The Last Shaman is a 10 minutes cohesive collage of short monologues, movements and dance inspired by the Dusun Lotud priestesses.
What inspired you to come up with this performance?
Due to my Master's degree research on a ritual dance in Sabah, I got the chance to meet the Lotud priestesses (a few of the last shamans in Sabah). They were my key informants and we have a deep rapport until today. They have inspired me a lot and have shifted my worldview about life, religion, and compassion, and definitely refined my core intention as an artist.
The lineage of the shamans is on the verge of vanishing. They hold a very special place in my heart. I wanted to create something about them before they are all gone.
What is your process?
Devising. Inspired by the shamans’ unique characters, memories, and happenings in their lives, actors are guided to explore segments of monologues, short scenes, dance, and movements. The chosen segments will then be weaved into a cohesive collage based on the theme emerged.
What do you hope to achieve with this performance?
I am trying to implement some of the elements of the Chekhov method in the devising process to help in movement creation and refining the authenticity of the characters and “acting” in the work. With that, I am hoping to present a more refined “present” (compared to my previous work) to the audience.
Tang Sook Kuan
Sook Kuan was born in Seremban and graduated from University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) with a M.A.(Creative Arts). Sook Kuan was a dance lecturer at UMS for 8 years (2006-2013), and a full-time dance artist in Borneo Dance Theater from 2014-2016. The love of nature and deep engagement in ritual/shamanic dance practices in North Borneo nurtured the distinctive flow and authenticity of her creations. She believes the value of dance/movement as a real-time art form is to instigate true love of humanity.
Her collaborative work “The Love of Tapang Tree'' was shortlisted for Media Library 2020| Visions du Reel, International Film Festival Nyon (Switzerland) and Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival (2021). Her recent ongoing works include “Monumbui Rinait” oral scripture transcription and “The Last Shamans”.
Kelly Choo is a Singaporean actress with roots in English literature and dance – particularly pole-dancing, street jazz, and contemporary dance. She also has a background in Tae Kwon Do, so you see her love for movement and all things physical.
She finds joy both on stage and on screen, especially when working with ideas that delve deeper into the human psyche. She loves the ‘play’ that acting affords, and the worlds that open up to her with every new role. In the progression of her acting career, she also hopes to learn more stunt work, as well as showcase her underappreciated talents in whistling one day.
Rachel Linn Braberry
Rachel is an actor, singer and performer that has graduated from LASALLE College of the Arts’ with a BA (Hons) in Acting and WILD RICE’s Young & Wild actor training programme. Her recent acting credits include Love & Information (WILD RICE), Into The Woods (Sing’ Theatre), Single Mothers (Play Den @ The Arts House), Sketches and Sorcerers (Otters United Funny Club) and Mixed Signals (Lights. Camera. Singapore.). Rachel firmly believes that life is full of adventures and that learning is a never ending process. In the future, she plans to further her training in voice and teach others how to love and understand theirs.
Vanessa graduated from Wild Rice’s Young & Wild actor training programme in 2020, under the mentorship of Edith Podesta. She played Martina in Candide (2020) by Wild Rice, and Sophie in the musical revue The Story of Tonight (2020) by The Runaway Co. She was last seen in Brian Gothong Tan’s The Swimming Pool Library (Exhibition) (2022) with T:>Works.