The SIM Incandescence Interview
PAssion Chingay Club has a chance to interview Ms Janice Low from the Student Life Division on how the SIM Incandescence was formed to part-take of Chingay 2011 for the first time in SIM's history. It was awesome to learn of how the committee gathered the 93 strong student contingents to form 3 groups of dancers symbolising Singapore's 3 main races and the dance theme centralised around 4 key messages - light, flight, reflection and inspiration. The care and supports of SIM and its management upon the entire contingent has paid off for SIM Incandescence came in as the First Runner-up in the Travelling Dance Competition! Read on to find out more....
1. Can you please share with us a little about the group?
Hi Fans of PAssion Chingay Club! This is the SIM Incadescence contingent of Chingay 2011! I am Janice Low and I am the Project Manager of SIM Incandescence. The entire contingent consisted of the main Committee and 93 student performers.
The Main Committee consisted of 9 student leaders and myself. We have a total of 93 dancers who were divided into 9 smaller teams. Each team was managed by 1 student leader from SIM DreamWerkz, which is SIM’s hip hop dance club. They took care of recruitment and trainings.
I was in charge of everything else like training venue, budgeting, logistics, publicity, etc. I received tons of guidance from my bosses, Mrs Ho Soon Eng and Mr Kenneth Chan. Not to mention lots of support from colleagues from various departments.
We also had several volunteers from SIM University taking on the role of minders during rehearsals and parades.)
2. Who are the Committee Members?
There are ten of us as mentioned earlier. I was the Project Manager and there are 9 other student leaders who formed the rest of the Committee. All the leaders are either students or alumni members from the SIM Global Education (SIM GE). They are:
- Lim Shiqi, also the Contingent Leader
- Lim Yu Lian Florence
- Khoong Siong Mun
- Siti Roslinda Binte Mohamed Salleh
- Chew Mu En
- Loh Ee Lin
- Windy Alexander
- Lee Ee Chin
- Yuen Pui Man Megan
3. How was the Committee formed or elected to be the planning committee for Chingay 2011?
SIM made the decision to participate in Chingay in July 2010. By that time, we had to identify the fastest way to recruit up to 100 dancers for the National Travelling Dance competition. I’m in charge of the arts and cultural clubs in SIM Global Education, so I decided to approach the student leaders of one of my dance clubs, which was SIM DreamWerkz. The student leaders rose to the challenge and spent another 2 weeks recruiting dancers from our pool of SIM GE full-time students.
4. How long was the planning process for Chingay 2011?
It took us about 6 months, once the student leaders were identified and involved in the planning. However, in totality, my boss and I spent an additional 2 months prior to this research and budgeting, as it was SIM’s first participation in Chingay. I must say that the People’s Association was very sincere in inviting SIM. They came down personally a couple of times to introduce Chingay 2011 highlights to us and recommended ways we could participate.
5. How did you come up with the idea or concept for your Chingay 2011 performance?
I must give credit to Ms Allegra Gong, from OSchool, who is our choreographer. Instead of a uniform choreography, the SIM Incandescence contingent was broken up into 3 groups where each had their own unique dance moves. Each group represented each of Singapore’s main races – Chinese, Malay, Indian. The choreography revolved around 4 key words - light, flight, reflection and inspiration.
6. What is the toughest part you encounter during the planning and preparation stage?
Wow, there were so many challenges as it was our first-time participating in Chingay! I’ll just pick one to elaborate. SIM Incandescence is not a dance troupe or arts institution unlike many of our competitors in the National Travelling Dance competition. In our contingent of 93, about 75% had almost no dance background, let alone performance experience. This meant we had to train them from scratch and ensure everyone was of uniform standard before the parade date. As the students had classes in the day, we had to train late at night, twice weekly for three months.
7. What is the most heart warming aspect you have encountered during this period?
The strength of the human spirit knows no boundaries. Each time I saw the contingent, they surprised me by improving in leaps and bounds. At the end, it was difficult to tell apart who was a bona fide dancer and who begun this journey as a newbie. As we got closer to the parade date, I could feel the passion, commitment and dedication firing up in each dancer. They were all gunning for glory, as they knew they were creating history for SIM, by being our first Chingay contingent.
8. What is the greatest takeaway for you being part of the Committee?
Chingay is an established brand name in the local arts calendar, and it’s great to have it on your track record. I’m proud to be part of the team that put together SIM’s first Chingay participation.
9. Share a word of your experience, advice or encouragement for those wanting to be part of Chingay experience.
Putting together a Chingay contingent is a lot harder than it looks. A lot of preparation goes on behind the scenes for those short moments on television. However once it’s over, it is definitely the memory of a lifetime.