BACKSTAGE, the air was dense with colour and sound as performers and crew bustled about. There were figures warming up, praying, painting faces, fixing costumes, setting up; some were deeply engrossed in their inner world as they mentally marked through routines, others expressed their anxiety more outwardly.
These people were in a competition which was set to pit fourteen acrobatic acts against one another in a battle of strength, flexibility, musicality and artistry. Held at Viva Vertical — Southeast Asia’s leading pole dancing academy and troupe — Decadance was more than an energetic confluence for those passionate about acrobatic forms such as aerial hoops and pole dance.
Boasting their own choreography, participants competed for titles like Pole Fit Male, Aerial Silks Champion, Best Costume and even Audience Choice at Viva Vertical’s in-house dance competition held on 16 July 2016.
The major highlight of the night might have been the finale which saw senior aerialists awing audiences with overlapping acrobatics and dance performed on two lyras (otherwise known as aerial hoops) and three poles. These performers were revealed to be from Viva’s aerial master class team.
On the following afternoon, there was a dance recital featuring students from the school. Audiences — having sufficiently warmed up to proceedings from the previous day — cheered exuberantly as dancers impressed with drops from daring heights and impossible tricks.
Acts flowed seamlessly into another to provide a sense of professionalism; audiences never got a whiff of the mad rush backstage.
The students of Viva Vertical have been preparing for this weekend for the last two months. They embraced their nerves and turned it into showmanship, truly taking their pieces to a whole new level during the night. Their teachers, watching from the side wings meanwhile, continued to be jittery with nervous anticipation.
The versatility of each apparatus used by these performers was striking, seeming to provide limitless means for creativity. As a result, dance styles ranged from dramatic to sensual, comedic, theatrical, and even melancholic across both days of Decadance.
Running from 16 – 17 July 2016, Decadance was a testament to the emotional investment of Viva’s students and teachers alike. Kudos to its performers who disguised physical challenges beneath beauty, treating audience members to displays that were both expressive and honest through the exercise.
For more information on the event, make sure to head on over to Viva Vertical and keep yourself updated with their upcoming events. In the meantime, here are winners from the competition and extra pictures to show you what you missed out on. Enjoy!
List of winners!
Best Dress Award: Alan Lim
Pole Fitness (Men) Runner Up: Alan Lim
Pole Fitness (Men) Champion: Noah Yap
Pole Art Runner Up: Mei Yee
Pole Art Champion: Fiona May
Pole Fitness (Women) Runner Up: Shernes Syer
Pole Fitness (Women) Champion: Jax
Audience Choice Award: Noah Yap
Aerial Silks Champion: Mindy Yoong