CATALYST 2021 - An embedded response by Alyah Amani


CATALYST is an annual incubation programme for P7:1SMA associates that supports research process and performance-making. We hope to inspire artistic practices that grow and embrace failures. Personalised support is given to artists such as unlimited studio time, mentorship circle, feedback with community and administrative support. Since 2018, there have been 4 local artists who have shared their works and creation process with the community.


Read more about shared works and artists here.

Embedded writing and personal response

by Alyah Amani


This marks the first day of Catalyst where 7 artists will be sharing their works and creation process to the community. As I sit here watching Rumah slowly come to life, I take in the calm energy of the room, the silent anticipation and busy hands. Coloured boxes line the floor as the first performer prepares her stage.

Tape town

by Valerie Lim & Melinda Lauw




  • Introduction to Tape Town and how the idea was formulated

  • The gloomy atmosphere of covid gave them the inspiration for this work

- Play on COVID restrictions

- Finger dance & Choreography

- Given time to decorate and create our own finger costumes

- Performance Time!

  • Mood : Playful, Light hearted, Engaging


Artist sharing

Is this meaningful enough for you as the public to continue the movement?


Audience sharing


“There is something flirtatious about the way my hand was dancing within and outside the box. If we did it with our bodies, we would attract attention and trouble but with our fingers and hands, it doesn’t seem wrong to do.”


“ There is potential for this project to grow. Tik Tok or other trendy social media platforms could be considered in marketing Tape Town.”

Personal Response

  • Basics of movement

  • Imitation through movement

  • Stick man

  • Reminds me of when i was a child using my hands and fingers to mimic and create scenarios for play time.

Garap

by Ismail Jemaah



Garap // Work on // Work // Cultivating


An interactive work that uses the ideas of the audience to formulate a performance. Elements of sound and movement are woven into this piece to create an immersive experience.Ismail was attracted to the intangible feeling of sensing each other’s presence during a live performance. He created this work for the sole purpose of enjoying the vibe a live performance gave off.


Instructions


Day 1

  • Draw one thing that you saw today

  • Use a Google app to create a melody of your own

  • Create a sculpture from the responses

  • Find a way to connect these sculptures aka responses


Day 2

  • Write down the first word that comes to mind

  • Shout the word out loud ( Verbs, Adjectives, Nouns )

  • The use of instruments such as the Triangle are introduced

  • Hold up a hand sign to the performers


Personal Response


“Sufi and Syimah (dancers) are seen gracing the makeshift stage with their smiles and erratic movements. As the audience feeds the dancers their words and sounds, I become highly aware of my surroundings and what I was witnessing in front of me. The intangible feeling the artist was trying to get across finally relayed to me. The light hearted atmosphere of the room coupled with the air of playfulness got me feeling pumped and excited.”


Live Response


“The dancers have stopped closely interacting

Now they are dancing individually

Their movements are slow unlike previously where they were erratic

Watching them move i find myself smiling

As the rhythm picks up, their movements get faster and more frantic.

They move in accordance to the tempo and beat

There is an air of playfulness.

Even though they are not touching it feels and looks as if their bodies are moving as one

The barricades are then removed signaling the end of the performance.”


Visuals


The inside of a child’s mind. Bringing back fond childhood memories.

Resurfacing past experiences.


Azure

by Jonit On & Syarifuddin Sahari




Live Documentation


“Dressed in white cropped tops

Jonit carries a laptop around with a blue screen with what appears to be coding of some sort? She moves in slow calculated steps

In a cat pose she slowly plays an audio of high pitched noise

She is seen observing the computer.


I can feel and hear the ringing in my ears i think it makes me feel nauseous

Like a sharp long lasting prick

Jonit addresses the audience as she moves to center space.

She then lies down in the middle of the white plastic

Syariffudin pours the blue paint on Jonit then proceeds to lay on her.

Now both bodies are stained in blue.


They slowly move in unison, almost mechanical.

The paint gets rubbed onto their bodies as they move in slow erotic movements.They keep a stoic face. Not particularly making eye contact with anyone. Staring into nothing.

Occasionally, lumps of paint falls off their bodies

I hear the sound of their feet covered in paint crumpling the plastic.

I smell the pungent smell of the acrylic paint.

The performance has come to an end.”


Audience body language


“I see a man covering his ears probably as bothered by the sound as i am

I see a man in a bucket hat unable to keep eye contact with the performance, he often glances about. Everybody is captivated by the performance.”


Observations

  • A transmission of data is taking place

  • Used more paint during the second performance

  • Movements changes due to paint

  • There is a certain anticipation and thrill watching the performers trying to move in swift motions without falling.


Artist sharing

  • Did not want to make much meaning out of the creation

  • Left it to the imagination of her viewers

  • She intended the capture the little space in between moments

  • The space between realities

  • “ When your computer dies on you and you start having an existential crisis.”

  • Mood : Alienistic Foreign Bodies, Futuristic yet Primal, Melancholy, Calmness


Audience sharing

  • It felt surreal

  • Reminded him of the “Blue screen of death”

  • The alien aspects reminded him of the Matrix skin

  • The blueness of the paint reminded him of laundry detergent

  • Reincarnation and death of sorts


Sacred Connection

by Sharul Mohd, Nurliyana Shukor, Geraldine Tng



Concept

How can the intangible be felt throughout the body? Death is inevitable

In order for something new to surface many things have to die.

A Soul Body Connection.


Layout of performance

Video - Performance - Artist QnA


Process

  • Relying on sense of hearing and sight observation

  • Collaborative process took a longer time

  • Allowing his counter parts to be involved

  • Indonesian Vocalist, Peni Candra

  • Developing asian contemporary dance in Singapore


Layout of set

  • A single red rope separating sharul from the other two performers

  • Wooden box placed away from them

  • Tepak sirih

Traditional malay container

Store fancy food offerings

Batik used for deaths



Live Observations


Day 1

  • The two bodies are interacting with each other

  • They take in deep breaths

  • A type of possession is taking place

  • Entering a trance

  • Erratic movements

  • Sharul sits on a white platform where the rope is tied from

  • It feels as though he is the one singing

  • There is a hierarchy in the roles


“I can hear the sound ringing in my ears. The occasional sound of Sharul hitting the white platform breaks the silence. The two dancers are entering a sort of trance. The music sounds absolutely terrifying. With every beat of the platform, the two dancers fall deeper into their trance. I feel like I'm watching a ritual of sorts taking place. Sharul’s body answers to the calling of the music. His body contorts and moves as he slowly unveils a piece of batik from the wooden box. The batik now becomes an extension of his body as he twirls and becomes one . He handles the cloth delicately at the same time he tosses it about.”


Day 2

  • Clapping - Water trickling

  • Heavy breathing - Melodic Humming

  • Stomping - Chanting

  • Skirts flowing - Summoning


“The rain downpour is significantly heavier today. As the performances take place, a sense of tranquility takes over Rumah. The swaying of the trees and the occasional sweep of breeze changes the direction of the performance completely. In comparison to the first performance where the two dancers were worshiping Sharul, in this rendition all three performers are seen gathered praying to a higher being together. What felt dark and sinister yesterday is overwhelmed by a sense of peace and calmness today. The music is melodic and the performers enter a trance humming and breathing rhythmically.”



Visual Image Response to performance

MANMAN

by Syimah Sabtu & Merissa Tan