MAXINE HEPPNER : CREATIONS
“Half literal, half allegorical, but always poetic… a treat to watch the various permutations on the subject of Steel, concrete or not. The imagination was captured, the senses teased; the world seemed another place.”
Sherri Lee, The Flying Inkpot, Singapore, January 1999
"Steel, a compound with its gleaming properties, embodied many elements that made this dance simple and yet complicated. Its introduction is a grim and cold presentation of martial-art-inspired movements that slowly evolved into a thought-provoking piece, reflecting the extreme complexity of human relationships."
Xinna Tann, Singapore Straits Times, January 1999
Steel : Description of work
“I first visited Singapore in 1989 and in 10 short years its growth has been extraordinary. It is this growth that inspired this dance. It seems to me that this visibly modern country with its ever-rising towers and roadways has a heart that pulses because of the spirit of the land it stands on and every individual who lives here. In our metaphoric stage world we dance in an environment where bamboo coexists with steel.”
By Xinna Tan
Flying Inkpot Singapore
Dance is an art in which we ourselves are the stuff of which it is made … every part of you is always ready to be kneaded and shaped into movement. Dance is all about finding a dancer from within. The unmistakable stamp of individual style is always with us, a hallmark of our irrepressible human spirit. This is the experience of Across Oceans.
Across Oceans, presented by Dance Dimension Project, a collaboration by contemporary artists from both sides of the Pacific, is a fusion of different cultures, distinct in their perspectives and experience, and the end product — a creation that is definitely unique.
Dance Dimension Project (DDP) have never failed to impress with their various creations for the past three years. This time, it was yet another rousing performance that brought along with it another different meaning to dance.
Maxine Heppner, a multi-talented choreographer / soloist from Canada, was specially invited by the DDP for their first project of 1999. Her various awards and commissions for her works would not have been possible if she did not break away from the traditional regime of dance. It is not about revolving round Martha Graham’s, George Balanchine’s or Gene Kelly’s style of dancing where dance is concerned.
“Dance is made of flesh and blood and breath”
— Maxine Heppner
Watching Heppner dance has been likened to seeing the portrait of her inner self being projected on stage. The way you feel inside your skin forms the basis of your body image.
The first dance of the program, a solo piece by Maxine Heppner, explored the space where contradictions between the climates of equatorial regions and the north cease to be relevant when ‘snow’ is used as a metaphor for a particular complex realm of being. Utilising just a little space on stage, ‘Snow’ became an allegory about human survival. Beneath its pure white beauty is its ability to choke, bury and conceal.
Steel, a compound with its gleaming properties, embodied many elements that made this dance simple and yet complicated. Its introduction is a grim and cold presentation of martial-art-inspired movements which slowly evolved into a thought-provoking piece, reflecting the extreme complexity of human relationships. The use of steely props, wooden sticks and just the bare voices of the dancers to create the music were all very much in accordance with the dance, making it a truly complete work of steel.
Across Oceans at the Drama Centre, Singapore, January 2000.
Produced by DDP (ECNAD) in collaboration with Maxine Heppner.