After a successful start to their season earlier this year, RAW Moves continues their 2018/2019 theme of Competition with the return of their annual creative platform showcase: RawGround. Unlike X&Y, however, RawGround takes on a very different methodology and aim in what it hopes to achieve. With the platform, RAW Moves offers its company dancers and interns a professional space and guidance in which to fully explore conceptual ideas in their minds, and to further develop their works that stretch them as creators and performers.
With the theme of Competition, RAW Moves hopes to explore concepts of how humans find themselves constantly comparing themselves with one another, a ‘kiasu’ attitude that gives rise to an endless rat race as we constantly evaluate ourselves in the light of others, and where we stand within the world. Competition then, becomes a very abstract term, and the creators in RawGround are given free reign to interpret it as they deem fit, resulting in some truly inspired and unexpected ways the theme has been drawn out.
Each of the five creators have chosen to approach Competition in wildly different, yet relevant ways. RAW moves intern Lee Wee Siong’s Priceless will explore the concept of currency and monetary value in a piece of paper, as he questions our constant obsession over money, while company dancer the economy obsesses over money itself, and if we truly need them, while company dancer Matthew Goh’s Disappear will consider the act of breath and breathing space. Valerie Lim and Vanessa Tan will present Tech Faithfuls, examining our nomophobic culture and our almost religious attachment to our smartphones, while Stephanie Rae Yoong will conclude with Out of the Box, as she discusses the pressures of daily life to go beyond her comfort zones.
The 2018 edition of RawGround began in May, as the creators began the process of confirming which aspects of Competition they wished to explore in their work. June saw them streamline their thoughts and refine them into a single idea, before now in July as they put the finishing touches on their work, framing and refining it before they present it in August. These creator-performers are not alone in their journey though, as they’re not only being guided by the rest of the company dancers and choreographers within RAW Moves, but also dramaturg Dr Nidya Shanthini Manokara. A dance researcher-practitioner, few dance companies are as lucky as RAW Moves to have a resident dramaturg, a role which involves helping each artist develop their ideas and put them in perspective. Every dancer has their own favourite process of getting their ideas out, be it Matthew with his mind maps, or Vanessa and Valeries on GoogleDocs, and it is up to Dr Nidya to find out how best to guide dancers in articulating these ideas in performance.
Says Ebelle Chong, RAW Moves Company Manager: “Few other companies offer its dancers such a space and platform to develop these ideas in their heads, and we know how important it is for them to have an intimate studio setting and one on one mentorship. It’s a very organic process, and we believe that this will not only help investigate new work, but develop our creators as practitioners as well.”
With RawGround, RAW Moves then offers audiences a rare chance to see not one but four daring, innovative ideas given proper incubation as they prepare to stretch and question dance in different perspectives. Come join RAW Moves on this exploratory journey as they showcase their company’s ethos of development and thinking out of the box as these ideas are brought to life in the 2018 edition of RawGround.
RawGround plays at the RAW Moves Studio, Goodman Arts Centre Block B #01-08 from 4th – 5th August. Tickets are sold out, except for the 4th August 3pm slot, available from Peatix
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