Founded in 1989 by Artistic Director Madam Lim Moi Kim, Singapore Chinese Dance Theatre (SCDT), previously known as the Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan Dance Theatre, began as an avocational troupe offering Chinese dance courses and performing opportunities for dance enthusiasts.
Over the years, SCDT made remarkable achievements and contributed significantly to the local performing arts scene. Its biennial dance performance “Wu Zhi Si Cun”, which features a repertoire of original works, was especially well-received by renowned industry practitioners and the general public. As SCDT became more established, it was frequently invited to perform at prestigious local, as well as overseas events and dance festivals.
In 2002, SCDT participated in the “Liverpool International Theatre Festival” held in Canada, performing its original dance drama “Madam White Snake”. The item clinched “The People’s Choice”, “Best Visual Performance” and “Outstanding Supporting Actress” awards, and was well-loved by the audience. In 2012, SCDT competed at the Fifteenth Singapore World “Gold Lion Award” Competition and bagged a Top Gold Award and Gold Award for the dance pieces “Season of Sorrow” and “Fond-ling” respectively. In the same year, SCDT was invited to perform at the “Sibu International Dance Festival” held in Sibu, Malaysia, where the presented items were highly commended and well-received by the locals.
In recognition of its enduring efforts to the local arts scene, in 2013, SCDT was one of the recipients of the Seed Grant from the National Arts Council (NAC). In 2014, it was officially incorporated under the support of the Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan. With this affirmation, SCDT has stepped up efforts in bringing its performances to a higher level, and nurturing more promising dancers. To date, SCDT has put up a total of four core productions, including dance drama “A Startling Dream” in 2014, “ROOTED | A Triple Bill” and “Journey: Purpose in Motion” in 2015, and dance drama “Life’s A Stage” in 2016.
SCDT also tours annually to showcase its works and sought opportunities for exchange. In 2014, it participated in the “Third China Cao Yu Culture Week” held in Qianjiang, China, featuring its original dance drama “In The Wilderness” based on the well-known play “The Wilderness”. In 2015, it was invited to perform at the Asia Pacific Performing Arts Networks (APPAN) International Symposium “The Wisdom of Age in Performance: The Intangible Heritage of the Asia Pacific” held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. In 2016, it was invited to participate in the “World Dance Alliance (Asia Pacific) Celebrating Connection Local and Global Integration through Dance” held in Korea.
SCDT follows close to its mantra of keeping heritage, strengthening traditions and infusing new elements. In its three years of establishment, SCDT has continually seeked to innovate new choreography concepts and styles while retaining traditional roots, so as to present more engaging performances to its audiences. In addition, as part of its preservation efforts, SCDT is also committed to developing Chinese dance as an accessible art form by delivering dance education and outreach programmes for the wider community.
Apart from its annual core production, SCDT's other flagship programmes include a showcase platform for new works "Emergence", two major outdoor community outreach events "Under the BIG Tree" and "Chinese Dance Fiesta", as well as its year-end dance showcase "Taking Flight".
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