What do you enjoy most about 2016’s performance season?

The repertoire extends from classical to contemporary ballet so I never feel I am completely stuck in one style. This year we did Don Quixote in March, which is one of my favourite full length ballets, as well as Balanchine’s Theme and Variations at The Moon and The Stars, which is truly a privilege to dance. I also enjoyed dancing in Nils Christe’s Symphony in Three Movements because of the choreography, music, and intensity. Working with Timothy Harbour for Another Energy was a definite highlight as well!

What is your most memorable performance in your life?

I remember when I was 11, my ballet school performed a La Bayadère-inspired piece. I remember thinking that I was not good enough as a dancer because I did not get to join in the group dance, and I had to dance with a boy in this pas de deux instead of dancing with the older girls in the corps de ballet. No one told me I was the main girl. I remember not smiling the entire time I was on stage. (laughs)

What do you think is the most beautiful aspect of ballet?

Seeing a dancer blend technique with grace and power, and also being able to deliver some kind of emotion. That is what makes ballet beautiful.

What motivates you to keep dancing?

The fact that we can’t dance forever, we only have now – the present, one lifetime; and our body ages year by year. It really is a pleasure to have been given this gift that I get to go to work and dance, and I just don’t want to waste it.

How has dance changed your life?

It has changed me so much…Where I live, the people that I’ve gotten to meet and also unfortunately the people I’ve had to leave behind. Dance has also taken me to many places around the world so it has really taken me out of the small town in Malaysia that I was born in, and also the small town of 20 000 people that I grew up in, in Australia. Dance has also taught me so much determination and persistence.

Favourite costume, choreography, performance, dancer?

My favourite costume would have to be the dress from Val Caniparoli’s Lambarena, and the tutu of the Fairy of Abundance from Sleeping Beauty. The dress is dyed so well with amazing colours and the tu-tu is just gorgeous when it is paired with the gorgeous headpiece.

My favourite classical choreography is Theme and Variations by George Balanchine, and contemporary ballet choreography is Symphony in Three Movements. In both of these masterpieces, the movements really reflect the music so well. It’s like watching a physical interpretation of the music; the different tempos, the changes in dynamics, the musical patterns and phrasing, the layers of melodies or instruments.

What is your greatest fulfilment in being a dancer?

The greatest fulfilment about being a dancer is that it really is a lifestyle choice. It is fulfilling being different, and yet being a part of a handful of people that are similar with you. In my previous jobs, I was performing up to 8 times a week every week. So we lived and breathed performing, and always had varying schedules. Often times, when others were working, we had time off. When others had time off, like weekends and weeknights, we would work. While others slept in the comforts of their own beds, we stayed in countless hotels and homestays; I lived out of 2 suitcases for four and a half years. I was always touring or moving around, not knowing where the next job might be. So yes, it really is such a unique lifestyle. Of course in Singapore, it is a bit different, but there are those same elements from time to time. Anyway, I am much happier having unpacked those suitcases and been able to call Singapore home for awhile now.

Interesting fact about yourself

I failed the Elementary grade for my RAD exam, and was completely devastated, but that only made me work harder. So even if you’ve failed, never give up and keep working at it!

Biggest dream or desire? (Travel, where? Things to do, what? People to meet, who?)

I have a desire to trek up a mountain. That would be so amazing! Another thing on my list is also to go to South Africa and experience a true safari.

Quote or motto to live by?

One of the things we can hang onto in the end are memories, so go and experience something and keep creating them.