• S A R A T A N

    Contemporary Dancer | Performer | Creator

    brussels, belgium

  • Who I Am

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    With faith as small as a mustard seed...

    From the small country of Singapore to the modestly-sized Belgium, I ventured, following the call to become a dancer, and while it seemed like a faraway fantasy, I'm thankful to be able to call Brussels a home that has made this dream a reality. My journey to Brussels began when I had moved here to attend P.A.R.T.S (Performing Arts Research and Training Studios), after which I simply ended up planting my roots, whilst still growing during my stay here.

     

    A 4-year stint in the United States was made in between Singapore and Belgium, in another city of an exceptionally small scale called Stevens Point in the mid-western state of Wisconsin where I gained my Bachelor's Degree in Dance (Magna Cum Laude). Needless to say, there was quite an element of adjustment and challenge to be overcome, having just been transplanted out of a metropolis. But the dream was big and it was worth it.

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    Hello, can you call me Welwitschia Mirabilis?

    There is a plant that grows in the deserts of Namibia and Angola, which is not necessarily considered the most beautiful by most, nor might it even be selected to be planted in a home garden of even the greatest of plant lovers. What locals also baptise as “twee-blaar-kanniedood” (two-leave-can’t-die) is just testament to its 2 characteristics (2 leaves and durability) that make it unique, and awe-inspiring to me, not to mention its otherworldy measurements and appearance.

     

    Beginning its life with only 2 leaves, it keeps those very same leaves for its entire lifespan, which has been claimed to be up to 1000- 1500 years; it truly seems to be a plant that "can't die". The fact that it reaches to the gigantic size it does, sequestered in the desert, out of sight from anyone, sticking to its 2-leaved guns and surviving and thriving, inspires perseverance and a desire within me to cultivate a similar solitary inner strength.

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    Ode to la danse.

    I love this occupation of a dancer, where we get to play with forms and like auto-sculpting, put our own bodies into shapes, textures, and into different relationships with one another, always in search of new territories to, not necessarily even land on, but maybe to touch upon only then to depart again.

     

    I can't help but feel though, that all this outward work of the tissues, fascia, muscles, skin, actually serves even more so, in the development of a rich inner life and deepens the well of creativity and imagination, and dare I say it, to eventually not even need to dance per se, for an embodied richness to be felt or communicated.

     

    Like a welwitschia mirabilis – truly 'wonderful' as its Latin name bestows upon the plant, with its sheer presence, its being, transcending its awkward form (maybe that's why its often run over by 4x4s?) – I see dance as a wonderful means to an end, the end being an enhanced inner life that arouses curiosity, even if only for myself.

     

    The person I hope to be influences the person I am today. And so, as I seek to keep moving forward in the direction of maturity, I look to my future self and hope to be as moved as when my imagination roams and sets its eyes on such a magnificent creature as the welwitschia mirabilis.

  • Professional Bio

    After receiving my Bachelor’s degree in Dance from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point (UWSP) in the United States of America (Magna cum Laude), I went on to attend the contemporary dance school in Brussels – Performing Arts Research and Training Studios (P.A.R.T.S).

     

    For the past 5 years, I have been working with the Brussels-based choreographer, Michele Noiret on 3 different creations, the first of which was a re-make of her seminal solo from 1989 entitled 'Vertebre'. I had also worked for many years, with the French company, Kubilai Khan Investigations, and have also had the pleasure of being an interprete for Maria Hassabi, Eszter Salamon, Leila Ka, Eric Minh-Cuong Castaing (Cie Shonen), Thierry de Mey, David Drouard (Cie DADR), David Hernandez, Anne-Linn Akselsen (Human Works), Isabella Soupart, Harris Gkekas and Serena Malacco.

     

  • My Artistic Practice

    Passion

    My artistic practice, if I can humbly say I possess one, has come out of almost a decade of my working in the dance field as a dancer, performer, collaborator, and my favourite of term, an interprete. This is my preferred of terms because I find that it speaks the most closely to the process of first entering the studio, listening to the choreographer speak about his/her vision, allowing the content and emotions of the words spoken to sink in, whether deeply or superficially, and allowing myself – mind, body, and soul – to interpret and translate those words into movement, gestures or other types of vernacular.

     

    There is a kind of surrender that is required, which I'm learning to be more and more at ease with, where in a selfless manner of creative brainstorming, ideas get proposed, kept or thrown away, all for the greater good, so to speak. Diving in wholeheartedly and trusting the process, are tenets by which I approach my work as an artist in the role of collaborator, as I take active part in helping a choreographer's vision reveal itself, one step at a time.

