The M1 CONTACT Contemporary Dance Festival returned for its 9th edition in 2018 with a diverse range of 17 shows, 25 technique classes and 6 workshops. Presented in collaboration with Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay, the Festival involved a total of 81 dance artists from 14 different nationalities, and reached an average of 8,502 audience members and 446 technique class and workshop participants. This year, the Festival had a heightened emphasis on supporting more local and regional independent dance artists, featuring 11 works by Singapore-based and Asian independent choreographers and dance artists, which comprised of new creations developed through commissioned residencies, restaged works, and works-in-progress. In particular, Japanese dance artist Mai Kubota, who was paired with Singaporean dance artist Goh Shou Yi in 2017, continued the co-creation process and presented a completed work, NAKA, at the M1 Open Stage platform in the Festival this year. The Festival also provided the opportunity for various works and works-in-progress to gain international exposure through the hosting of 10 various guests, such as directors, programmers or curators of international festivals and venues including Yoshiko Swain from Fukuoka Dance Fringe Festival (Japan), Santa Yamakawa from Odoru Akita International Dance Festival (Japan), Takao Norikoshi from Japan Dance Plug Co. Ltd. (Japan). They visited our Festival for potential exchange programmes or future collaboration. Networking and exchange opportunities were hence created, beyond meeting at the Festival's shows, technique classes and workshops.
- 日本, シンガポール
The number of audience members and class and workshop participants increased by more than 3,000 pax this year, which marked a very significant growth of the Festival’s standing in Singapore and within the region. We are encouraged that 8,000 people have been exposed to the art form of contemporary dance in one way or another this year, as compared to last year. In the near future, especially when we celebrate our 10th edition next year, the challenge is to keep our programming current and relevant, not just so that we retain and build audiences, but also so that we continue to create meaningful experiences for all who are involved in our Festival. The Japan Foundation Asia Center’s grant will therefore play a significant role in the Singapore-Japan collaborations, and we believe that such cross-cultural collaborations and learning opportunities are essential in today’s world.