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District 18: Activation 3

| Documentation by Syarifuddin Sahari |

1 February 2019, 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

On-site at Tampines Round Market and Food Center (TRMFC)

The sky was clear and many stars were out. It was the third day of rehearsing at night yet the air felt calmer. Haizad led the warm up, instructing the dancers to stand shoulder-to-shoulder in a circle. They then had to lean repeatedly from left to right; this exercise is for them to better understand each other’s body.


Swaying as one in the cool night breeze.

After this exercise, the next one was roaming trust fall; everyone would continuously walk around the space (in this case the center of TRMFC) and whoever’s name is called the person will have to fall as a plank in any direction. The rest then have to catch that person before they reach the floor. This is to instill trust in each other as well as to train their spacial awareness.

Nobody fell to the floor in this first round and a new rule was added; instead of the name, Haizad will call out the person’s item. There were a few instances where the person fell (lightly) to the ground as the dancers were still trying to remember each other’s items.

To make things more challenging, Haizad started calling out 2 items at a time. Even more fell to the ground since there was slight confusion; sometimes the second item to be called will already be trying to save the first item, or as everyone was saving the first item, Haizad will call out an item/person who was further from the rest. The dancer’s shared in the debrief afterwards that it was more difficult to remember others’ items and when more than one was called, they could even forget their own item amidst the confusion.

After the debrief, the dancers were tasked to group their items together, and the group headings had to be related to the hawker culture. With District 18 being a site-specific work, the headings had to be easily understood by the hawker people. It will be unreasonable to call it site-specific if it does not resonate with the site itself.

At first, the items could each be in more than one group. After this first round of grouping the items, each item then had to be in only one group. This lead to a reshuffling among the groupings and the dancers came up new, better groups.

During the discussion, Haizad mentioned, “Stressful right? You only want to dance right?” This showed that he wanted the dancers to do more than simply move in a place; he wanted them to give more intention and consideration to the performance that they will be putting up.


The was a lengthy exchange of opinions as they discussed how they should group the items together.

After the discussion, Haizad revealed that the groups they came up with is how he will group the dancers together, they unknowingly set a common theme for themselves.