A box full of this (BFOT)
About the Company
Dapheny is an independent dance artiste based in Singapore. She was previously a founding member, dancer and choreographer of Singapore based contemporary dance company Re:Dance Theatre from 2012-2015. Most recently, she created “18 in between”, a site-specific work in response to Katherine Kng’s “No Room To Enter” at the Esplanade Theatres by The Bay. She has also worked collaboratively in “1 is to 3” (2013) in collaboration with theatre artist Rei Poh as well as “Inadvertently Housed Together” (2015) with theatre maker Edith Podesta. Her full-length work “A Box Full of. This” (2014) was restaged for part of the NUS Exxonmobil Campus Concert. She created another full length “Seeing Through the Corridor” (2015) in collaboration with set designer Gene Tan supported by the National Museum of Singapore and part of the Singapore Night Festival 2015. Her most recent work “#thumbtoofat” (2016) was presented as part of the NUS Exxonmobil Campus Concert. Dapheny has previously performed and choreographed with Frontier Danceland from 2010-2011 and with L.A. Dance Connection from 2003-2008. She has performed at other festivals such as the M1 Singapore Fringe Festival, M1 Contact Contemporary Dance Festival, NUS Arts Festival, Unesco International Dance Week, World Dance Alliance Conference 2016.
She is currently a faculty member at Lasalle College of the Arts and choreographs extensively for the college and local academic institutes.
Trained in contemporary dance, ballet, jazz, hip hop and salsa, Dapheny is interested in expanding the vocabularies of contemporary performance through collaboration and artistic exchange.
About the Piece
I live in a box that provides me with comfort. It gives me hope and stores my worries yet its unforgiving surfaces show no mercy. This box has no name but it has gone by many titles. A fort in the storm, a tower for the damsel, a dusty cavern or a haven for two. Among the tall walls of the city, I work hard to find a name for this box. A place I yearn for which I find so hard to earn.
BFOT is hugely inspired by the humble abode – the Housing Development Board (HDB) flats. A close friend of mine was going through the process of applying for her new HDB flat and she was sharing with me about the BTOs and what have yous. When I saw the show-flat and the layout I was pretty affected by how small the rooms were. The new flats are getting smaller with some rooms only being able to house a double bed and a wardrobe. What struck me the most was how constraint some of the spaces were and the vast difference in the older versions of the HDB. It is evident that we have traits that are similar to Japan’s and Hong Kong’s tight living society.
As population rises, the demand for residential living increases and in relation, space is getting sparse. Hence the flats are getting smaller to accommodate for the demand with the lack of space. Unless we are blessed with financial wealth, the majority of us would have to settle for a HDB and in turn how are we able to make such a tight space livable while sharing a ‘home’ with the rest of the family as a family unit, as a couple or even as friends living under the same roof. Its different sections present different combinations of occupants and explore the various tensions or comfort we experience due to the tight living space. How much of our relationships between one another is affected by personal or sharing spaces we are entitled to and how do we in turn react to them or change the way we work.