Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Help those that lost their habitats in typhoon Haiyan

A friend who does quite a lot of relief work told me once that the best thing to do when disaster strikes is to donate money to a worth cause because sending items could actually in turn have adverse effects. What I mean is that by sending items, sometimes the clothing items are unwanted and piled up on the side of the road causing more traffic delays or by sending food products that the particular culture doesn't really eat or know how to open. The food would just sit there piling up. You get the picture.

Where should you donate?

Philippine Red Cross:

Community and Services International:

Or better yet, wait for a Philippine based relief organization to announce what they need. 

Habitats were lost, the world needs to come together yet again to help each other out.  

Check out this article: Please don't send your old shoes to the Philippines

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Post Edinburgh thoughts

Its always hard to figure out what to do next with a piece after a major festival/performance. I've been going back to the 'drawing board' and thinking of how this piece can develop. As a choreographer, sometimes I'm always looking for a way to reinvent a piece that I've created and put on a stage. With Habitat, I may go backwards in time to my original idea of mounting it in a gallery type setting or a white box theater. I also want to get the projections to shoot off the dancers' bodies as the light fragments on their bodies because its a metaphor for the person living in a world that feels like a sum of all worlds. Visually, I think this would look really exciting.
I'm rambling a bit from my thoughts... I will leave you with a postcard from Edinburgh to our indiegogo supporters.

Friday, October 11, 2013

The official trailer for Habitat

Habitat in Edinburgh Fringe Festival trailer from Alaine Handa on Vimeo.
Habitat Directed by Alaine Handa
Choreography by Alaine Handa in collaboration with the performers
Performers: Laura Lamp, Ezekiel Oliveira, Belinda He, Alaine Handa

Habitat premiered at C Venues (+2) theatre at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. August 2013.

This production is supported in part by Singapore International Foundation ( and in kind support from Centre Stage School of the Arts ( and donated pictures from Expatriate Archive Centre.

This performance footage is shot and edited by Kevin Tadge & Laura Lamp.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Some pictures from Habitat in Edinburgh

Taken from Video Stills by Kevin Tadge.

Many Thanks to Kevin, the Expatriate Archive Center - for sending us some lovely images of habitats of expats from different parts of the world and different time periods!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Quick update from Edinburgh:
Hello everyone! I hope you are having a great time wherever you are in the world. Ever since we arrived in Edinburgh, its been a whirlwind of activities. We jumped into rehearsals immediately, then tech, dress, preview performances, performances, networking, getting audiences to come (a daily hustle!) see us, making new friends, and also trying to see as many shows as we can because Edinburgh Fringe is THE largest arts festival in the world.

I managed to squeeze in some sightseeing yesterday and went up to Edinburgh Castle which is in the middle of town. The view from up the hill is gorgeous with the historic cannons, crown jewels of Scotland, and historical buildings once occupied by Queen Mary of Scots and her son King James. I have also met up with an old friend of mine who I haven't seen since we were 12 years old and attending an International School in Singapore! She's Scottish and lives about an hour away in Glasgow. It was great to catch up with her.

More later....
- Alaine

Video still captured during Ezekiel's solo by Kevin Tadge

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Preview from Alaine's solo text

I wrote a poem that I recorded to be used as a soundscape for my solo in Habitat. Here's a snippet of it. I hope you like it!

This is me
What am I doing here?
These four walls, pillows, closet, dressers filled with clothing and relics of the past.
A near and distant memory of homes.
Why do you want to know?
I’m weird.
I like to sleep with the lights on.