     

    I have had the wonderful privilege of working with a plethora of choreographers with approaches and styles as different as they come. And each project I've had the chance to be a part of stays with me and informs all future projects I enter into. Like a greater artist at work upon me, each project chisels away at me and creates new facets, angles and folds in my dancing body, my understanding, my embodied knowledge etc., only to reveal a continually complexifying individual, always in the process of learning and perhaps more significantly, unlearning.

    Know thyself

    Where above I paid homage to la danse, I here want to do the same for le danseur/ la danseuse. The precious work we do as intermediaries may often be overshadowed or taken for granted, as we willingly surrender to the ultimate vision of the artist with whom we work for and with. And yet, we are more than just the clay, yarn, wood or paint which the artist manipulates or plays with – we are both object and subject with a whole range of creative agency. Having had the experience of working with dancers who know how to delicately traverse this boundary where the self does not always have a balanced place to settle upon, is inspiring and humbling, and I aim to learn from such examples.

     

    The self, which dance, in my case, allows me to gain a more refined understanding of, is balanced with the self born from a practice of non-preciousness, where this self is allowed to die many deaths in order to bring new birth of something/someone, as yet unknown, only then to die again and reinvent itself. Yet, the new territories roamed only serve to carve, even deeper, the original self from which these treks were made. And so, there is simultaneously a wandering and deepening of the source, both of which can only happen in function of one another.

  • The Blog

    Thoughts, musings, and ruminations.

    This past Saturday, I had the wonderful privilege of performing my solo sylvan on the occasion of...
    March 20, 2024
    As part of this year's annual Day of the Dance here in Brussels, I will be presenting "sylvan", a...
    It was such a pleasure to get to be a part of this very fun and playful project that was dreamt...
  • Current & Upcoming Dance Projects

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    In creation

    Kintsugi and Kaze To Arashi (2024) by Isabella Soupart

    Premiere in October and November 2024

     

    sylvan or how i dreamt of falling

    Dance and choreography: Sara Tan

    Music: Eric Bribosia

    Dag van de Dans 2024

    Brussels, Belgium

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7a5Yk3OrYW8

     

     

     

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    On tour

    Ayta (2024) by Youness Aboulakhoul

     

    I'll Be Your Mirror by Maria Hassabi for Tai Kwun Contemporary in Hong Kong (2023)

     

    La Chair de L'objet by David Drouard (role of Assistant Choreographer)

    2023 Creation

     

    Le Chant de Ruines by Michele Noiret, assisted by David Drouard

    2019 Creation; premiere September 2019 at Charleroi Danses

    https://www.michele-noiret.be/fr/spectacles/chant-ruines

     

    MU by David Drouard

    2020 Creation; premiere October 2020

    https://www.dadr-cie.com/grenada_portfolio/mu/

     

    (RE)Percussions ID

    Choreography by David Hernandez, Music collaboration with Collectif du Lion

    2020 Creation; premiere October 2020

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    Personal works

    sylvan

    Music by Eric Bribosia

    Dag van de Dans 2024

    Brussels, Belgium

     

    SHWAG

    Prize offered by the Royal Academies for Science and the Arts of Belgium (RASAB)

    Improvisational performance with Eric Bribosia

    18 June 2022

    Brussels, Belgium

     

    sylvan

    Music by Eric Bribosia

    Danse avec les Foules Festival 2021

    Brussels, Belgium

    https://espai.be/festivals/

    https://uploads.strikinglycdn.com/files/791bea95-3bf2-43ff-94db-7086be826f66/sylvan description.pdf?id=3703418

     

  • Calendar of Performances

    2024

    3 February – Blackout Dialogs / KLAP, Marseille (FR)

    https://www.kelemenis.fr/fr/les-spectacles/1383/blackout-dialogs

    8,9 February – Blackout Dialogs / Theatre de la Cite, Paris (FR)

    https://www.theatredelacite.com/programme/saison-2023-2024/blackout-dialogs 

    15 MarchSeries Mania 2024 Conference

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qp4dozrsEjA

    27 April – sylvan / Dag Van de Dans 2024

    7 June – (RE)percussion ID / Le 140, Brussels (BE)

    https://www.le140.be/spectacles/repercussion-id/

    8, 9 June – La chair de l'objet / Laval (FR)

    14 June – Leila Ka / Paris (FR)

    29 June – sylvan / Un Peu, Brussels (BE)

    13 October – Kintsugi Premiere / Festival Artonov, Brussels (BE)

    16, 23, 30 November and 7, 14 December – Kaze To Arashi / Fondation Blan, Brussels (BE)

     

    2023

    12 January – Jukebox / Ducey-les-Chéris (FR)

    13-16 January – l'oeil, l'oreille et le lieu / Purple Festival, Berlin (DE)

