Got To Move (GTM) is an incredibly creative and unique dance movement launched by the National Arts Council to promote dance in the month of October! There will be dance events held nationwide, from the recently concluded Dance for Your Prata held at the CBD area where people would dance to the beats of a DJ in order to receive free prata to the upcoming Space Monkeys held this weekend, a mass dance meets DDR performance game with friends! Just as MDA helped to sponsor one of our best local films in recent years, 7 Letters, I believe the same is happening with the NAC. GTM is definitely one of the most creative initiatives I’ve ever seen in Singapore and seems on point in achieving its desire to bring dance to every Singaporean. We had a chat with Elaine Ng, Director of Sector Development (Traditional Arts and Dance), otherwise known as the mastermind behind this amazing movement.
The various activities of Got To Move fits in perfectly with each of its different aims and inspiration behind the organization of this festival. GTM features a variety of different dances, of which numerous dance studios in Singapore are offering free beginner lessons, helping to give “the public an easily accessible platform to discover and experience all things dance – whether it is for first-timers or experienced professionals.” One-off events such as the aforementioned Space Monkeys as well as the upcoming Dance with Me where artist, Ming Poon will flash a ‘Dance with Me’ sign and invite strangers & random passerby for a slow dance in either Orchard or the CBD area. Let’s also not forget the upcoming Flamenco Flash Mob held in various parts of Singapore. These different events “will demonstrate how dance can provide inspiration, understanding, wellness/well-being and entertainment to each person. It reflects how the arts and culture can enrich lives in deeply personal ways, and create connections between individuals and communities in personal and highly engaging ways.”
Dance for Your Prata where you literally dance for a free prata!
GTM is one of the biggest arts events on our island, comparable to the upcoming Singapore Writer’s Festival (SWF) and Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) and the coordination required between the different dance studios and dancers in Singapore is overwhelming. Even more impressive is the creativity behind the planning, hearing about the various events left me inevitably impressed and I am confident that they will be able to successfully engage the public (especially the non-enthusiasts). However, I was curious as to what Dance meant to the NAC and why the huge promotion of Dance via GTM. Elaine’s reply made perfect sense, “dance is one of the most accessible art forms around, we felt that dance would be a good way to reach out to broader audiences. It is also an opportunity to bring the dance community and Singaporeans together through this art form.” The accessibility of dance is obvious from the universal popularity of dance films such as the Step Up series and the proliferation of dance in schools. Just think about it, not everyone can be a good writer, not everybody can be a great painter and certainly not everyone can be a fantastic director or actor; yet with enough effort, everybody can be a dancer. Yet don’t misunderstand, GTM is not just for the public but also for the dance community in Singapore, giving them “a nationwide platform for them to publicly showcase their works and reach out to audiences beyond regular performing venues.”
Interestingly, GTM has not only promoted itself as a dance movement but has also taken the effort to promote dance as an everyman kind of activity. They have gotten ordinary people, from a Training Executive to a Doctor and even unique dancers such as a Hula Hooper to profess their love for dance as well as their own human story. The culmination of this has been the wildly creative ‘Everyone Can Move’ video where in conjunction with SG50 (of course), they’ve captured 50 ordinary people “from different walks of life, dance backgrounds and ages “moving” in their own way. We featured established dance pioneers and practitioners, young emerging dance practitioners, children, office workers and even the regular man and woman on the street.”
GTM features numerous dance events islandwide and you probably wouldn’t have the time to attend all so who better to ask for recommendations that the organizer of GTM! For her 5 events stand out.
Space Monkeys, a mass dance meets DDR performance-game that gets participants to pit against one another by following a set of easy-to-follow dance moves. In teams of four, participants and groups pit against one another by following a set of easy-to-follow dance moves and out-dancing their opponents. This interactive game will also allow you to learn more about your friends as they monkey around!
Date: 17, 18 October Time: 2pm, 4pm, 6pm
Venue: Cathay Cineleisure Mall
Flamenco Flash Mob, where Flamenco dancers take the sexy Spanish dance to the streets across the island!
Date: 18 October Time: 12.30pm, 2.15pm, 3pm, 4pm
Venue: Toa Payoh Central, Old Airport Rd Hawker Centre, Tampines One Mall, East Coast Park Big Splash respectively
Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan Dance Theatre Chinese Dance Carnival and Open House, which includes parent-child workshops, Chinese dance workshops, class demonstrations, dance screening and other fringe activities for participants of all ages!
Date: 17 October Time: 2pm – 6pm
Venue: Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan Dance Theatre (Sennett Road)
Dance aMAZE Carnival, which brings participants on a fun-filled learning journey as they engage in interactive dance games. Organised by Flair Artz International, participants can take part in Dancopoly, a dance-inspired game of Monopoly, and aMAZE Dance Impression, an interactive maze challenge, as well as other dance game booths.
Date: 18 October Time: 2pm – 6pm
Venue: Tanjong Pagar Community Club (Hall)
Got To Move NOW, a one-day dance carnival for the general public to have a taste of what dance is like in Singapore and what it has to offer. Event-goers will be able to take something personal back with them – be it the dance experience or a dance move they have learnt. Featuring specially curated dance performances, a dance-inspired fashion show, a special GTM mass dance, free dance taster classes, interactive educational dance booths and a dance after- party, this event is definitely one that should not be missed!
Date: 24 October Time: 4pm – 10.30pm
Venue: The Promontory at Marina Bay
T.H.E Dance Company, by: Bernie Ng
Finally, onto the future of dance in Singapore. According to Elaine, after the unveiling of the Performing Arts Master Plan last year, there was a noted increase in the interest of dance groups. Thus, “As a council, we not only want to broaden the appreciation of dance among Singaporeans but to also grow the sector as a whole – whether it is through raising the professionalism of dance groups and intermediaries, building up our research and documentation for the art form, or encouraging the creation of more distinct and diverse dance content.” With festivals and events as interesting as GTM, I am confident that the NAC can and will bring Dance in Singapore to far greater heights.
Thanks once again to Elaine for speaking to us and do check out our event listing for Got To Move to find out what other events you may be interested in!