Thoughts on ‘Under The Volcano’

Recently, TheatreWorks presented one of its main season programme Under The Volcano from 21 – 23 April 2016 at 72-13. We had some Ambassadors who came to help out for front-of-house (FOH) duties, and they were able to catch the show. One of our Ambassador, Kerrine Goh, shared with us her thoughts on the performance.

Recently there has been lots of emphasis on speech and the story-line for dance-dramas, but Under The Volcano proved to be an exception. The seamless weaving of traditional silat and contemporary dance moves, the usage of visuals and props kept me at the edge of my seat as the dancers brought me through their fears, hopes and sadness of the occurrence of a natural disaster. Veering away from typical dance-dramas, this story is instead told with the use of movements. Complemented by the music and multimedia, the dancers’ technique took the centre stage and accentuated the myriad of emotions experienced by victims of natural disasters. Unlike other dance performances I have been to, this performance required me to be physically and consciously present in order to revel completely in the experiences of the victims.

I particularly liked the use of everyday objects as props. As a dancer myself, the use of props was typically meant for aesthetics purposes, hardly used to symbolise or to tell a story. The ladders for instance, was used to symbolise the top down approach adopted by society. At one point of time, the ladders were even used to construct a coffin, poignantly highlighting the extent of destruction caused by these natural phenomena.

TheatreWorks Ambassadors’ Programme has allowed me to view works that redefine what the arts really is. Additionally inspiring me with the fact that whilst people like myself appreciate the arts, there are others who actually labor for the arts – delving into every minute detail to ensure a wholesome experience for each and every audience. Lastly, amidst our safe and secure lives, I think Under The Volcano has definitely served as a timely reminder that there is just as much happiness as there is sadness in the world.

Coming up this week, TheatreWorks is presenting Open Rehearsal by Eng Kai Er and Faye lim. This work in progress is a lead up to their duet performance in July, ‘She Ain’t Heavy, She’s Reaching into Space’. Do come join us and share with us your thoughts as we explore and push the boundaries on Contact Improvisation. Find out more and register here!


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