Friendsí Season
The Red Ballerina

The Red Ballerina (working title)
a Work-in-Progress
Ong Keng Sen / TheatreWorks

She is a dancer, a lover and a fighter.
A lynchpin of dance education in Singapore.
An esteemed choreographer.
The wife of late theatre doyen Kuo Pao Kun.

Director Ong Keng Sen creates a performance portrait of dance pioneer and living icon Madam Goh Lay Kuan in this documentary performance tentatively entitled The Red Ballerina. He collaborates with theatre stalwarts Karen Tan and Lim Kay Tong in this work-in-progress presentation.

In 1985, Ong studied in Practice Performing Arts School started by Mdm Goh and Kuo in 1985. Thereafter, he collaborated consistently with Kuo until 2001. Founding Director of TheatreWorks, Lim was directed by Kuo in the first-ever English language production of Practice in 1985. Goh’s, Kuo’s long treasured friendships have affected Ong deeply and hence also can be seen in the trajectory of TheatreWorks.

Acclaimed for his distinct documentary theatre with works staged in the last two decades such as the internationally renown classic about Cambodia - The Continuum: Beyond the Killing Fields (2001) - which has toured the world for ten years, Red Ballerina is Ong’s first foray in staging a portraiture of someone from his own culture and artistic history. 

Ong says: "This has big meaning for me. I believe an artist can be a lens to perceive a culture and its time. My documentary performances so far have been about stories of people from other cultures. This is the first time it's from our own. She is a living presence, who has continued her dialogue with art and society, she is still actively engaged." 

Conceived and directed by Ong Keng Sen
Text by Goh Lay Kuan & Kuo Pao Kun
Created with Karen Tan & Lim Kay Tong

Event Information
Date: 29 April, 30 April, 1 May 2010
Time: 8pm
Admission: Free (please call/email to register as there are limited seats)

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