more colorful and patterned one in a later segments whereby primal desires and the sexually fetishistic side of the zentai was explored and represented. With the two male dancers leashed by lacy material however, the image seemed also to gesture towards the darker implications of anonymous expression and the limitations of an escapist pursuit of freedom. The slight twist at the end, I will leave to your own appreciation and imagination.