She Ain’t Heavy, She’s Reaching Into Space is heavily inspired by Faye and Kai’s practice of Contact Improvisation, and every year they get the chance to attend a weeklong festival called the Contact Festival Kuala Lumpur (CFKL).
As we already have an early definition of Contact Improvisation, the CFKL in particular is a “friendly small-scale international festival [that] seeks to gather practitioners, teachers, dancers, students, and the public where participants can exchange knowledge and study with experienced teachers”. Over a span of a week, participants engage in “various activities to facilitate their own investigation into movement material and to find avenues for collaborating with others”, making it a highly stimulating and creative environment.
Here’s what Faye and Kai had to say about their own experience at this year’s Contact Festival in Rimbun Dahan, Kuala Lumpur:
“CFKL was great! I was really looking forward to going back this year. Last year at the festival, I was holding a lot of emotions and discomfort associated with pregnancy and childbirth. This year, I felt more ready to be practising CI in this intimate environment with fellow enthusiasts. Somehow, the process of creating She Ain’t Heavy, She’s Reaching Into Space with Kai had the effect of re-connnecting me to CI and the need to “show up” with who I am at any point in time. At the same time, I started recruiting my 2-year-old child as my contact improvisation partner and found new ways to lead and follow. I expected to leave She Ain’t Heavy behind when I entered Rimbun Dahan for the festival. It would be a week of not thinking about the production and just focusing on dancing. But signs of our production were at every corner of the festival. I don’t mean flyers or posters though. I mean lines, songs or movement from our production could be applied to various social or dance situations I found myself in. It was trippy and became a running joke between Kai and I. I’m not sure I want to analyse what that means. The most amazing physical sensation I had from this year’s festival is dancing in water. Some folks call it “water contact.” I wondered if people who are not keen on contact improvisation would find water contact as an accessible alternative. In the water, you feel weightless and so many more movement possibilities open up. I hope more people get to try it.”– Faye Lim
“Contact Festival Kuala Lumpur (CFKL) took place from 20-26 June 2016. I’ve been going to this contact improvisation festival for several years now (since 2013), so it feels like an annual pilgrimage. Last year, Faye taught at the festival! This year, what was most special for me was the contact improvisation jams in water. The festival had two teachers who worked with contact improvisation in water, so half the festival participants were doing afternoon classes at the swimming pool, while the other half were in the studio. I did all my afternoon classes in the studio, wanting to deepen my already-ongoing studio practice. But during my free time, I joined some impromptu water jams, which were totally new for me. Afterwards, it was amazing to feel that the water jams influenced my movement in the studio. Faye, myself and another friend of ours are going to meet in Singapore to do some water jams here. I am really looking forward to that. I’m also looking forward to going back to CFKL again next year. Dancing, eating, sleeping all in one place, for a week – and dancing every day, without thinking about much else – it’s a real luxury and I get an immense amount of joy from it. I feel connected with myself and my body afterwards, and I come back to Singapore with new inspiration and energy.”
– Eng Kai Er
Interested in seeing this unique concept in action for yourself? We’re less than three weeks away from the show, so don’t hesitate to get tickets now! Email us at email@example.com or call us at 6737-7213!