Six Point 5 in collaboration with Project Home explore the stresses of life in Singapore and beyond. Curiosity and creativity become our protagonists ally in their attempt to be and act as themselves.
HISTORY - We were hoping you could share about your journey so far as an artist. When did you focus your energy towards a creative lifestyle and what are your core values as an artist?
My journey thus far as an artist have been on a journey of self-discovery. Every single time when creating works, I seek to find ways to do things in a different way. And in this process, the challenges allows me to better understand myself. Be it the idea/concept I'm working on, my environment, or even the state of my mind. It constantly changes and in turn, I learn more about myself. Like the way I think, my like/dislikes, the very root where my instinct comes from. And that itself actually allows me to find conviction in the things i do and not be affected by the "noises" of the world.
And from there, I start to develop a habit of directing my energy of listening to myself. 'What am I feeling?', 'How does this make me feel?', 'How awesome would it be if it can be done it this way?'. It excites me to create but yet at times, it can be a lil overwhelming when fear/insecurities take over. And that's where I try to tune in back to my very own instinct, and I ask myself what is the very main thing i wanna show/tell/talk about. And from there, it sort of put me back to position to where I started and continue navigating again. A loop where I constantly discover the good/bad in me and it allows me to embrace it in a safe and guided way. Where I won't be too critical on myself or bee complacent, allowing myself to take things a step at a time.
What are some core values?Truth. Truth about myself, truth about how/what things can be. Ultimately, this all birth from a place of speaking the truth to me. What is true to me, and the very state I am in, or wish to say. That itself is a process of truth. Where i constantly find peace and come to terms with what is true to my feelings/thoughts. What is instinctively right for me to show/tell.
Spirit of Excellence. It may not be the best, but i will definitely do my best. Enough said
CURRENT WORK AND CREATIVE PROCESS - What work are you most proud of and why? Please tell us about the creation process and of your creative process in general.
It was a challenging major creation process involving many aspects from start to finish - designing the sets, space, down to visuals and choreography. We had to consider the art of physical elements, including water and sand, and create a dynamic show revolving around the ‘Elements’ theme, giving the audience a dynamic immersive experience.
Generally, our creative process is about translating from internal to external. We start by exploration with specific word cues, drawing out dancers’ in-the-moment movements based on our own interpretations. Some themes require us to do more in depth research prior to our sessions, including observing people and situations. With this process, we build on our dancers’ ideas, and what stood out most to us, then refine from our individual materials to produce a wholesome work which belongs to all of us.
INSPIRATION - What inspires you? How have those inspirations impacted your work over the past 5 years and in your work more recently?
What inspires you? Anything I watch, read, or listen to.(Online videos of dance or anything random, Movies & Shows, Books & Articles, Podcasts)Using dance as a medium to engage and express people who don't let their age define what they can or cannot do.People who recreate or reinvent things and makes me wonder how.
How have those inspirations impacted your work over the past 5 years and in your work more recently?
PAST 5 YEARS: The closest inspirations where I can get are friends or pioneers who pathed the way and showed us how. The legacy of what our pioneers have passed down is to dream and imagine but also to apply critical thinking. Creation is also not limited to age and so is dance as a medium to engage and express.
The works that we have created are either audience-oriented or idea-oriented. Knowing the demographics of our audience is important especially if it is an audience-centric performance. That shapes our work; the way we choreograph, the choice of music, the linkage, and the humor added have to be more intentional.
As for idea-centric work, bringing that idea from imagination to reality requires tons of research plus trial and error. It can be very discouraging when you experience failure but the breakthroughs come only when you continue to press in, be it in researching and sourcing for possibilities. The choreography process becomes much slower too and requires a lot of refinement. Yet, when the end product is out, we too are amazed and realized the choreography works only because of the idea. Definitely, a rewarding process that makes us wonder how we pull it off within the timeline given. Most importantly, it makes me realize I am already with people who recreate things and make me wonder how. The only difference is, I am a part of it now!! The discovery is, not how crazy they can come up with such ideas but how creative and resilient they are in that process. Through that process, we gain new approaches to the choreography process and creation too.
RECENT WORKS: For more recent works, the challenge is to find the balance or sweet spot between making it relatable to our audience and retaining the idea that we want to talk about. How much do we engage and how much do we want to expand on the idea. The additional element and usage of technology that we are unfamiliar with adds on to the challenge in the creation process.
This is probably our transition phase too, in finding new approaches to deliver an idea. This also means we have to unlearn to relearn and falling back to our comfortable approach is also something we are trying to break away from. Definitely, a lot of thinking process & analyzing our approaches & what we came up with. A lot of deconstructing and reconstructing for our recent works.
COMMUNITY - How do you engage in your communities? How do your communities influence your art? This is also your chance to mention any organizations or groups you are a part of.
As Six.5, a dance company under O School, we get to reach out to the local youths VIA school tours, with the option of having it done virtually as well. The content of the tour includes education on the history of Hip Hop, and the influence it has on the various styles of dance in the current days.
Six.5 also has dance numbers that express the concerns or issues that youths face nowadays. With the intention of opening up conversations with them, their responses are part of what directs us for our future works.
Moving forward, we are also excited about our next Virtual Reality dance project to archive the presence and memories of our building that we are currently located at. Having the community experience the, Oculus (VR Goggles) will be a fresh moment for them especially after a lengthy hiatus from physical dance events.
ASPIRATIONS - In the next 5 years, what aspirations do you have for yourself?
We’d like to continue building education and guidance for our future generation local artists through intentional mentorships and exposure and guidance towards Arts as a career. By providing platforms to learn, apply and contribute to the ever evolving needs of the society.
We believe in building sustainable careers through the arts. And this is something we would like to continue guiding our future generations with.
At the same time, to see that Art is bigger than self. To see Art as means to serve the community before self. By constantly bridging the gap between society and the Arts (as we are currently progressing in doing) we would like educate that Arts is for everyone. It can be enjoyed by anyone, it is inclusive and it serves a bigger purpose and is able to give voice towards issues that we rarely openly talk about.