Queer East Festival 2024
17 — 28 April
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Yishun Is Burning
Singapore, 2021

Choy Ka Fai

Shamanism meets voguing in choreographer Choy Ka Fai’s fascinating, scintillatingly queer adaptation of Singaporean ritual dance. In this transcendental multimedia voguing dance party led by Norwegian-Thai dancer Sun Phitthaya Phaefuang, a.k.a. Aurora Sun Labeija, shifts between states of ecstasy, trance and drag.

Yishun Is Burning is part of the CosmicWander Series, an on-going project exploring shamanic dance culture in Asia. Inspired by the Singaporean phenomenon of reverencing deities in their struggle against evil, this UK premiere arrives thirty-plus years after the iconic documentary Paris Is Burning. Crossing and blurring boundaries of gender, race and religion, it is a liberating and celebratory attempt to manifest a supernatural dance experience and a bold signpost in the search for one’s own spirituality through movement.

It also features, not incidentally, the galvanising music of the Singaporean-Malay band NADA (Rizman Putra and Safuan Johari) and Chinese drummer Cheryl Ong.

Additional info

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

Presented in partnership with The Place and Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Fest.

Cast and Creatives
Concept, Documentary and Direction: Choy Ka Fai
Dramaturgy: Tang Fu-Kuen
Spiritual Presence: Kali and Kuan Yin
Choreography and Dance Performance: Sun Phitthaya Phaefuang
Sound Design and Musical Performance: NADA (Rizman Putra and Safuan Johari) and Cheryl Ong
3D Visual Design and Technology: Brandon Tay
Light Design, Installation and Technical Direction: Ray Tseng
Visual Operator: Damjan Šporčić Technical
Direction Singapore Studio: ARTFACTORY
Tour Manager: Tammo Walter
Production Manager: Mara Nedelcu

Yishun is Burning is developed with the support of tanzhaus nrw Düsseldorf and Singapore Art Museum. Additional support was received from the Nationales Performance Netz (NPN) Coproduction Fund for Dance, which is funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Germany. The research process was supported by the National Arts Council, Singapore and Kunststiftung NRW, Germany

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