An eventful 6 months have passed since we first embarked on our SYF journey in the RUA last October. With confidence in our theme right from the start, the months that followed saw countless hours of choreography, conceptualisation, experimentation with our props, and sweating (or sometimes bleeding) it out on the dance floor. Our journey allowed us to explore the most unlikely practice locations, including the high school Kah Kee hall, poolside alumni studio, and various foyers. We were also privileged to experience a dance exchange at Chung Cheng High School in December 2012 and April 2013.
As the juniors started to join us and the family began to grow in numbers, we gained momentum with each and every practice as a whole. We reached peak after peak, but also stagnated time and time again. However, the faith we had in ‘Knock of Fear’ gave us the drive and determination to push through to the end, no matter how tired our bodies, how drained our emotions, or how dampened our spirits were. It was the love for dance that kept us going.
‘Knock of Fear’ is a dance which speaks the hearts of war victims of the Japanese Occupation, of those who never managed to get past the trauma of their haunting experiences, of those who lived in fear. We were exposed to stories of how family members were taken away and how army soldiers rampaged through homes to look for their next victim, destroying everything that the people of that time held precious. To many of us, this dance also meant more than just the story it entailed. It was the chance to dance, the chance to give all we had in that short moment on stage with one another, doing what we love most. For the J2s, this SYF also marked the end of our much-treasured dance journey in Hwachong MAD Modern.
On 11 April 2013, 46 of us poured it all out on that one stage with that one desire— to leave the stage with no regrets. We were sucked into a world where music, movement, emotion, energy, passion and adrenaline engulfed us all at once. It was truly an indescribable feeling that no words can fully express.
“With wild abandon, boundless energy, gasps of air; stillness, deliberation, long deep breaths. Pounding knocks; the debilitating silence. And again, again. Blurred movement, panting; a measured slowness, eyes meet. And again, again.”
As we gave every ounce of emotion and energy we had, the six minutes and fifty seconds on stage felt shorter than any of the runs we ever had. Before we knew it, the doors started closing in on us and the lights began to dim to a blackout, leaving traces of tension in the air… like at the end of a 6-month long battle.
Our performance wasn’t perfect, but it definitely was real.
This was an SYF that had not just ‘little’ focus on results, but rather, literally zero attention on results for us. We’re extremely grateful and encouraged to have achieved the honorary title of ‘Distinction’, yet the sheer volume of what’s worth treasuring from this experience goes way beyond that.
And with that, our SYF 2013 journey came to a close, leaving behind a precious memory that will probably stick with us for the rest of our lives. 😀
Of course, this journey would not have been possible had we stood alone, so MAD Modern would like to take this opportunity to thank the following people for giving us so much support, in both the biggest and littlest ways:
Our dedicated instructor, Mr Dan Kwoh, for the past 6 months (and beyond) of his hard work and love. Despite having to juggle 7 schools for SYF this year, Mr Dan’s commitment towards MAD Modern has never wavered and he always puts all his heart into bringing out the best in all of us as dancers and as people.
Our teachers-in-charge, Ms Chen Pih Fern and Ms Fan Yitian, for tirelessly working behind-the-scenes, for constantly giving us the support we needed, and for caring for our well-being. A round of applause to Ms Fan for giving lighting cues so flawlessly as well!
The school management, for granting dance mats to the SALT studio and for all the administrative support.
Our music composer, Mr Toh Tze Chin, for creating such a heart-pumping, intricately-layered soundtrack, and for coming down to give us input on how to channel the pulse of the music into our movement.
Our sacrificial helpers, Daniel Sng (13S74), Huang Chenghao (13S76), and Wong Jin Hien (13S79), for helping out with the props and our barangbarang on rehearsal and SYF days.
The SALT centre staff, for always granting us the extra help when we needed it most, and for being so understanding with the studio and stereo usage.
MAD Modern alumni, MAD street, HC Chinese Dance, and all our friends, teachers, and family for their undying support for MAD Modern, not just for SYF but throughout our journey in MAD Modern!
Do catch our SYF piece, “Knock of Fear”, at Arts Fest 2013 (29th May @ Cheng Yi auditorium)! Wishing all other CCAs with ongoing/ upcoming SYF or competition seasons ALL THE BEST!!!
Chermaine Wong and Ellen Zeng,
On behalf of MAD Modern