Directed by Alaine Handa
Choreography by Alaine Handa and Dancers
Dancers: Alaine Handa, Belinda He, Laura Lamp, and Ezekiel Oliveira
July 31- August 31, 2013 @ 1:50 pm everyday
Edinburgh Fringe Festival
C Venues, venue 34, Adam House, Chambers Street, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Purchase tickets:
Habitat blog:

Habitat is supported in part by Singapore International Foundation's Singapore Internationale grant scheme ( and Centre Stage School of the Arts (

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Habitat Sleep Pattern Promo


Directed by Alaine Handa
Choreography by Alaine Handa and Dancers
Dancers: Alaine Handa, Belinda He, Laura Lamp, and Ezekiel Oliveira
July 31- August 31, 2013 @ 1:50 pm everyday
Edinburgh Fringe Festival
C Venues, venue 34, Adam House, Chambers Street, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Purchase tickets:
Habitat blog:

Habitat is supported in part by Singapore International Foundation's Singapore Internationale grant scheme ( and Centre Stage School of the Arts (

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Habitat feet promo

Directed by Alaine Handa
Choreography by Alaine Handa and Dancers
July 31- August 31, 2013 @ 1:50 pm everyday
Edinburgh Fringe Festival
C Venues, venue 34, Adam House, Chambers Street, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Purchase tickets:
Habitat blog:

Habitat is supported in part by Singapore International Foundation's Singapore Internationale grant scheme ( and Centre Stage School of the Arts (

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Rehearsing in spite of haze

Last week's rehearsal was on the day that had the worst PSI reading of 400. Masks, lots of breaks, water, and coughing.
But we still managed to have a laugh with our masks on. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Habitat: The Press Release

Photo Credit: Ji Yoon Kim

April 21, 2013                   
A.H. Dance Company presents Habitat in Edinburgh Fringe Festival

The Edinburgh debut for international contemporary dance company based in New York City and Singapore, following performances in New York, Guangzhou, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur. Habitat (world premiere) is a multimedia dance production explores how we coexist and how we adjust to changes in our environments based on our senses, perception, and quality of life.  


A.H. Dance Company

C Venues, C (+2), Chambers Street, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Venue #34

31 July – 13 August, 2013, 13:50 pm everyday
Tickets cost £ 10.50 – 11.50. Purchase tickets: Habitat | Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Habitat Publicist:

Alaine Handa,
Laura Lamp,
C Venues Fringe Festival Publicists:

C venues press and marketing department
Tel. 0845 260 1234

About Habitat
Habitat is a multimedia dance production – assessing how humans coexist in the habitat(s) in which we live in and how we adjust to changes in our environments – inspired by our senses, perception, and quality of life. When we retreat into our physical home what happens behind closed doors? Our personal space is the environment in which we become our truest self. The quirks, neurosis, emotional highs and lows, habits, transformations, etc. This multicultural cast of dancers from Singapore, USA, Portugal, and Indonesia transcend national boundaries to share their lives with each other onstage.

About the Choreographer/Artistic Director
Alaine Handa is attracted to work that engages audiences from a sociological context. Her choreography has been described as “quirky, honest, athletic, and lyrical.” Alaine received her B.A. from UCLA’s department of World Arts & Cultures in dance studies. In Los Angeles, she has worked with Yvonne Rainer, Simone Forti, Mandala Danceworks, Space + Movement Exchange, Victoria Marks, among others. Since relocating to New York City in 2005, she has performed for Larry Keigwin + Company, Sasha Soreff Dance Theater, Open Floor Dance, The Movement Collective, High Frequency Wavelengths, Gabrielle Lansner & Company, Scott Lyons & Company, and Stephanie Liapis. Her own work has been shown at Toronto Fringe Festival, Dance Forum, University Settlement, Abrons Art Center, Dance New Amsterdam, Movement Research, Merce Cunningham Studio Theater, Meridian International Children’s Festival, Capital Fringe Festival, Cool New York Dance Festival, and various other venues.  Ms. Handa has lived in Indonesia, Singapore, Los Angeles, and New York. For more information please visit

"Most of Alaine's work is based on some sociological observation or a desire to inform and enlighten through dance. In fact, she epitomizes the best traits of global nomads and is an excellent ambassador."

- Lisa Finnegan "Changing the World through Dance" for Parenting While Abroad, 9/12/2010

About Edinburgh Fringe
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world and takes place every August for three weeks in Scotland’s capital city. Every year thousands of performers take to a multitude of stages all over Edinburgh to present shows for every taste. From big names in the world of entertainment to unknown artists looking to build their careers, the festival caters for everyone and includes theatre, comedy, dance, physical theatre, musicals, operas, music, exhibitions and events.

