Pink Gajah Theatre (Singapore)
21–22 January 2016, 8pm
23 January 2016, 3pm
24 January 2016, 8pm
Black Box, Centre 42
60 minutes with no intermission
Fringe Commission • World Premiere
BI(CARA) is a new work based on the talk Why Do We Do What We Do? by zoologist and ex-CEO of the Singapore Zoological Gardens Bernard Harrison. His controversial talk questioned the ethics of man in the ways we treat animals as meat for consumption, entertainment and commodity.
"Bicara" is the word for "talk/discuss" in Malay and Indonesian, while "cara" means "how". BI(CARA) reflects Pink Gajah Theatre's wish to have a conversation with you about the individual relationships we have with animals and how we are journeying alongside them in the 21st century.
This visceral physical work by perfomer Sharda Harrison questions society as much as it reflects upon and unravels human behaviour and our relationships to animals through history, myths, and examining the rituals and culture of the Orang Asli (First People).
"Harrison plays the part magnificently, drawing on her physical theatre skills to mime both her frantic preparations for her husband's lunch as well as her impassioned handling of the cobra in its animal form Subaiah complements her, switching seamlessly between his two roles: the tyrannical husband and the tender snake."
- Ng Yi-Sheng, The Straits Times Life!
on Naga Mandala by Hum Theatre
"The gentle, teasing courtship dance between local actors Sharda Harrison and Najib that turns into something darker was a sensitive addition. At this point, I would also like to give a shout-out to Harrison, a magnetic performer with great stage presence."
- Adeline Chia, The Straits Times Life!
on Crossings by The Necessary Stage
"Special mention must also go to Sharda Harrison who brought out a nuanced range of expressions and emotions in the Proctor's servant Mary Warren, managing to be proud, fearful and deeply wounded all at once."
- Corrie Tan, The Straits Times Life!
on The Crucible by Toy Factory
Developed in residence at Centre 42.
Pink Gajah Theatre was founded by local arts educator and theatre practitioner Sharda Harrison. It works with students and participants of all ages from the community and provides a platform to devise and create new works.
"Sharda has been swiftly and steadily rising as one of Singapore's most notable performing artists of the new generation. She is powerful, versatile, passionate and compassionate. This intimate and thought-provoking new work with physical dramaturg Alessandra Fel promises to present a powerhouse of heart, soul and physicality."
Relationship to Art and the Animal
As a physical performer, most, if not all of my vocabulary comes from the animal, so much so that I do not distinguish myself as separate from an animal. I have perhaps always understood, deeply, that I am an animal and I am unafraid to declare so. This work is my submergence into the physicality of a few animals (and humans) that have evolved through extensive research through articles, essays and interviews on wildlife and conservation with my research and playwriting team. The work is directly inspired by my father's talk Why Do We Do What We Do? which directly pokes at and questions our moral ethics of our poor treatment of animals for food, fur, entertainment and the list goes on...
As an animal, standing up for animals, I needed to address this and to poke, provoke, excite, intrigue and draw audiences back into a visceral world of ritual, honor, connection and acknowledgement of who we are in relation to every other being living amongst us.