ready to go solo?

Dapheny Chen

“Ready to go solo?” was an inconvenient question that popped up when the Singapore women’s table-tennis team took home the silver medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Having accumulated more than a thousand ping pong balls, Ready to go Solo? (#rtgs) takes the Foreign Sports Talent Scheme debate as a basis to question the ideologies behind social politics in Singapore through dance. The work attempts to navigate the tensions of competition, representation, prestige and belonging while highlighting the commodification of national identity.

Intended as a solo performance, RTGS departs from conventional contemporary dance making and positions processual research as a creation methodology. These processes include ideas of accumulation, repetition, notation and reproduction.
Throughout the work, the recurring elements and movements derived from the processes that emphasize the meticulous and exhausting labour of the individual; labour that can lead to transformation, exhaustion, aggression.

No Shoes
With Shoes


Dapheny graduated from Lasalle College of the Arts. She has since danced with Ah Hock and Peng Yu (2004), L.A. Dance Connection (2003-2008), Frontier Danceland (2010-2011) and Re:Dance Theatre (2012-2015). Trained in contemporary dance, ballet, jazz, hip hop and salsa, Dapheny negotiates between the roles of a choreographer, performer, educator and manager. She is currently an independent dance artist and General Manager of Dance Nucleus.

Most recently, she presented “I went on a walk and took with me..” at da:ns Festival 2020, part of the Esplanade Open Call. She created “无- Wu” (2019) in response to Justin Lee’s Game of Life installation, “FM:AM” (2018), an audio participatory dance engagement work, “18 in between” (2017), a site specific work in response to Katherine Kng’s “No Room To Enter”. All of which were commissioned by the Esplanade Theatres by The Bay. Dapheny has presented works at Festival Prisma in Panama, World Dance Alliance Asia Pacific in Seoul, Esplanade Huayi Festival, Singapore Night Festival, NUS Exxonmobil Campus Concert and others.

Dapheny is concerned about the provocations, connections and criticality that arise from making and viewing dance. They reveal the questions that are pertinent to her practice: Who do we speak to? What do we speak about? How do we speak about it? Breaking away from her conventional dance training, she examines socio-political ideologies to navigate the possibilities of contemporary dance, while seeking to create alternative nodes of experience and entry points as conversations for change and knowledge.

Her practice embraces the multiple facets of choreography and dance that changes with time and state. While acknowledging the agile and transient nature of processes involved in creation, she break downs previous definitions of the form to reform new experiences. Her current work positions inanimate objects as a collaborative material with the dancing body.