A.H. Dance Company
A.H. Dance Company is a multicultural modern dance company based in New York City and Singapore. A.H. Dancers perform work that reflects the diversity of the cast and various collaborators. Founded in December 2007, A.H. Dance Company has performed in various theaters, studios, community centers, conferences, and festivals in the United States and beyond.  A.H. Dance Company’s mission is to present and support independent contemporary artists and companies worldwide. Through collaborations with local dancers and artists of other mediums, A.H. Dance Company strives to share modern dance with communities that lack exposure to it. Through the work of Ms. Handa and the company members, A.H. Dance Company aims to present work that is engaging to a vast range of audiences.  For more information visit


Thursday, June 6, 2013

The road to Edinburgh

Thank you to everyone that donated to the indiegogo campaign!

We raised $1,131 USD from the campaign* + an additional $500 SGD.

That's $1,914 SGD in total from private donations!

With grant money from Singapore International Foundation we are up to $5,914 SGD. A small stepping stone towards our total budget of $24,000 SGD to make it through the summer of performances in Edinburgh for our small cast of 4 + a stage manager.

If you missed out on our able to donate a small sum of money towards our goal, we would really appreciate it! You can click on the Paypal Donate button below.

*Indiegogo will be charging 9% fee for not making our fundraising goal of $1500 so we could use some help!

Many Thanks to Naheed Choudhry, Heather Cheung, Anonymous, Nicholas Fox, Gabrielle Lansner, Anonymous, Patricia Lee, Zhiying Lu, Julia Simens, Paoley Tjia, Judy Rickatson, Anonymous, EMCJ Holk van Eysinga, William Hebert, Centre Stage School of the Arts, Anonymous, Kyla Barkin, Anonymous, Annette Rahbek Floystrup, Lyna Ward, Media Generation!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Habitat: Indiegogo campaign

Our indiegogo campaign has less than 9 days left and we need all the help we can get. Will you check out our indiegogo campaign video and if you are able to donate a few dollar bills, we would be very grateful!

Thank you shoutout to Media Generation (, Annette Floystrup, tribalyna, Anonymous, and Kyla Barkin for your donations!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Singapore. The process


The process:

The nature of a collaborative creative process between dance artists produces unexpected results. Habitat is becoming a waiting ‘Zone’ where I witness the new and bizarre while humming to a tune in my head.  The singer that can’t tune one note (myself) finds himself delighted with his own music.

The dance material is taken out of context and while dancing I seem to feel like I am doing what I shouldn’t in the middle of a busy road. Habit is opening a new door to the poetic aspects of living in a Modern city – Singapore. I face the difficult task of turning the mundane tasks into interesting subjects – finding in the ridiculous of brushing my teeth every morning with my eyes closed an inspiration to develop gestural choreography.

In the beginning I thought pedestrian. The latter is a very famous word in the umbrella of contemporary dance; I come across this empty concept in all sorts of places, at the costume department, in the studio with other creatives, on stage and in press releases. I understand now that pedestrian is a very vague and empty word that doesn’t inspire me to create dance.

Habitat is a creative process where I discover my private self – creating new and bold dance material inspired in my most private and mundane situations.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Habitat of a Singaporean dancer: Kai Eng

In February, I went to the home of a Singaporean dancer, who had just moved back from living in Stockholm for a number of years. She had just moved into this apartment she shares with her boyfriend and her landlord that has typical Singapore views of government-subsidized housing called HDBs in an area that I'm not familiar with. Even though I've grown up living in Singapore, I didn't have many local friends as I attended an International school and an American school later on. Almost all of us lived in private condos and no one I knew lived in an HDB flat from my schools. I had very few local Singaporean friends who I'd met through the dance studios I trained at and through the ice rink (I used to be a figure skater). This particular dancer, I had met at the ice rink. She and I were rink buddies back in those youthful days. We sort of lost touch after I moved away from Singapore to the US but reconnected on Facebook. She became a modern dancer while in Sweden.

