This is a collection of letters to Dance written by people between the ages of 5–92 from Singapore. They are people of different backgrounds and languages, by those in exile, by visitors, by some who have been born in their city and are still going to school, others who are working or looking for work, and by people who are coming to terms with the aging process. What these writers have in common is that they are examining their own relationship with Dance and dancing, and that they are telling their stories to Dance. A letter is always begun by addressing the recipient, and this first impulse encourages a correspondence. This form allows every possible expression, any language and any style. Hate and anger, love and desire, grief and dreams are all found here. In the project’s four workshops, Dance received more than 600 love letters, funny anecdotes, life stories, confessions, and more than a few jibes. Dance was addressed as best friend and lover, as well as enemy, therapist, scapegoat, and projection.
How were these letters obtained? In the frame of the choreographic project called “Just in Time”, between Oct. 5th and Oct. 17th 2019, we travelled to Singapore on the invitation of Dance Nucleus. The four local dancers and choreographers Faye Lim, Hasyimah Harith, Shanice Stanislaus, and Chan Sze-Wei helped us organise 4 workshops with very different groups of people. We went to meet the people who live in this city, to speak with them about Dance, to dance together and to write letters. The letters are documents and snapshots of those meetings, often written in less than half an hour. In addition to the letters, we also organised a final ball in every city, to which we invited all letter writers and those interested in Dance. During the ball everyone danced the favourite movements of their city, which we collected from the letter writers and rewrote into choreographic instructions. You will find these movements in this collection as well: perhaps they will motivate people to dance together, not to hover alone near the dance floor!
With this e-book we give our readers all the handwritten letters that we collected in Singapore. We hope you allow yourself to be addressed by Dance, and to remain open to all of its appearances, wherever they may occur.
deufert&plischke, Berlin, Oct. 2019
Communities experiencing illness or caregiving were invited to this workshop. Here, we had some of our oldest participants of 70 to 80 years old.
The participants of this workshop mainly consisted of the street dance community – Waackers, Voguers, Breakdancers, and Hip Hop dancers.