Finally I came back to Singapore working with the same company as last time.
After I left the company in December 2015, things have been so complicated. Many changes happened in both good and bad way. I’d been traveling back and forth between Singapore and Thailand almost every three months before this final decision.
Why did I decide to come back? It was such a difficult decision to make. As an artist, there is no doubts it was the right decision. However, as a yoga teacher (as how people call me), as one of directors of my family’s businesses in my country, and as a buddhist disciple who (thought she) was ready to follow buddha’s path, this was the most stupid decision one could make. But there are many roles we need to play. Questions rise. How many of them are conflicting with the others. And how legitimate it was to prioritize one over the others?
Well, if I put it this way, it may sound more legit for every role I am playing. This company is distinct from other dance companies I know. It does not train me to be a better dancer, but to be a better artist with a well balanced of enough pressure and enough space for creativity. The most important thing that is a tipping point which brought me back here was its outreach programs.
Since young, I have felt the urge of making the art I do useful. I had a plan to do MA in dance therapy but until now I haven’t had a chance to pursue that dream. However, one of the main works we do in this company forced me to research more in how to use art, dance, movement, and creativity for therapeutic purpose. We call it ‘elderly program’ and recently, I have been very into it. We are doing research on how can we use dance to engage both physical and mental aspect of elderly people. Our assumption is that dance requires coordination of different body parts which in turn stimulates activities in a brain. And to inspire elderly people to dance, imaginary and creativity which fall under mental aspect come to play an important role. It is the doing the movements with some clear goal in mind that really helps elderly people as a whole person, not only physical body. We try not to just reach hands up and bring them down ten times, but to have a high cloth hanging rod in mind and the wanting to hang our clothes on it with a glimpse of joy from accompanied music and dance making elements that engage both body and mind.
Like movements session for elderly, I believe we should live our lives with clear goals in mind and have fun with whatever we are doing. Now I have completed my second month in the same company. To be honest, the latter has not quite been achieved yet. This also due to my worry for my other responsibilities in my home town too. My life as an artist would be easier and more fluid if I could ride on the momentum of work with out having to think about my works in another country. But well, it is family’s businesses and for my yoga studio, I have promised, I’d not quit.
Working in two countries sounds too adventurous for me. I am not excited about it. It is tiring. Nevertheless, I think the best thing I can do for now is find the meanings of every work I have to do and really believe in them as they are fuel for me to run this mental engine. I can work, be it art, business, or yoga, as long as I know they are meaningful. As long as I feel my life exists for a purpose.