    17 January – MU / ONYX Saint Herblain (FR)

    30 January- 4 February – (RE)percussion ID / Les Riches-Claires Centre Culturel, Brussels (BE)

    12 February – l'oeil, l'oreille et le lieu / Enghiens-les-Bains (FR)

    10 March – Jukebox / Villeparisis (FR)

    22 March – MU / Orleans (FR)

    12 May – MU / Théâtre de l'Albarède, Ganges (FR)

    27,28 May – La Chair de L'objet / La Reunion

    7 September – Le Chant de Ruines / Rovereto (IT)

    https://www.alfredoferreroeditore.com/it/event/le-chant-des-ruines-michele-noiret-compagnie-michele-noiret/

    20-22 September – l'oeil, l'oreille et le lieu / Wuppertal (DE)

    https://under-construction-wuppertal.de/en/programme/sept-2023/compagnie-michele-noiret

    19 October – Le Chant des Ruines / Hasselt (BE)

    https://www.theateraanhetvrijthof.nl/voorstellingen/dans/le-chant-des-ruines-theaterreis-naar-hasselt-cie-michele-noiret

    25 October- 26 November – I'll Be Your Mirror / Tai Kwun Contemporary, Hong Kong (HK)

    https://www.taikwun.hk/en/programme/detail/maria-hassabi-ill-be-your-mirror/1253

    8 December – l'oeil, l'oreille et le lieu / Cannes (FR)

    https://www.cannesticket.com/fr/spectacles/festival-de-danse-cannes-cote-dazur-france-danse/cie-michele-noiret 

     

    2022

    8 January – MU

    13, 14 January – Jukebox / L'Avant Seine Theatre de Colombes (FR)

    15 January – Jukebox / Theatre Jean-Arp, Clamart (FR)

    18 January – MU / Théâtre de l'hôtel de ville a Saint-Barthelemy d'Anjou (FR)

    23-27 January – Le Chant des Ruines / Theater Freiburg (DE)

    28 January – MU / Théâtre Les 3 Chênes, Loiron-Ruilles (FR)

    4 February – MU / L'espace 1789, Saint Ouen (FR)

    22 March – MU

    25 March – MU / Villages en Scène (FR)

    21 April – Le Chant des Ruines / L'Estive- Scene Nationale de Foix et de l'Ariage

    17 May – Le Chant des Ruines / Theater Heilbronn (DE)

    18 May – Jukebox / La Faïencerie, Creil (FR)

    17 May – Le Chant des Ruines / Theater Heilbronn (DE)

    4 June – Jukebox / Erba (IT)

    18 June – SHWAG / RASAB, Brussels (BE)

    1-4 September – l'oeil, l'oreille et le lieu (premiere) / Stormen Kulturhaus, Bodo (NO)

    8-12 September – l'oeil, l'oreille et le lieu / Baerum Kulturhaus, Sandvika (NO)

    15 September – l'oeil, l'oreille et le lieu / Haugesund (NO)

    20 September – l'oeil, l'oreille et le lieu / RAS, Sandnes (NO)

    22 September – l'oeil, l'oreille et le lieu / Kilden Performing Arts Centre, Kristiansand (NO)

    28 September – l'oeil, l'oreille et le lieu / La Raffinerie, Brussels (BE)

    30 September – l'oeil, l'oreille et le lieu / Charleroi Danses, Charleroi (BE)

    6, 7 October – (RE)percussion ID / La Cite Miroir, Liege (BE)

    9 October – Jukebox / Thailand Cultural Centre, Bangkok (TH)

    13, 14, 15 October – (RE)percussion ID / Espace Magh, Brussels (BE)

    9, 10 November – l'oeil, l'oreille et le lieu / Theatre de Liege, Liege (BE)

    22 November – Le Chant des Ruines / Dieppe Scene Nationale, Dieppe (FR)

    3 December– MU / Espace Culturel Andre Malraux, Le Kremlin-Bicetre (FR)

    4 December – Jukebox / Florence (IT)

    2021

    22 August – Vertebre / Teatrul Gong, Sibiu (RO)

    17 September – MU / Le Théâtre de Laval (FR)

    15 October – MU / Les Quinconces - Scene National de Mans (FR)

    16 October – sylvan / Danse Avec Les Foules Festival, Brussels (BE)

    19 November – MU / L'Espace Culturel Le Reflet, Saint-Berthevin (FR)

    1 December – French premiere of Jukebox / MPAA Saint Germain, Paris (FR)

    9 December – MU / Pole Culturel, Conservatoire Des Coëvrons (FR)

    11 December – Italian premiere of Jukebox / Teatro Cantiere Florida, Florence (IT)