The Vault: Dancing the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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A Dancemaker’s Response to Three Banned Plays

In a continuing series exploring dance and dramatic text, Singaporean contemporary dance artist Lee Mun Wai responds to three banned plays — Talaq, Smegma and Stoma — written by playwright Elangovan. In a performance that is both structured and improvised, Mun Wai intends to move past the initial shock value of Elangovan’s works, to facilitate and broaden the discussion of the social issues examined in the plays.


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About the Artist

Lee Mun Wai is an independent dance artist in Singapore. One of the more notable faces in the Singapore dance scene, Mun Wai was a founding member of prominent dance company The Human Expression Dance Company (T.H.E). He was with T.H.E. from 2008 to 2015, performing in most of the company’s repertoire both locally and internationally. His choreograpic works for T.H.E. were also featured in local dance festivals and events. One of his recent works, Permission to Speak Sir, was performed as part of an international showcase of Singapore’s artistic talents which travelled to Beijing, London and New York in 2015. Mun Wai is a 2014 recipient of National Arts Council’s Young Artist Award.

About the Plays

Talaq, Smegma and Stoma are plays by Elangovan which were banned from performance in the years 2000, 2006, 2013 respectively. The plays portrayed social tensions and inequalities in stark and often provocative ways, which led regulatory authorities to deny or withdraw their performance licenses.

Although never publicly staged, the three play-texts were published in 2014 in a collection titled The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Programme Handout

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Find out more about the plays here:

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Missed the live presentation? You can watch a recording of the performance here:

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The Vault: Dancing the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
 is the second of three presentations exploring dance and Singapore play-text. Through dance, Singaporean contemporary dance artist Lee Mun Wai responds to the plays Talaq, Smegma and Stoma written by playwright Elangovan.