Arts Dance with Me Preview Singapore

Preview: Sang Nila Has Arrived! by Diverse Abilities Dance Collective

Maya Dance Theatre’s Diverse Abilities Dance Collective (DADC), a community unit that focus on bringing awareness towards diversely abled performers is back with a new dance storytelling production this December 2021.

Sang Nila has arrived! presented by Apsara Asia Pte Ltd, brings to ‘live’ the folklore of Singapore’s founding by Prince Sang Nila Utama. Presented as an online digital performance, Sang Nila has arrived! features a unique ensemble of both professionals, dancers with diverse abilities and child performers to promote inclusiveness. The project is supported by National Arts Council, Singapore (NAC).

Sang Nila has arrived! brings to live the legend of a young prince from Indonesia who sailed the seas in search of adventure. And on one of his journeys, he discovered a beautiful island inhabited by a strange majestic-looking beast (Singa-Lion), deemed a good omen, and decided to call the new island, Singapura (Singapore).

This dance storytelling production provides audiences an opportunity to celebrate the passing of traditions, stories, values and customs from one generation to the next while at the same time, fostering cohesive familial relationships and weaving a stronger and closer-knit community within our multi-cultural fabric. It also provides an opportunity for younger audiences to better understand the history of Singapore from its early years through play, theatre, dance-music and storytelling.

The presentation of Sang Nila has arrived! was made possible by a member of DADC, Judith Teo (32). Judith who witnessed the Bi-Centennial exhibition in 2019 (as part of Singapore’s 200 years founding celebrations), and was immensely impressed with the story of Sang Nila, she then translated that experience into reimagining the story of Sang Nila Utama through dance storytelling with her peers in DADC. She adapted an original script written by producer Imran Manaff together with drama educator and storyteller, Jeremy Leong.

Sang Nila has arrived! features the collaboration between diversely-abled dancers from (DADC) together with 2 children performers. Music compositions are contributed by music maestro, Kailin Yong, Raghaveendra Rajasekaran and Dzul Rabull.

With the success of their first digital dance production, Mighty Mousedeer of the Forest in 2020, DADC skilfully navigated themselves through the digital realm again and this time with three new co-players: Drama Educator/ Storyteller Jeremy Leong and 2 child performers aged 8 and 11 years old.

Radhi Parekh, 11, who was one of the two child performers that performed together with DADC states that being part of the production not only enabled her the opportunity to work with diversely abled individuals but also to learn about Singapore’s history. ” I was able to experience the way Singapore got its identity and realise the importance of Singapore’s history and how it helped Singapore to become the city it is today,” states Radhi, on learning the story of Singapore through being a part of the production.

“We have reimagined the story of Sang Nila Utama with children and diversely abled performers through dance storytelling,” says Kavitha Krishnan, Artistic Director of Maya Dance Theatre. “The coming together of the different talents and the colourful rendition of this infamous legendary folklore brings about many learnings such as, cultural appreciation, inclusivity and creative imagination. We have used the arts to make new friends and to discuss about our heritage. In addition, seeing the two children performers come alive and support the diversely abled talents through the process was equally a joy to watch and we could sense hope for a better future!”

Sang Nila Has Arrived streams from 6th to 19th December 2021 on SISTIC Live. Tickets available from SISTIC

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