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#shamanism #voguing #Yishun
Shamanism meets Voguing meets Yishun. For Yishun is Burning, choreographer Choy Ka Fai adapts Singaporean ritual dances for a transcendent, queer solo on a multimedia stage. The dancer Sun Phitthaya Phaefuang (aka Aurora Sun LaBeija) enters states between ecstasy, trance and vogueing, transcending attributions of gender, cultural identity and religion. Thirty years after the iconic New York documentary "Paris is Burning", this evening combines themes of a globalized world with old and new movement traditions and celebrates the search for (one's own) spirituality in dance.
On a quest for religious ecstasy, the audience dives into the notorious city of Yishun. Yishun is Singapore’s dystopian suburbia, where hybrid spiritual acts are perpetrated – a suburbia of darkness, a kind of antithesis to the gleaming clean image Singapore cultivates – Singapore has traditionally been known as an authoritarian city state, where society is ruled by control and in which freedom of speech is non-essential.
Yishun is Burning is a multicultural voguing dance party that traverses the boundaries of gender, race, and religion. Inspired by the Singaporean phenomenon of ritual reverence of deities in their struggle against evil. The performance will be led by Norwegian-Thai dancer Sun Phitthaya Phaefuang a.k.a. Aurora Sun LaBeija. Sun Phitthaya Phaefuang is a rising star of the Southeast Asian voguing scene whose dance will be accompanied by a music performance coming from the Singaporean Malay band NADA (Rizman Putra and Safuan Johari) and Chinese drummer Cheryl Ong.
Yishun is Burning is part of the CosmicWander Series, an on-going project by artist Choy Ka Fai exploring shamanic dance culture in Asia. The cosmic wander project unfolds into a series of performances, installations and virtual portals, seeking to resurface the alternative and disappearing human culture on dance, trance and belief systems.
In search of the supernatural dance experience, he had filmed extraordinary shamanic rituals and folk traditions that are still prevalent in our contemporary times, intersecting with the broader environmental, technological and political shifts in Asia. Started 2018, he first set out on a 18-month journey across Asia to meet more than 50 spirit mediums in Siberia, Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia. Ka Fai returns with encounters on altered states of human consciousness and transforms these experiences on stage. He seeks to speculate on the alternative modes of knowing and living, as well as other realms of reality other than our own.
Concept, Documentary and Direction: Choy Ka Fai
Dramaturgy: Tang Fu-Kuen
Spiritual Presence: Kali and Kuan Yin
Choreography and Dance Performance: Sun Phitthaya Phaefuang
Sound Design and Musical Performance: NADA (Rizman Putra & Safuan Johari) and Cheryl Ong
3D Visual Design and Technology: Brandon Tay
Light Design, Installation and Technical Direction: Ray Tseng
Visual Operator: Damjan Šporčić
Technical Direction Singapore Studio: ARTFACTORY
Tour Manager: Tammo Walter
Production Manager: Mara Nedelcu