an invitation to surrender to the in-between
成为 means to become or rather, becoming. This title is emblematic of the piece’s concept and construction, but also indicates the dynamic state the piece inhabits, by virtue of how it is built. In performance, Wéi (成为) is still volatile and forming.
This work centers on two questions:
What makes us who we are?
How do we know when we become ourselves?
This curiosity about how identity is formed and whether it’s predetermined or malleable is embedded deep within the piece. Rather than addressing it through narrative or image-driven representation, though, I’ve channeled these concerns into the piece’s formal conception and underlying process. The score functions almost like a computer program, establishing sets of conditional/ contingent relationships between the dancers that allow me to test various hypotheses related to these questions. Instead of the findings manifesting as some form of data, they’re produced as abstract lyrical movement.
The Paradox and the Audience
成为 is paradoxical in its design—the interactions it posits between each performer are at once very open-ended and exceedingly regimented. This undoubtedly reflects the dissonances I carry within me. I’m a Peranakan Chinese woman who grew up in Singapore and immigrated to Canada, a free spirit that matured in a heavily circumscribed milieu. Whereas in Canada I found greater freedom, it remains a foreign place and I continue to have to adapt.
The dance relies as much on the spontaneous input from each dancer as it does on choreographic mechanisms that regulate, refract, and interrogate this material over the span of the work. The result is a scenario that engenders a sense of dependence / resentment within the ensemble. This friction fuels the dancers.
Photos by Chloé Delorme
by Yvonne Ng
Choreography by Yvonne Ng in collaboration with…
Originally performed by Mairéad Filgate, Kaitlin Standeven, Johanna Bergfelt, Luke Garwood, and Irvin Chow
Composer: Nick Storring
Outside eyes: Marie-Josée Chartier & Ginelle Chagnon
Costume Designer: Heather MacCrimmon