Interview: Christina Chan from Passages Contemporary Season

How did you conceptualize your work?
I don’t know. Even if I did I would think very carefully before sharing it. I prefer the audience not to have ideas in their head before seeing the work. For me, watching contemporary dance is not always about understanding, it is about having an experience, and I wouldn’t want to take away from that.

Some of the most nastiest injuries you’ve encountered in dance?
I was dropped during a lift once; it took me a long time to rehabilitate. Strangely, partnering is still probably my favorite component of dance. 

What’s the most surprising gift you’ve received as a performer?
Besides the usual chocolate and flowers, I have been blessed to experience the rare surprise hug from audience members I don’t know who are moved by the performance. 

Can local choreographers flourish in this Singaporean landscape?
If an artist is given the tools he or she requires to craft the work and enjoys the process, it is enough for any artist anywhere anytime.

What are some of the principles you live by in dance?
Not to take things too seriously and also not to be quick to judge. What I may not like today, may be beautiful to me tomorrow.

That one ultimate stage venue you’re willing to do anything to perform at?
This place does not exist for me. A small room is of equal artistic value to a large theatre, they each offer different qualities.

If not for dance, what would you be doing for a living?
When I was younger I wanted to be a doctor like my parents and as I was quite a nerd, it was all going rather well until I discovered dance, and then of course everything else went out of the window.

Your warm-up ritual before a performance?
I don’t have a particular aesthetic that I always work with, so I warm up to put my body and mind in the right state for the particular work. I warm up so that my body is ready to go anywhere and my mind is ready to change with it.

Passages Contemporary Season performs from Nov 1-3, 3pm and 7:30pm. Gallery Theatre, National Museum of Singapore, 93 Stamford Rd., 6332-3659. $25 from Sistic.