Who are the giants that we, the younger generation, stand on?
Are they the pioneers of the past?
Are they the systems and structures upon which we build our dreams?
Do we have the courage and determination to free ourselves from them?
As we look towards the future, we ask the dreamers of the past and the present – have the dreams (or the ideals) changed? Perhaps, by understanding our giants, we can come to realise where we can, and want to be.
On the Shoulders of Giants is the premiere of a full-length work inspired by Goh Poh Seng's novel If We Dream Too Long and features 30 young dancers from NUS Dance Synergy under the creative direction of NAC Young Artist Award recipient (2017) Yarra Ileto, together with Albert Tiong and Goh Shou Yi.
Known for their warm and welcoming dance culture, NUS Dance Synergy started as the Jazz Ballet Group in 1978. Under the direction of Singapore dance luminary Mr Fan Dong Kai and Albert Tiong, Synergy has grown into a dynamic dance group that strives to promote dance as a modern art form that incorporates elements of Jazz, modern, lyrical, and contemporary dance.
Focusing on the values of responsibility, discipline and self-confidence, its dancers undergo elementary and intermediate technique training weekly, with a progressive framework that allows them to continuously improve and excel in contemporary dance.
As a group nested in the community, Synergy also believes it has the potential to effect social change through the medium of dance. Since 2015, Synergy has adopted a Corporate Social Integration (CSI) effort, which includes dance workshops and interaction sessions organised for the elderly and teenagers.
Yarra graduated with a BA First Class Honours Degree in Performing Arts (Dance) at LASALLE College of the Arts. Upon graduating, Yarra joined T.H.E Dance Company as one of the full-time founding members. She has performed in all the company’s works from 2008 to January 2015, touring extensively in Asia and Europe, and has worked with noted choreographers such as Cheuk Yin Mui, Xing Liang, Zhang Xiaoxiong, Boi Sakti, Dimo Kirilov and Kwik Swee Boon to name a few. She has also choreographed works for T.H.E Main Company, T.H.E Second Company and several local Universities and Colleges. Yarra is a professional freelance dance artist, choreographer and lecturer, recently performing in M1 CONTACT Contemporary Dance Festival, M1 Fringe Festival and Artscience Late 2018. In 2017, she received the Young Artist Award, Singapore's highest honour for young people in the arts.
Albert graduated from the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts on full scholarship. He was a professional dancer with Cloud Gate Dance Theatre (Taiwan) and guest artist with Hong Kong Dance Company. Albert was the Resident Choreographer and training master for Frontier Danceland from 2007 to 2011. In 2012, Albert founded Re:Dance Theatre. As a choreographer, some of Albert’s notable works include Traces, performed by NUS Dance Synergy and Re:Dance Theatre, which was awarded Production of the Year at the Tan Ean Kiam Arts Awards 2014. Another work, Touch, was performed at the M1 CONTACT Contemporary Dance Festival in 2017 and was selected to be presented at the Fukuoka Dance Fringe Festival 2018 (Japan). As an educator, Albert was previously a lecturer at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and LASALLE College of the Arts. Recently, he was invited to carry out academic exchanges with the Beijing Dance Academy in October 2017. Albert is now teaching at NUS Dance Synergy, T.H.E Dance Company and Singapore Raffles Music College (Dance Faculty).
Goh Shou Yi
Shou Yi completed his full-time dance education at State University of New York Purchase College Conservatory of Dance and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, with full scholarships awarded by the National Arts Council.
As a choreographer, Shou Yi’s works have been performed by arts institutions in Singapore and also showcased at various festivals including Seoul Performing Arts Festival, Esplanade da:ns Festival, M1 CONTACT Contemporary Dance Festival, d’Motion International Dance Festival, New Dance for Asia International Dance Festival, Gothenburg Fringe Festival, as well as on both T.H.E Main and Second Company’s choreographic platforms.
Shou Yi has also been actively collaborating with local and international artists to create dance choreographies. Beyond dance, he participated in The Orange Playground (2016), led by Haresh Sharma and organized by The Necessary Stage. His endeavors in theatre choreography saw him joining as a collaborator (Movement Choreographer) for PRISM (2017), a production put together by Singapore theatre company, Toy Factory. He was also one of the 1 Table 2 Chairs Experimental Series performer/collaborator as part of the M1 Chinese Theatre Festival 2017, organized by The Theatre Practice, Singapore.