Frontier Danceland is a contemporary dance repertory company in Singapore, committed to inspire audiences with a dynamic range of contemporary dance works, contributing to a greater appreciation of the art form.
Tell us a little bit about your background. What got you interested in dance?
I have been dancing for 15 years on the side, doing mostly ballet. Since young, I always knew I wanted to be something more and so upon turning 18, I decided to pursue dance training full-time. Back then, there were only two art institutions in Singapore, and I wasn’t keen on them. While searching for options abroad, I found “Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance”, where I transited from being a “Bunhead” to falling in love with contemporary dance. I loved the elements and creativity in Contemporary dance; it was different. After, I spent half a year in Israel, training and performing with Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company under the MASA programme. I struggled to get a visa anywhere hence that’s how I landed up being back here in Singapore. It’s now been four years since I joined Frontierland and feel blessed to be where I am now.
What was your first professional dance role and how did you land it?
After graduating, my school’s principal invited a few of us to be part of his touring dance company. We performed in cathedrals and lived in teepees; it was a dream. He loved blending dance with spiritual elements and the pieces created were beautiful. I would say that was my first professional role.
Becoming a successful dancer takes lots of hard work starting at a very early age. What qualities do you think are required to be in this industry?
To me, you have to understand yourself first above everything else. For example, if you are an independent soul and know what you want and who you would want to collaborate with, a freelancing career is more suitable. But for a person who is looking for stability and fostering relationships, joining a dance company would be ideal. For me, I love being in a dance company; you get to work with the same group of people, and building chemistry and language together is always fun. On top of that, being resilient and humble is important, keeping a good attitude and always value criticism for improvement. That’s how we grow!
There are an increasing presence of dancers on social media, some of which are not professionally trained. Do you think it’s more important to be technically perfect or to exude confidence?
Although having technique is important, I think there shouldn’t be a distinction, but more of finding a balance between technique and charisma. A good dancer doesn’t have to be a technical person, but to be a performer you need to know how to move in certain ways and to be able to bring out the things that the choreographer wants. In the end, giving an engaging performance is vital.
Do you think you’re still getting better and learning everyday?
Being a dancer and choreographer is not just about developing the body but also the mind, hence learning to keep my mind in check is important. I feel my body getting tired as compared to five or ten years ago. So over the years as I grow as a dancer and person, I learn to be more efficient in how I use my body: knowing when to pull back and when to give. I hope I am getting better, even if it’s small steps!
Is there an overarching philosophy that guides your life?
Being humble and staying curious like a child at the same time.
Are there any upcoming shows that you are doing?
We will be at Dancers’ Locker and it will take place on 21, 22 and 29 of July. Drop by and support us!
Learn more about Dancers’ Locker here – http://www.frontierdanceland.com/whatson-detail/dancelocker/
Watch a clip of Adele in action –