Preview: RAWGround – Clutter by RAW Moves

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RAW Moves has never shied away from the extreme and experimental, having just concluded their run of their original 3-hour durational piece If I could set with the sun earlier this month.

Now, continuing their season’s theme of Clutter, RAW Moves presents RawGround – a platform for members of RAW Moves to showcase highly conceptual works to the public, some of which may even eventually continue development into a full length piece.

This iteration of RAW Ground will see a total of three original projects presented – Wind Water by Jeryl Lee, PerforME by Matthew Goh and Walk Slowly by Ebelle Chong, in collaboration with Neo Hong Chin and Pat Toh.

At a preview of these pieces, the performers explained to us in detail what their concepts aimed to draw out and present to the audience. As much as they serve as a performance, the works will also act as part of an ongoing research process for them, allowing the dancers to observe how the audience reacts to the pieces and gain valuable feedback to further evolve these concepts in future. All three works will conform to the theme of Clutter, dealing with both physical, space-constraining blockage and the noise that permeates our mental space.

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Jeryl Lee’s piece draws inspiration from the clash of ideals between her parent’s superstitious style of arranging furniture, and her own practical method. For Jeryl, her parents’ beliefs continued to baffle her, often seeming impractical, such as forcing her to climb over a bed just to get to her desk. Playing on the concept of fengshui, or how the arrangement of objects affects one’s fortune, Jeryl will be engaging audience members in a sort of game, where they will be tasked to rearrange ‘furniture’ on a glass table. This experimental game aims to explore what drives their final decisions and to explore audience’s movements as they choose their home’s ideal setup.

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Meanwhile, Matthew Goh’s piece will see a thematic continuation of the concept of identity explored in one of his previous works. For PerforME, audiences will be encouraged to write questions down for Matthew, which he will then answer before dropping the questions into different boxes indicating how clear or vague he thought his answer was. In yet another highly interactive piece, audiences can then decide if they would like to support his evaluation or disagree with it, moving to the box they themselves believe to best represent the quality of his answer. Matthew hopes to use this ‘game’ to draw out the movements of decisiveness and indecisiveness, observing audiences as they pick sides.

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Finally in Walk Slowly (stylized as 慢慢走), Ebelle Chong, Neo Hong Chin and Pat Toh will be exploring movements within the domestic space. As part of the research process, all three women visited each other’s homes and observed the way each of them moved within the space. Ebelle and Hong Chin, as mothers, found themselves moving quickly and purposefully, while Pat’s movements were more languid and relaxed, as if floating. For their working concept, each woman has brought in a piece of their home that they use on a daily basis, be it a laptop or even a kettle, and will present how they interact with these objects and the movements associated with it.

Speaking to RAW Moves artistic director Ricky Sim, the primary aim of RawGround isn’t necessarily only to create a final, complete piece from these concepts and ideas, but also to act as an opportunity for audiences to see dance beyond a cut and dried set of rules. This edition of RawGround helps expand the vocabulary of ‘dance’ to include even movements found in the everyday, and hopefully create a space for dialogue between practitioner and audience in a comfortable, informal setting.

RAW Moves remains one of the most daring dance companies around today, consistently pushing boundaries and occasionally coming up with completely brilliant ideas. RawGround: Clutter promises to be a fun and thought-provoking experience for all, and from what we’ve seen so far, we’re definitely excited to see just what kind of results and reactions these experimental concepts will yield with the public in attendance come July.

RawGround: Clutter takes place at the RAW Moves Studio at Goodman Arts Centre (90 Goodman Road, Block B, #01-08 Singapore 439053) on 14th and 15th July. Tickets available from Peatix

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