Rojak Cypher

Abstract or Summary of Project

This project aims to document the street dance community in Singapore to showcase how it is unique in these four aspects .

  1. Location and historical context
  2. Unspoken Vocabulary
  3. Spoken Vocabulary
  4. Short documented stories

Street Dance is a dance style that evolved outside of dance studios in any available open space. The term is used to describe vernacular dances in the urban content whereby the genre of the dance is broad. Vernacular dances are often improvisations ( Freestyle) and social in nature.

As a dancer myself, I’ve come to realise dance being a form of expression of the human intention is considered a language. The idea of doing this topic for my FYP came about while I was pondering on the idea of how Singlish, a local dialect was evolved from English, a foreign language. Similarly ,the initial philosophy and practice of street dance was something that was foreign to the culture here and was adopted by Singaporeans in the late 1970s and only started getting popular traction in mid 1990s . It is no surprise that the dance styles in Singapore has also evolved in a way that is localised. However a quick google search will show that street dance in Singapore is not being structurally documented and if so, it is rare. This is why this FYP is important to me as it serves as a platform to showcase a part of our much seeked after cultural identity.

Process and More Details

Since the street dance scene in Singapore is not as well documented a compare to overseas , much of the process was based on primary research. I interviewed as many street dancers as I could while they go about their practices and battles. The documentation was done through video , audio recording and photography.

The main struggle through this project was that there were many different styles within the street dance category and alongside that many subjective truths. Getting the data required was not as hard as having to catalogue them in a structural and cohesive manner. Hence the name of the project ” Rojak Cypher”.

Link(s) to FYP Report in DR-NTU (Restricted to NTU Access)

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Posted on

March 15, 2017

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