When we look at the Habitat we place ourselves in, it reflects a physical place of where we our in our life in that current moment. I had asked Kai why she didn't move back "home" with her mother and she replied that she was going to live with her boyfriend that moved with her from Sweden and didn't want to burden her mother. She chose her living arrangements. I believe that when we get to choose our own living arrangements, we are much happier wherever we are. We get to unleash our truest selves 24/7 instead of just behind closed doors.

Photo Credit: Alistair Chew (Visit his Tumblr blog with AMAZING Dance Photography! Tonight We Dance)



Photo Credit: Alistair Chew (Visit his Tumblr blog with AMAZING Dance Photography! Tonight We Dance)

Her current habitat is humble and simple. Her landlord was excited to have us film and photograph in her apartment.

A BIG Thank you to Alistair Chew (Seriously check out his blog: Tonight We Dance) and Kai Eng for this photoshoot! I'll have more pics highlighted from that shoot that will be used as part of the backdrop for Habitat. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

A lone dancer in rehearsal

I have been conducting virtual rehearsals for a few months with Laura now working on her solo and this project, it got me to thinking about the process of rehearsing and how it changes the work we create in different types of situations and spaces. This piece is very much a collaborative process with my dancers because I'm working with them one-on-one and in the case of Laura, virtually. The ideas that I have come to fruitition entirely when we both come up with ideas. Back and forth emails. So much of how we live today exist in a virtual habitat and a physical habitat.

I know I'm not alone in this same process of creation. I've spoken to a number of artists who do collaborations trans-globally with each other seem to also work this way as well.

Now I'm curious because when I'm in a studio alone, I feel very much alone in my own skin. Even if I'm choreographing for something, I feel alone. Does anyone else feel this way? I wonder if Laura feels this way when she goes to the studio to work on Habitat. Maybe its different because she's accountable for these video recordings to send them to me so I can give feedback. Because there's that accountability.

I'm having a hard time shaping my own solo for this piece. Perhaps I should create an accountability and make videos as well to send to my dancers for feedback.

This is the most recent video of Laura's rehearsal. The solo is shaping up nicely. A little more tweaks and then I can be satisfied with it.

p.s. I like the studio that she's rehearsing in has light colored marley and white walls. I'm imagining all the projections behind her bouncing off.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A rehearsal video

I have a new dancer in the Habitat piece and his name is Ezekiel. We work for the same arts school who is also generously donating space for us to work together when the studios aren't being used. A BIG shout out and THANK YOU to Centre Stage & Pete for generously letting us use the studios.

Here's a rehearsal clip from our first rehearsal, this will be part of a transition section currently titled "Wall".

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Habitat Pictures from Around the World

I find other people's habitat extremely interesting because you really get to know someone just by visiting their home. From the decorations, household items, to the architecture of the home is all orchestrated by the inhabitant of that place. A few months ago, I had an open call for pictures of people's past or current habitat and these are a few of the pictures that were sent to me. These pictures will be used as a backdrop for Habitat.

If you would like to send me a picture of your past home or current living situation, feel free to email me at

Anastasia Ashman's Habitat

Cheilaugh Garvey's daughters' former Habitat

Maria Foley's Habitat

Rob Oandasan's Childhood Habitat

Laura's Solo performance at Cool New York 2013

The snowstorm dubbed "Nemo" did not stop Cool New York 2013 festival from happening. The Show must go on! With the impending storm, Laura went to tech/dress rehearsal before the storm. We were scheduled to perform Friday evening and Sunday evening, however, "Nemo" blanketed the East Coast with over 2 feet of snow (POWDAH!) and she only got to perform Habitat on Sunday to a FULL HOUSE!

The following video was taken during dress rehearsal. We'll be working on the solo in the coming months so its a bit more polished for the upcoming fringe festival in Edinburgh (more on that later on!). I love the lighting and mood of this solo - it fits Laura so well.


