The Vault: Becoming Mother

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 Exploring creation and creativity through dance and text

Dance practitioners and researchers Dr. Nidya Shanthini Manokara and Jocelyn Chng investigate motherhood in its various manifestations – from creating life to producing creative work. Grounded in their dance practices of bharata natyam and ballet respectively, Shanthini and Jocelyn respond to themes of creation and creativity in the dramatic writings of playwrights Verena Tay, Ovidia Yu and Chong Tze Chien.

The presentation is in two parts: The first is an exhibition displaying the research materials that Shanthini and Jocelyn encountered during their investigations, which include texts, photos and food. The second part is a devised performance which draws on text, dance forms, and the two women’s personal experiences to playfully tease out the relationships between art and motherhood.


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About Shantihini

Dr Nidya Shanthini Manokara (PhD NUS) is a dance researcher-practitioner. Having completed her arangetram (solo inaugural performance) and Diploma in bharata natyam, Shanthini holds the title Natya Visharad from Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society. Informed by her classical training, her academic research interests include evolving Asian performance practices and their affective registers. Shanthini has taught a range of theatre, film and dance courses at NUS, NTU and Lasalle College of the Arts. She has completed a Dramaturgy Apprenticeship with Centre 42 and is currently the Resident Dramaturg with RAW Moves, a contemporary dance company. Shanthini is also an External Assessor for dance with National Arts Council.

About Jocelyn

Jocelyn holds a double Masters in Theatre Studies/Research. She is currently building her portfolio career as an educator and practitioner in dance and theatre, while pursuing an MA in Education (Dance Teaching). She is also a founding member of the Song and Dance (SoDa) Players – a registered musical theatre society. Her work with SoDa has included performing, stage and production management, and choreography. A lover of mountains, both literal and metaphorical, she hopes to one day fulfil her bucket list dream of reaching Everest. Well, at least the base camp.

Programme Handout

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Find out more about the plays:

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Missed the presentation and exhibition? You can see documentation of both here:

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The Vault: Becoming Mother
 is the third and final presentation in a series dedicated to exploring dance and Singapore play-text. Grounded in their dance practices of bharata natyam and ballet respectively, Shanthini and Jocelyn respond to themes of creation and creativity in the dramatic writings of playwrights Verena Tay, Ovidia Yu and Chong Tze Chien.