Presented by T.H.E Dance Company and in collaboration with the Esplanade, The M1 Contact Contemporary Dance Festival returns for its much anticipated ninth edition. From 9 June to 5 August 2018, be enthralled with a line-up comprising of 16 shows with esteemed international collaborations from 14 different countries such as Italy, South Korea and Israel, with the spotlight on local and regional independent choreographers and dance artists, who are presenting 11 new works.

The festival has become a bastion for the contemporary dance scene by also mounting various workshops, technique classes and studio showcases ranging from beginner to professional levels. Not sure where to start? Here are the quintessential highlights.

Discover up-and-coming Choreographers At M1 Open Stage + DiverCity

Diversity is key at the M1 Open Stage, as the number of international program collaborators continue to increase as the festival gains prominence. Over two nights, look forward to the innovative and exhilarating works by a diverse range of dance artists of different backgrounds and nationalities. Catch NAKA by Goh Shou Yi (Singapore) and Kubota Mai (Japan), which deals with the intersection of what is inside ourselves and what is outside, and how this reflects different states of mind as well as Gil Kerer and Korina Fraiman’s Nice To Beat You, a performance of a passionate, intense relationship between a man and a woman.

Also not to be missed is Tom Tsai’s solo A Fantasy Of Going Home. Stirred by the current political events in the US, Tom looks at his own upbringing within a culture of fear and translates these emotions through a contemporary dance peppered with breakdancing aesthetics, battle intent, and freestyle sensibility.

Local independent dance artists Chiew Peishan and Liu Wen-Chun will be creating a brand new work for DiverCity titled Should I Kill Myself Or Have A Cup Of Coffee?, created in collaboration with Taiwanese film artist Chen Yan-Hong, and local dramaturg Neo Kim Seng. Influenced by Albert Camus’ philosophy of ‘The Absurd’, the piece visualises the choreographers’ personal musings and explorations of the absurdity of eventual death.

M1 Open Stage+DiverCity is happening at Esplanade Theatre Studio at 8pm, 19-20 July 2018. Tickets priced at $25 (standard) and $15 (concession). For both nights, M1 Open Stage+DiverCity has a Twin Deal priced at $38.

Enjoy Award-winning Works And Awe-Inspiring New Creations At The Asian Festivals Exchange (AFX)

The Asian Festivals Exchange (AFX) provides a stage for choreographers across partner festivals to gather and present award-winning works and new creations using contemporary dance as a medium to convey their messages about modern society. South Koreans Kim Ho-yeon and Lim Jung-ha present their award-winning piece, First Abundance Society, where paradise is imagined Marshall Sahlins’ ‘original affluent society’ theory, illustrating how preparing for the future does not necessarily guarantee a better standard of living. They will be collaborating with Hwa Wei-An (Singapore/Malaysia) on a work-in-progress at the end of the AFX. Selected from Yokohama Dance Collection, Kenji Shinohe’s K(-A-)O (symbolisation of feelings) examines the oversimplification of human emotional expression in the information age we currently live in. The highly anticipated twin bill by T.H.E. Second Company created by bold, assured female choreographers, Natalie Clark and Kim Bora will contribute stunning pieces of art to the AFX.

Asian Festivals Exchange is happening at Esplanade Theatre Studio at 8pm, 31 July 2018. Tickets are priced at $28 (standard) and $20 (concession).

Experience The Diversity Of Dancers at Binary – International Artists Showcase

A tour-de-force of works that evoke the gravity of the body, double bill Binary brings you Black Velvet, a multidisciplinary work created by performance artist and dancer Shamel Pitts, co-performer Mirelle Martins and lighting designer Lucca del Carlo. The piece celebrates the many textures within the self through themes of gender, race, identity, love and friendship, opening both your eyes and heart in the way it presents the ‘colourfulness of blackness’. Vestige, on the other hand, created by Astrid Boons, examines bodies devoid of its humanness. The body searches, longing to find its humanness in this pure movement piece that will captivate you from start to finish.

Binary – International Artists Showcase is happening at Esplanade Theatre Studio at 8pm from 3-4 August 2018. Tickets are priced at $36 (standard) and $20 (concession).


M1 Contact Contemporary Dance Festival 2018 tickets are priced from $5 via Sistic and Peatix.

Photo Credits (Top to Bottom): Robert Benschop, Bernie Ng, Chung Tou Suk, Mauricio Pisani