Eliminating fast fashion at its psychological root.
A movement-based docufiction by The Dance Circus & Thammika Songkaeo
"What does our time spent with insecurities have to do with climate change?" Changing rooms, where many scrutinize their own bodies and spend time considering how they'll fix or hide imperfections, are also often where fantasies of solutions rooted in "the next purchase" begin.
Each woman to her own, where she believes nobody else can see her, she opens up to herself in ways marketers only dream of knowing. The slightest poke, jiggle, disapproving facial expression, or even a raw, harsh word whispered to her own reflection instructs that woman what to buy next. Is it a new skirt to cover up the bulging thighs? Spanx to tuck belly fat in? Or even the same shirt, but in a different, more flattering color?
How does the journey from a lonesome dressing cubicle connect to the rest of the world, an earth itself crying in pain as its own inhabitants trample over it without care, all seeing themselves as individuals worthy of perfection, with a right to embark on the quest for a better, i.e. better-looking self—"my money, my right"? Or have we all been fools in front of the mirror after all? Ne'er was there a cool, liveable world, with its cornucopia of breathable air, rich earth, and lush forests, as one that knew humans who first learned to love themselves, and who would take into consideration, at least, the resources it takes to set one piece of fabric in their hands.
A recipient of several scholarships from the Singapore National Arts Council and Nederlands Dans Theatre, as well as Outstanding Performance Awards in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2013, Adelene's past decade have included local and international platforms, performances, productions, events, and classes. Previously London-based, she worked on INALA, a touring show in collaboration with 5-time Grammy Award winners Ladysmith Black Mambazo, 3-time Grammy Award winners Soweto Gospel Choir, choreographer Mark Baldwin OBE, and dancers from The Royal Ballet and Rambert Dance Company. Adelene performed 93 shows of INALA, including one for the British Royal Family during the Royal Variety Performance, two UK tours and four international tours to Scotland, Russia, Singapore and China. Following that, Adelene worked as a company artist with Frontier Danceland in their 2016-2018 seasons, touring to festivals in Israel, France and Taiwan. Adelene has taught various classical and contemporary dance methodology seminars and workshops across Europe and Southeast Asia, and in May 2020 launched The Dance Circus, an artistic collective for dance hire as well as an educational dance platform to connect fledgling dancers with experienced industry professionals worldwide. In Singapore since 2016, Adelene has worked with public and private organizations to create movement therapy and movement flow programs to promote wellness with dance as a medium. Adelene also enjoys collaborating with brands, designers, musicians and videographers. She has been featured in music videos, exhibitions, TV commercials and short films which have won awards in New York and California. She is often engaged by international brands, such as Porsche, Shiseido, and Bvlgari, to consult and perform at their product launches and events. Most recently, Adelene was the face for campaigns for The Body Shop and Changi Airport.
Former Penn Social Impact House Fellow, World Economic Forum Global Shaper, and Bread Loaf Environmental Writers' Conference Nominee and Scholarship Recipient, Thammika's environmental storytelling career draws from her MA in Comp. Lit., MSEd in Higher Ed., MFA in Creative Writing, and BA in French Lit. Her research completed at UPenn on the incentivization of professors to integrate sustainable development into their teaching was presented at the 10th International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic, and Social Sustainability. A graduate of Williams College and co-author of research cited by The Brookings Institution, The Journal of Southeast Asian Human Rights, Waseda and Kyushu Universities and more, she was on the founding team of The HEAD Foundation's grant-giving arm, connecting the Singapore-based office with regional partners for the awarding of $1M worth of grants. Her other social impact work includes being on the ground with CARE and Doctors Without Borders as a translator, as she works in English, French, Thai, and Japanese. She also partakes in Tavistock and NIODA GRCs to better understand group sense-making and dynamics. Thammika currently heads Partnerships and Development at Rainshadow Studios, a non-profit organization making art inspiring action against climate change, taking care of valued partnerships with finance-sector institutions, theaters, museums, cultural institutions, homegrown brands, and social enterprises intensifying their work in environmental sustainability. She is an active writer, and no doubt, she also dances.
Ahilya is a dancer, choreographer, and fitness instructor. Ahilya graduated with a BA in Dance UCLA, and furthered her training at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London and with Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company in Israel. Ahilya has performed in projects by Martin Harriague, Eyal Dadon, Meredith Monk, Trisha Brown Dance Company, Jerome Bel, Ate9 Dance Company, Michel Kouakou, and Susana Hayman-Chaffey of Merce Cunningham Dance Company. She was also a member of T.H.E Second Company in Singapore, performing and collaborating in original works by Sarah Foster-Sproull, Anna Borras, Anthea Seah, and Mikiko Kawamura. Ahilya has choreographed and presented her own work at the Singapore Youth Festival and in H.A.T.C.H, a platform for emerging choreographers sponsored by the Singapore National Arts Council. Since 2014, she has spent time dancing in Israel, training with renowned Israeli choreographers in the Hasadna program in Tel Aviv, assisting choreographer Roy Assaf as a script-writer, and participating in the Gaga teacher training program under the mentorship of Ohad Naharin and Batsheva Dance Company. Currently based in Singapore, Ahilya teaches dance at The Dance Place and fitness at F45, Core Collective, Body Temple, and privately.
Crispian Chan, Creative Director of Pangdemonium, is an actor and stage photographer with almost 20 years of experience in the performing arts. Drawn to storytelling and connection between people, he brings his experiences and training as an actor/director into his photography and videography. As a performer, he has performed with companies such as Black Swan Theatre Company, Barking Gecko Theatre Company, Wild Rice, Pangdemonium, Ontroerend Goed, and Teater Ekamatra, and has appeared in a number of festivals such as Perth International Arts Festival, Singapore Arts Festival, Brisbane Arts Festival,and Kunstenfestiv-aldesarts (Belgium). As a stage photographer, Crispian has worked with a number of performing arts companies and arts organisations such as Esplanade - Theatres by the Bay, Singapore International Festival of Arts, Pangdemonium, Sightlines Productions, T.H.E Dance Company, Frontier Danceland, Singapore Repertory Theatre, The Necessary Stage, Wild Rice, Checkpoint Theatre, NAFA, and LASALLE College of the Arts. His photography has been featured in the Georgetown Arts Festival (Penang) and in publications such as The Straits Times, Real Time Arts, and The New York Times. CNA Lifestyle called him "a passionate creative who has contributed in multiple ways to keeping the local performing arts scene vibrant" and "one of the best in the business at capturing live theatre and dance through photography."
Our work is possible because of the people who believe in us. Many thanks to The Dance Place for providing studio space for our rehearsals, and Perk by Kate for filming venue. We have been enriched by conversations with SANS FAFF and Nu Cycle. If you would like to support what we do, please contact us and check out our partners, moving your interest from awareness to action.