“Dancing with Death" is situated in the spiritual everyday. It boasts liminal figures: gods and the godlike…When the dancers come together they exert a palpable force, the force of common humanity.” – RealTime Arts, Australia.
Where there is life, there is death, and where there is death, there is life. In Dancing with Death, award-winning choreographer Pichet Klunchun creates a space in between these intertwined worlds where the material and immaterial meet, where body and spirit exist in a state of kinetic freedom.
This liminal world - and being - between the living and the dead was first experienced by Klunchun at a Thai folk festival and parade where locals don colorful masks and vibrant costumes to joyfully honor fertility and death. Here, death is not feared but celebrated, and dance is free, fluid and organic in expression.
This inspired Klunchun to create a new physical vocabulary marrying the improvisational and intuitive nature of folk expression with Klunchun’s contemporary choreographic system based on classical Thai dance. Using this intricate movement language, seven dancers, including Klunchun, navigate cyclical paths of existence that vacillate between life and death, never clearly separating but always blurring the lines between these two phenomena. The spirit world parallels the material world and yet these realms intersect all the time engaging with each other. Just like how past gestures and movements keep returning to present choreographies. The 'ghosting' of these gestures are just like the haunting of spirits in the material world but also manifestations of the material in the ether.
Produced by: Pichet Klunchun Dance Company and Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay (Singapore)
Commissioned by: Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Singapore for da:ns series 2016
Co-produced by: Performing Arts Meeting in Yokohama 2016 executive committee, Arts Centre Melbourne and Adelaide Festival Centre’s OzAsia Festival
Technical Consultant: KANAGAWA ARTS THEATRE(KAAT)
Choreographer: Pichet Klunchun
Dancers: Pichet Klunchun, Sunon Wachirawarakarn, Porramet Maneerat, Padung Jumpan, Kornkarn Rungsawang, Julaluck Eakwattanapun
Artistic Director: Pichet Klunchun
Set Design: Pichet Klunchun
Lighting Designer: Asako Miura
Sound Designer: Hiroshi Iguchi
Costume Designer: Piyaporn Bhongse-tong
Dramaturg: Lim How Ngean
Production Coordinator/Manager: Sojirat Singholka
Stage Manager: Jirach Eiamsa-ard
Commissioned by Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay.
Co-produced by Performing Arts Meeting in Yokohama 2016 Executive Committee, Arts Centre Melbourne - Asia TOPA and Adelaide Festival Centre’s OzAsia Festival.