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Buddha Body Seriesl

Rasa Sayang


Tony Yap presents the final of his solo dance series. Rasa Sayang dances the trace of something no longer present: the suspension of a sublime essence.

This compelling performance continues within the form of an extended installation established through Tony's long-term partnership with visual artist Naomi Ota and musicians Madeleine Flynn and Tim Humphrey and creative collaborator Ben Rogan.

Rasa Sayang will be open to the public from 6pm, two hours before the performance time of 7.30pm.
Lighting design by Nik Pajanti.

> BLACKTOWN ARTS CENTRE –– 29-30 March 2012

Rasa Sayang is the result of Tony Yap’s two-year Fellowship from the Dance Board Australia Council of the Arts. Highly prestigious and awarded only to established artists, a Fellowship is an opportunity awarded only once in an artist's lifetime. Tony has deeply researched Indonesian and Malaysian shamanistic and trance dance traditions, melding them with his practice in Butoh and Grotowski Theatre, and his background in visual arts, to produce a unique approach to contemporary performance-making.

Sayang, meaning 'love' in Tony's native Malaysian, is the name of his mother, the inspiration for the work. Rasa Sayang will bring together traditional spiritual themes from East and West in a contemporary visual architecture.

Rasa sayange... rasa sayang sayange
Eeee lihat dari jauh rasa sayang sayange
Feel the love... feel the love
Look from afar feel the love

Rasa Sayang is part of Tony Yap Company's Buddha Body Series, an investigation into the idea of emptiness. The first in the series, Melangkori ('melancholy') was show in Melbourne in 2009, and the film version has screened in festivals in the UK, Amsterdam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Australia, to critical and audience acclaim. ‘Emptiness’ is loosely translated as the transient nature of vanity. In Eastern traditions such as Buddhist philosophy and Taoism, emptiness (Sunyata) is a realised achievement: a presence of absence.

Tony Yap Company creates performance experiences that are visceral and spiritual, deep and simple at an elemental level, resonating for audiences on multiple levels, and crossing cultural, social and economic divides. Since 2008 the company has performed in Indonesia, China, Vietnam, Japan, Malaysia and Korea, as well as having a strong following in Melbourne.

The Rasa Sayang visual and sound installation is open free of charge from 6pm to 7.30pm each night, when audience members are invited to witness the preparations and pre-performance rituals of the artists. The performance will take place at 8pm nightly. Audience members are encouraged to attend more than one performance, and special discounts are available.

Tony Yap Company is supported by Multicultural Arts Victoria and the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.



‘For all its innovations, contemporary dance in Melbourne has largely maintained a general distrust of overt sentimentality and emotional expressiveness in favour of a cool, if often playful, detachment. Tony Yap's latest bucked the trend with a deep investment in emotion that didn't revert of the more common hysteric or neurotic modes but instead demonstrated how dance can be as powerful a medium of raw feeling as narrative-based theatre. It's still a cool piece, based on Buddhist practice as it is, but the performer's exploration of the intimacies of grief is anything but disinterested. Madeleine Flynn and Tim Humphrey's live score complements the subtly wrenching choreography.’ - John Bailey – The Sunday Age

‘Inspired by the Batu Hidup (living stones) of Malaysia, Ota's design features pillars wrapped in cocoons of white webbing, strange sculptures that erupt from the ground like sun-bleached bones, and shards of plaster to delineate stark mosaics on the floor.... Although the focus of this latest production from Yap's Buddha Body Series is ''emptiness'', the space brims with latent energy... Yap steps on to the wooden floor and seems to transform... Despite its tiny scale, this work has an epic vibe that is driven by Yap's ability to sustain his trance-like state from start to finish. … At the end, Yap snaps back into his own persona and shrinks to human proportions. We are left wondering what has just happened and unsure of how to translate the experience into rational thought. * * * * Four stars.’ - Jordan Beth Vincent, The Age


Rasa Sayang has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, and the City of Melbourne.

Email: tonyyap@netspace.net.au > Ph: +61 412 019 876
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