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An Interview with the Creatives of dead was the body till i taught it how to move

Bhumi Collective has only been around for a couple of years, but they’ve already been showcasing a variety of genres  dipping their toes into various genres of shows, ranging from fringe theatre to lecture performance. Now, they’ll be presenting an all new, original, interdisciplinary work, co-created by a number of young theatre makers both familiar and new to the local scene in the premiere of dead was the body till i taught it how to move this July.

Dominic Nah. Photo from Instagram.

Predominantly based off performer Dominic Nah’s personal lifedead was the body till I taught it how to move follows Dom as he discovers the art and power of b-boy while studying overseas, at first using it as a coping mechanism to deal with issues ranging from a death in the family to personal health issues, before delving far further into the dance form to find himself in the process. Says director Adeeb Fazah: “While in the midst of creating the show, we did question Dom on why he wanted this project to happen in the first place, and he expressed how he had some issues he needed to get off his chest. It’s a complex combination of so many things happening to Dom as he returns to Singapore after his Masters and finding himself at this crossroads. For Dom, doing this show is key to helping him out in real life, to give him a clearer sense and to find out exactly what stops or drives him.”

While dealing with the topic of b-boy dance (with movement direction by Michael Ng), the show is still primarily a theatre performance, scripted by playwright Edward Eng, becoming a kind of interdisciplinary work that explores the intersections between monodrama and dance. Says Edward: “Why does anyone do a monologue? Dom’s story deserves to be told, and it’s one that is, for me at least, is an important story so specific for our time. It’s a very unique monologue because it’s so biographical. Initially, Dom tried using writing, like his poetry circles or Unseen magazine, to find a way to express himself. But then we realised that it’s a piece that requires movement as well, and words and dance each inform and express what the other cannot, so theatre and monodrama became the perfect form for this story.”

Creative team behind dead was the body till I taught it how to movePhoto from Instagram

Says producer Mohamad Shaifulbahri (Shai): “Bhumi Collective came onto this project because we were excited about the way these two forms (text and dance) came together and had synergy. There’s something raw and unpolished about it, yet possessing a very real quality where anything could happen leading up to the show. We wanted to stick with Dom and support his journey, and use this rawness and grunginess that fits and informs the work, and see where it goes from here and how we can continue to develop it.”

Under Bhumi Collective’s guidance and the shared creative prowess of its collaborators, dead was the body till i taught it how to move is set to bring Dom’s deeply personal story of trauma and youth to life this July, as it re-emphasises the power of theatre and its ability to let anyone and everyone share their story and express it in a completely new and artistic way.

dead was the body till i taught it how to move plays at the Aliwal Arts Centre Multipurpose Hall from 11th – 14th July.  To book tickets, email: ticketing@bhumicollective.com For more information, visit Bhumi Collective’s website here

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