Choy Ka Fai

SoftMachine: Surjit Nongmeikapam (India) & Rianto (Indonesia)

DanceTanz im August

SoftMachine: An expedition across the choreographic landscape of Asia
Exhibition with excerpts from video interviews with 86 choreographers from 5 Asian contries

Sophiensaele, Foyer Festsaal | 14.–16.8. + 21.8. + 22.8., 15:00–20:00

The choreographer and dancer Choy Ka Fai has been documenting the current situation of dance in Asia since 2012 in his multimedia archive and performance cycle SoftMachine. The impetus for the project was an exoticising promotional video which predicted the future of contemporary dance in Asia. Choy Ka Fai decided to document the culturally very diverse state of contemporary dance in five Asian countries – independently of Western academic discourses. Four years later he has conducted 88 video interviews with choreographers, dancers and curators from China, Japan, India, Indonesia and Singapore, and has also brought about four performances in which the choreographers outline their version and vision of contemporary dance in Asia. Two of these performances can be seen in Berlin in the double bill SoftMachine: Rianto & Surjit Nongmeikapam.

The Indonesian Rianto specialises in the traditional erotic lengger dance, in which he attempts to seduce his male spectators in a cross-gender performance. Also adept in other Javanese dance forms, Rianto has been living in Tokyo since 2003. His SoftMachine performance explores the tension between traditional and contemporary choreographic practices, between male and female, urban versus rural.

Surjit Nongmeikapam mastered classical Indian dance forms and martial arts. He is one of the first dancers in Manipur, India, to experiment with contemporary dance. His SoftMachine performance was explicitly devised for a European audience, and exposes artistic strategies, marketing ideologies and the questionable attempt to exoticise oneself.
SoftMachine: Rianto (Documentary + Performance) SoftMachine: Surjit (Documentary + Performance)

Duration: 30min + 40min (Double Bill)

SoftMachine is commissioned by Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Singapore for da:ns festival 2015.

The development of the project is funded by National Arts Council, Singapore. With support from TheatreWorks, Singapore - danceBox, Kobe - Kyoto Experiment - Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts, Bangalore and Living Dance Studio, Beijing.

SoftMachine Digital Archives are created with the support of deSingel, Antwerp.


Concept, Direction, Performance and Documentary: Choy Ka Fai / Performance and Choreography: Surjit Nongmeikapam and Rianto / Dramaturge: Tang Fu Kuen / Sound Design: Zulkifle Mahmod / Lighting Design: Andy Lim / Stage: “LIVE” / Production and Technical Manager: Yap Seok Hui


  • Past
    Fri 21.8.2015, 17:00 / Sophiensæle Festsaal
    Sat 22.8.2015, 17:00 / Sophiensæle Festsaal


Sophiensæle Festsaal
Sophienstr. 18, 10178 Berlin

The Kantine is at ground level and accessible without steps. The Festsaal (1st floor) and Hochzeitssaal (3rd floor) can be reached via an elevator (1.76 m x 2.71 m) when accompanied by the house staff. To use the elevator please contact our evening staff. The distance from the street to the elevator is approx. 60 m.

An accessible toilet (entrance door 1m in width) is available on the 1st floor and can be reached via the elevator. It can be accessed via the Festsaal foyer. For events in the Hochzeitssaal there is a WC on the 3rd floor with an entrance and cabin door 81 cm wide, the other cabin doors are 56 cm wide. From the 3rd floor as well as from the ground floor you can reach the accessible WC on the 1st floor by using the elevator.

Wheelchair users and persons with impaired mobility are requested to give advance notice by emailing Gina Jeske or ringing the venue at 030 27 89 00 35. 
Further information:


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