By Cheryl Tan, edited by Teo Dawn
B-boy and theatre junkies rejoice! Bhumi Collective returns this week with the world premiere of dead was the body till i taught it how to move (DWTB), an electrifying fusion of theatre, b-boy, and hip hop.
“Just months ago I was sleeping over twelve hours a day. I don’t know if you’ve ever, but it’s like your brain and everything, everything’s perfectly awake, every other thing in the world is moving except this. The key is in the moving.”
The unexpected death of his father while he was away at university and b-boying. Later, a quest into the Bronx in New York City to meet the grandfather of hip-hop before returning home to begin a career as a teacher, like he’s some sort of Singaporean posterboy-superhero. That’s his story – Dominic Nah. Or not.
What exactly does it mean to ‘keep it real’?
Directed by Adeeb Fazah and produced by Mohamad Shaifulbahri, DWTB is a solo-actor show that grounds itself in an admirable and honest vulnerability. Dom realises that ‘being real’, though simple enough as a dancer, is not quite as straightforward in real life. In Dom’s life, ’being real’ is seems necessarily opposed to ‘ideal’, manifesting in bouts of uncontrolled aggression towards his peers, a constant, unusual impulse to steer himself away from success, and an unresolved hatred towards his late father.
DWTB is as much a theatre production that celebrates the art and appreciation of b-boy and theatre as much as it is a deeply personal journey bravely performed in truth and nothing but the truth by Dominic Nah, actor, dancer, and narrative conceptualiser. As Dom revisits his tangled biography, he invites us audiences on this journey of coming to terms with our own pasts, some heavily estranged and forgotten, some that we are ashamed of, but all of which that, when eventually confronted with honesty, we know make us the people we are today.
dead was the body till I taught it how to move
Date: 11th to 14th July 2018
Venue: Aliwal Arts Centre Multi-Purpose Hall
Time: Wednesday to Saturday, 8pm / Saturday, 3pm
Admission: $35 (Get your tickets here.)