Marking Progress

Been taking an arts writing course recently, and in my latest assignment, I was tasked to write a short synopsis of a real/ imagined dance piece or production. Had no idea what production to write for, hence I decided to re-write the synopsis for a (very) old dance production instead. So here’s Buih-buih Sabun / Bubbles by NUS Ilsa Tari, 12 years on. Thoughts?

Buih-Buih Sabun (2008)

Change is the new constant. While tradition has always been upheld especially in the feudal history of the Malays, as portrayed by classical legends, embracing change is important. Just like soap bubbles floating in the air, change is stable and elastic, free to be manipulated; yet it cannot sustain itself without any help. As the course of the feudal history underwent change, likewise, we should also learn to embrace and act upon it, for change is always coming, always there, always constant.

Bubbles (2020)


Tradition. Constant. Eternal. Embedded. Changed. Altered. Challenged. Forced. 

Do you agree, or disagree? Do you contest, or keep status quo? Do you preserve, or adapt? And if you opt for change, what then? 

Bubbles objectifies the internal struggle of upholding the past in the present; of attempting to preserve something that cannot be perfectly preserved. At a time when intergenerational experiences create situations where the same matter is seen differently, felt differently, understood differently and approached differently, the surface tension keeping tradition safely locked in its bubble is tested, stretched, pulled in opposite directions till it begins to just hold on. 

What happens if – or when – it pops?


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