Laura had to alter the performance a bit due to the FULL HOUSE with people sitting on the floor in front of the pillars. But I'm sure she danced beautifully. (I wish more performances were livestreamed so global audiences can watch as well)

Habitat is shaping up really nicely - I have rehearsal this weekend with a dancer/teacher living in Singapore. I'll definitely share the rehearsal video in the coming weeks.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A showing of a solo at Cool New York 2013 Festival

Cool New York 2013 Festival is coming up and we will be a part of it! Quite exciting b/c this will be the first of many showings.. virtual and live leading up to the big global premiere this coming summer in Europe! (Yes, we're excited.. can't you tell!! We're even pre-announcing before the official announcement. hah!)

Anyways back to Cool New York..

Here are the details:

CoolNY Dance Festival originated in 2004 as a component of Cool New York, the City’s winter celebration of “arts and parks” events. Mayor Bloomberg put his personal stamp of approval on the celebration, deeming it “the perfect opportunity to get out this winter season, explore new neighborhoods and appreciate the magic of the city.” WHITE WAVE honors its milestone 10th Anniversary CoolNY 2013 Dance Festival this January 30th – February 10th.

The CoolNY 2013 Dance Festival is FREE and contributions are greatly appreciated in order to continue festival presentations.

Featured companies include: 
Amos Pinhasi, Jennifer Mellor Dance Project, Inclined Dance Project, ANAHATA Dance, NEVILLE Dance Theatre, FLUSSO Dance, Raw Delivery, Andrew Jannetti, FluidEdge, “NOT for reTAIL”, Cori Marquis + the Nines [IX], Sapphire Moon Dance Company, Anne-Flore de Rochambeau, A.H. Dance Company, MUSE309, KDNY, The Brooklyn Dance Ensemble, 4thrightdance, RG Dance Projects, Enzo Celli-Celli Contemporary Ballet, Dorcas Roman Dance Theatre / DRDT, ADANZAVECVOS, Core Dance Contemporary, Hwa Suk Lee Dance Project, Olsi Gjeci, BAXco, Brooklyn Arts Exchange Teen Company, Liz Piccoli, Bo Kyung Lee, Adams Company Dance, Tamara LaDonna Moving Spirits, Inc., Kyla Ernst-Alper, Juhwan Hwang, Theodora Boguszewski, Megan Nicely/Dance, Regina Nejman & Company, Yin Yue Dance Company, Jules Bakshi/ Subtle Details Dance Theater, LJ Leach/Movement Arts, Double-Edge Dance, SoGoNo- Tanya Calamoneri, BodyStories: Teresa Fellion Dance, Asterial Dance, MJM Dance, Kitchen Sink Collective, Nehara Kalev, Shauna Dever Dance, Whiteroad Dance Media, Sheena Hagy, Jennifer Phillip, Nadine Martinez, Melanie Cortier/Eidolon Ballet, Kip Martin, Elinor Harrison and more…

Program H

February 8 @ 9-10:30 pm
February 10 @ 6-7:30 pm

Location: WHITE WAVE John Ryan Theater, 25 Jay Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Directions: F train to York Street. Walk along Jay Street towards the waterfront. Entrance is on John Street.

Watch the beautiful Laura perform part of her solo at the festival!

Photo Credit: Fig Tree Photography

Here's Laura performing Chameleon at the Outlet Dance Project this past fall.

Photo Credit: Silvia Si-Wei Chen

Laura performing "Nothing Matters When We're Dancing" Flashmob in Washington Square Park co-choreographed by Alaine Handa, Michael Mao, and Natalia Duong as the closing for Locating the Sacred Festival hosted by Asian American Arts Alliance in September.

Here's a rehearsal video snippet of the solo:

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Lauren's Habitat, Photos by Jene Youtt

Last Winter in NYC, we shot a segment in Lauren's apartment of Lauren in her natural habitat. I filmed a choreographed improvisation of gestural series on her bed, brushing her hair, picking out an outfit while photographer Jene shot the series in slow motion. We spent a couple hours shooting her from different angles.

Here are some of the pictures taken from that evening.

I love the raw vulnerability of these pictures and the calmness of Lauren's face as she was dealing with a sustained ankle injury at that time.

Many thanks to Lauren & Jene!

Photo Credit: Jene Youtt