We All Fall Down

Hwa Wei-An

Hi, my name is Wei-An, and I’m a dancer.

I dance, because I’m fidgety.  And because I want to be cool.    

Dance first caught my attention because of Scouts; we tried to learn cool  moves to impress the girls at the Scout Campfires, which my dad never  allowed me to attend for some reason. Whatever it was, it didn’t stop my interest in dance, and I went on to study in the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and later worked in Frontier Danceland (both in Singapore) for  four years.    

Now, I’m an independent artist. Besides contemporary work, I’m a pretty big fan of what I call street movement cultures; breakin’ and hip-hop, tricking, parkour and freerunning, and all that cool stuff you see on YouTube. Some of these I practice, some I just dabble in, but all of them inspire me. 

 Photo by Nicholas Chung.

Photo by Nicholas Chung.

We All Fall Down

Everyone falls down. Some people, though, do it on purpose.

Everyone falls down sometimes. Wei-An falls down more often than not.

And so he's made it into a practice, which he calls The Art of Falling.

It's not just about literally falling down, though. It's about connecting to the fact that everyone falls down, everyone fails, in one way or another. And everyone needs to find a way back up again. So how can work be made that relates to this question, that inspires, or helps, or simply, provides some form of catharsis? What can dance do to make a difference?

There's no doubt that we all fall down. Let that not be the end.

The Art of Falling

It's a practice that is, first of all, functional. Bailing out of flips and tricks, or simply falling when you trip. Knowing how to fall is hugely important to prevent injury, or at least as a means of reducing an injury’s severity.

Also, it can be cool. A surprise fall is a great way of creating, well, surprise. It's a great means of making a dance dynamic and exciting.

And then, it becomes a creative tool. If you can fall one way, and another, and another, and get up with a different method each time, you have a movement sequence. And movement sequence layered on movement sequence, and you get choreography.