To Northern Ireland and the Echo Echo Dance Festival!

Sleep should be the priority at the moment, given that I have to get up in four hours or so. But tomorrow, I fly, and it's always a little tough to sleep the night before a flight. Normally cause I have to pack, admittedly! And because of the fear that once sleep creeps in, it'll stay till the flight has gone. Haha!

Tomorrow I fly to Europe again, to perform, for the first time, a solo at a dance festival. After submitting my piece called The Art of Falling to the Echo Echo Dance Festival's open call, they invited me to perform the work. (To see a trailer of the piece that I’ll be performing, scroll to the bottom of the post.)

It's quite exciting.

It also comes in the second half of a pretty crazy period that started back in the middle of September. A trip to Singapore to emcee for the Flux Dance Competition, followed by a trip to Korea to work with Ho-yeon and JungHa of the Dab Dance Project for the second half of our Asian Festivals Exchange collaboration, then back to Singapore for a few weeks to rehearse my solo before flying to Northern Ireland, then right back to Malaysia to participate in Hollow Lab, an improvisation workshop and performance led by Kuik Swee Boon, artistic director or THE Dance Company (Singapore) before heading back down to Singapore for one final presentation at Dance Nucleus’ SCOPE platform.

Pretty crazy two-and-a-half months.

I'm gonna be super free after that, though, so… anyone got any dance jobs? Haha!

In the midst of all of this, there's been a lot of time to think about many things.

One of those things has been the topic of thinking itself. As part of my over-enthusiastic YouTube diet, I watched a video by the channel Veritasium that discusses the benefits of boredom, of taking time to do nothing, and not allowing myself to be constantly stimulated (often by meaningless information) on my phone. The video resonated with lots of the little tidbits that I've picked up from various other articles and videos, as well as reflections on how I want to be in control of how I use my phone, and not let my phone control me.

Sitting down and staring into space has actually been pretty helpful for my creative process, the past week-and-a-half, no kidding. Had some ideas that hopefully will turn out really well, and not as absolute horrors. Will report back.

And in the midst of all this busyness, and the randomness of being an independent artist, my appreciation of my family and friends and the people around me really has grown deeper. The simple things really go a long way to showing who's really down to slog through life with you, even when you're a wandering independent artist who's often quite self-absorbed and always trying to find time to practice or answer emails. Friends who let me crash at their places, or buy me a beer or a meal, or take time out to watch a rehearsal and give me feedback; these little acts and great relationships make such a huge difference in my life. Literally, they allow me to survive and do what I do as an artist. You guys (and gals) know who you are.

Apparently, being an independent artist has also made me a lot more sentimental. Haha!

At a certain point, though, I'm gonna want to stop moving around so often. I don't remember if I mentioned this before, but since June last year, I haven't stayed in any one place for more than three weeks before having to pack my bags and head off. No kidding.

It's been a ball of a time, but sometimes it's been oh so very hard. As Bilbo Baggins once said, the road goes ever, ever on, and the feet that follow it grow weary and start to look for the comfort of a lighted inn (that's paraphrasing, not what he actually said, just to be clear).

Well, let's see what inn these feet lead me to, eh? But for now, onward and upward, eh? (I see you too, Mr. Lewis.)

Wei-An Hwa