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Charmene Yap

charmene

Express Yourself

Sydney Dance Company’s award winning piece 2 One Another is coming to His Majesty’s Theatre this week. X-Press managed to talk to WAAPA trained dancer Charmene Yap after a very long week of preparation and rehearsal for the WA tour.

2 One Another is a full length work about personal relationships, couples, individuals and external influences. “When Raf (artistic director and choreographer Rafael Bonachella) came in at the beginning of the development he said it’s not just that, it really draws from all of us as individual dancers and as a group together. So he wanted to draw from all our qualities and make a work that really reflected relationships.”

Bonachella looked to multiple disciplines and sources to create his work. “It’s a little abstract in the simple terms that there are a lot of solos, duets or group work. During development we had paths that the director gave us, to explore a physical representation of an emotional side. So we had things where we are screaming into our microphones and stuff like that. Then a poet (Samuel Webster) came in and watched us. From there he was inspired by these improvisations we were doing and wrote a bit of poetry. From there came inspiration for us to make movement.

“It is a one hour dramatic work that goes through all the emotions.  All the elements really come together: dancing, lighting, music – all come together in a rewarding way. Well, I hope it’s rewarding to watch, it’s rewarding to do.”

2 One Another won multiple awards at the 2013 Australian Dance Awards, including a Best Female Dancer Award for Yap. “I was shocked as well at getting the award. I have a bit of a solo piece that comes from me. Raf worked intimately with me to allow me to crack the movement and really develop the style over numerous practices. It allowed me to get my teeth into it, to grow with it, and each time I do it, it is something different.”

Since 2012, 2 One Another has toured both Australia and the world, representing a significant investment of man hours by the dancers.  Fortunately at least half the original cast is still performing in the show, allowing for a highly polished piece of dance. ”When I first did it, it was a cardio-buster, but my workload has been spread out and I know when to conserve my energy. Now the challenge is remembering the essence and finding new things to do to make it interesting for myself and other people.”

However life could have been very different for Yap. Although she grew up doing dance in high school, she was planning to go into architecture. Fortunately her dancing teacher persuaded her to apply for WAPAA instead. “Dance involves you physically, mentally and emotionally. You really do put everything in of yourself in the job. I don’t know anywhere I can express myself as freely. It’s short lasting but liberating. It’s a full body experience.”

DAVID O’CONNELL

2 One Another runs at His Majesty’s Theatre from June 18 – 21 and the Albany Entertainment Centre on June 28. for tickets, go to ticketek.com.au.

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