By Yasmeen Banu
Singapore Dance Theatre (SDT) will be showcasing a series of six contemporary and classical performances throughout 2014.
Kick starting SDT's 2014 season is Shakespeare’s heartbreaking tale of two lovers, Romeo and Juliet.
“There’s a great loss… You lose your lover, you feel that feeling and even after the performance is done…Recovering is quite hard,” Senior Artist Rosa Park, who has been with SDT for five years, said as she describes performing Romeo and Juliet.
Her Romeo in the dance, Chen Peng added that falling in love is just as hard because both him and Rosa are friends. Both dancers got into fits of laughter describing how they would sometimes burst out laughing when rehearsing dances.
Romeo and Juliet will be from the 13th to the 16th of March at the Esplanade Theatres.
This is followed by Peter and Blue’s Forest Adventure: an exciting and colourful performance about Peter, his dog Blue and cat Calico venturing into the enchanted forest to look for treats for his mother on her birthday, a one-hour ballet created especially for SDT's young audiences.
“One of the reasons we do Peter and Blue… the number of kids that come in, they leave happy…and they have a good experience. If you show them something esoteric that they can’t possibly enjoy, they are going to think why did they come!” said SDT’s artistic director, Janek Schergen.
He continued to say, “You have to meet them in the middle… you don’t have to go down to their level but you have to meet them in the middle.”
“I was lucky I came from a family with my mother as a dancer, and I saw my mother dancing when I was a young child. When I was five years old, I had already decided I wanted to be a dancer…Depends upon when you meet up with the art form, you know? And whether you learn to respect it or to dread it… That’s one of the reasons we do Peter and Blue, because however many kids come in, that many kids leave happy, and they have a good experience,” Schergen continued.
The delightful adventure will be from the 5th to the 8th of June at the Esplanade Theatre Studio and is perfect for children ages three and above.
In the month of July, for two consecutive weekends, Singapore’s favourite outdoor dance event will be showcasing Ballet Under The Stars at Fort Canning Green. It will be an enchanting day with a medley of dances. SDT will be performing this medley of dances from the 18th to 20th and 25th to 27th of July.
This is followed by Masterpiece in Motion from the 12th to the 13th of September at National University of Singapore Cultural Centre and Da:ns Festival from the 17th to the 18th of October at Esplanade Theatre Studio.
For its grand finalé, SDT presents Don Quixote, a full-length classical ballet based on the masterpiece of a story by Miguel de Cerventes. Don Quixote is a romantic and chivalrous tale of a knight, Don Quixote and his devoted squire Sancho Panza.
Rosa Park, in response to the question of which ballet piece she most look forward to in this season, replied, “I’m really excited for Don Quixote in December. I really like that character.”
SDT will be presenting its premier of Don Quixote on the 4th to the 7th of December at the Esplanade Theatre.
Speaking on the challenges on preparing for performance this season,
“Every piece has its own challenge… For instance, for Don Quixote, it is stamina and technique-wise very challenging. And for Romeo and Juliet, I have to die at the end…it’s emotionally very draining. After I die, it’s not physically hard, but it’s emotionally too hard,” Rosa laughs while continue describing how every performance of Romeo and Juliet leaves her feeling a great loss, like she lost her lover.
SDT does not simply do classical ballet pieces nor just complementary there is a well balanced mix of various pieces with different theme. Chen Peng in response to the difficulty of managing the wide range of dance pieces in SDT said that it was not hard on the mind to cope but it is more of the test on one's physical ability to cope with the changes.
All tickets will be available at SISTIC.