In celebration of the company’s 20th anniversary, The Arts Fission Company presents MAKE IT NEW, a ten-day event featuring diverse programmes at different locations. Instead of merely reminiscing the past, the company chooses to utilize the themes, ideas, concepts and staging ideas from existing works as inspiration for new dance performances, to initiate stimulating dialogue, to reconnect with past collaborators and to engage with new audiences.

Created by present and former company dancers as well as past and new collaborators of Arts Fission, INCIDENTAL PERFORMANCE features new creations that will be performed at various sites inside the National Design Centre. The first weekend performance on 31st January featured THE HOMECOMING, an appropriate name for the performance that featured past performers, Elysa Wendi, Scarlet Yu and Bobbi Chen, who returned to collaborate with the company once more.

The National Design Centre is in itself a beautiful building, but it is Arts Fission’s knowledge and expertise with site-specific works that shines through, with a widespread and intelligent utilization of space. The foyer of the building acted as the main performance area, but the corridors, balconies and even the stairwell were made use of too, both for the audience and the performers. Even the screening of the dance film at the end made use of the building’s potential, using three walls in between windows as projection backgrounds.

The most memorable part of the performance was when the audience was led outside to face an exposed stairwell, where the dancers performed stomping up and down the stairs, twisting and turning their bodies into shapes the complimented yet contrasted the stairwell’s sharp angles and straight lines. An absolutely stunning visual, especially with the dancers’ silhouettes against the stark white background.

All in all, the entire experience was inspiring and somewhat emotional, with the returning of old dancers among young blood, the sharing of all the sheer determination and hard work put into the past 20 years of performance. What Arts Fission does cannot merely be described as dance, simple because the works that they present transcends the genre. With their unflinching commitment to artistry, the company constantly pushes the boundaries of performance, combining movement, sound, lighting, graphic design and audience engagement. Make It New is, indeed, no retrospective. Rather, it is a rejuvenation of the company’s rich history, and a tribute to everyone who has shared their vision and those who continue to do so.

MAKE IT NEW runs until 8 February, Sunday, with a series of events including talks, exhibition forums and performances. The next performance on 6 & 7 February features guests artists Irene K Dance Company (Belgium) and dancer Sukarji Sriman (Indonesia), who will be performing at the National Design Centre as well. Tickets are available via SISTIC, and you can visit their website for more information.

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