Legend of the Conch Shell: Who is Behind the Fabulous Dance?

11 November 2009 - 3:01pm Comments Off

The actual stage performance of the Legend of the Conch Shell stage play is fast approaching. With only five weeks to go, the rehearsals are now in full swing, with many performing arts professionals and amateurs working together to make the play a success.

One of the significant aspects of the play is the choreography of the dance, which brings the play to life. So who is the one behind the scenes, crafting this fabulous dance performance?

It is none other than Shirene Chan, award-winning choreographer and founder of the Xing Dance and Arts Studio, which is well known for teaching creative dance to children. Shirene has ample stage production experience, having been a member of the production crew for Siddhartha, The Jewel of Tibet and Perfect Circle.

Shirene came to know about the Legend of the Conch Shell from the lead dancer of play, Lee Swee Keong and the director, Woon Fook Sen who have been her friends for more than two decades. Swee Keong, Mr. Woon and Shirene used to dance together in the Guang Xi Association. It took little to convince Shirene to join them in bringing this play together, which she sees as an exciting experience – she is taking the play as an opportunity to learn about Tibetan Buddhism, which is new to her. Being Buddhist herself, Shirene sees performing in a play that depicts the life of the holy saint Tsongkhapa as her spiritual practice.

When asked what she finds the most challenging in this play, she said it has been to choreograph a dance for a small stage space, as she is used to large stages for musical productions. She also finds it a new experience choreographing for children who are not her students, as she has to start by teaching them the basics of dance. Nevertheless, Shirene has no doubt that she will rise to, and surmount, this challenge.

Shirene was keen to talk about her good experiences in working with the Kechara people. She feels that Kechara people are very nice, accommodating, committed to getting things done on time (and done right!), and work very hard. Speaking to Louise Lee and Yvonne Yap, the coordinators of the play, Shirene says she has learnt a lot about Kechara from their explanations of the various departments. She feels that it is great that Kechara has so many different ways to get people involved in Dharma work according to their own inclinations, and is glad she can contribute in her own way.

To find out more details about the venue and showings of the play, check out the official website for Legend of the Conch Shell stage play (http://www.kechara.com/archive/legendoftheconchshell).

For ticket enquiries, please contact June Kang at +6012 639 8815.

For more information on the Tsongkhapa Play, please contact the coordinator of the play, Associate Liaison Kok Yek Yee at +6012 388 3390 or [email protected].

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