Lee Su-Feh is a dancer, choreographer, teacher and dramaturge originally from Malaysia, now based in Vancouver, Canada. As a young artist immersed in both traditional and contemporary Malaysian dance and theatre, she was indelibly marked by teachers who strove to find a contemporary Asian expression out of the remnants of colonialism and dislocated traditions. Since arriving in Vancouver in 1988, she has created a body of work that interrogates the contemporary body as a site of intersecting and displaced histories and habits. As Artistic Director of battery opera performance (“fearlessly iconoclastic”, “brainy and bawdy”), she has worked both alone and in collaboration with other artists. Her most recent work, Sweet Gyre, is her second collaboration with Montréal choreographer Benoît Lachambre and Juno-award winning composer Jesse Zubot. Some of her current projects involve making dance machines, becoming a Fitzmaurice Voicework teacher and being a part of Migrant Bodies, a two-year Canada-E.U choreographic project ruminating on migration and its implications.
"Dance Machine and Habitacle are ways of expressing my body through the construction of a set/costume rather than through an orthodox "dance-making". They remain "choreography" because they deal with time, space and the human body – both mine and others'. They invite others into a conversation about things that matter to me – the body, place and what dance is and can be." –Lee Su-Feh
Dance Machine and Habitacle are available to tour Canada and elsewhere starting 2015.
1. an apparatus consisting of interrelated parts with separate functions, used in the performance of some kind of work
2. a mechanical apparatus or contrivance; mechanism
3. a device that transmits or modifies force or motion
Coming out of research into the body's energetic relationship to objects and matter, Dance Machine strives for an environment – part costume, part architecture – that envelops both dancer and viewer, provoking and revealing the interconnectedness of our human bodies so that we may all dance together. It is a choreographic score embedded in an installation, available for guest artists and the public to occupy and play within.
created and constructed by
Lee Su-Feh, Justine A. Chambers and Jesse Garlick
Beta version premiered in summer 2014 at Dancing On The Edge Festival, Vancouver, Canada.
habiller, habitat, spectacle
Like Dance Machine, Habitacle is concerned with questions about the energetic relationship between the human body and objects. A collaboration between Lee Su-Feh and Saskatchewan-based artists Edward Poitras and Robin Poitras, Habitacle ponders upon the body, its clothing and its habitat.
Edward Poitras brings to this project a critically-acclaimed art practice rooted in sculpture, installation and questions about indigenous rights and identity. Robin Poitras is a performance artist whose work encompasses dance, somatic practices and fabric art.
Like Dance Machine, Habitacle will be an installation that has the potential to invite guest artists and the public into play and collaboration.
Project begins Fall 2014.
My Migrant Body: "I was born in Malaysia, a former British colony with a complicated set of socio-political realities. I grew up part of an ethnic Chinese minority, standing in the interstices of numerous languages, cultures, ethnicities, histories and imperfect narratives of all of the above.
"When I emigrated to Canada in 1988, these complexities were transposed onto the Canadian complexity: a modern nation-state built upon settler-colonialism with a history of displacement and dislocation of indigenous people from their land and culture.
"Currently I am interested in finding ways to acknowledge where we are. I am curious about dance as a proposition to live in the present without denying history. I am interested in inviting others into this discussion." –Lee Su-Feh
Lee Su-Feh is one of six dance artists, among sixteen artists altogether, who have been invited to participate in a two-year research project that uses artistic and cultural tools to open up a civic reflection on migration in European and Canadian societies.
Created through a partnership between The Dance Centre (Vancouver), Circuit-Est centre chorégraphique (Montréal), Comune di Bassano del Grappa (Italy), The Croatian Institute for Movement and Dance (Croatia), and La Briqueterie – Centre de développement chorégraphique du Val-de-Marne (France), Migrant Bodies invites six dance artists, five writers and five video artists to meet in residencies in each city over the next year to ruminate on migration and its implications on the body – the body of the individual, the body of a group and the body of a society. Each residency culminates in a sharing with the public. The project finishes in Italy in July 2015 with an international symposium at the Opera Estate Festival Veneto.facebook.com/MigrantBodies
Prom'Art – Performing Arts Promotion