The Chronicles of One and Zero: Kancil
13 - 16 January 2016, 8pm
Esplanade Theatre Studio
60 minutes with no intermission
In Malay with English surtitles
Fringe Highlight • Fringe Commission • World Premiere
Sang Kancil (Mousedeer) revisits the river—if you can still call it that—where she had cleverly tricked the Crocodile and his friends so that she could get to the other side to eat kumquats.
She sings the same tune that mothers somehow learnt and found themselves singing to their babies just to get them to sleep.
The Termites' old nest is no longer there, having long upped and left. Dead wood was getting scarce, and all they could find was steel. They are probably doing well now, with all their teeth still intact.
She sits by the hill that overlooks what once was a breathtaking view of the rich orchard.
"Dulu lain, sekarang lain... (Things are different now)," she whispers, sometimes in a tune that never quite holds the same key. Some changes, she confesses, she has no control over.
"This is it..." she says, as she tiptoes to the cliff's edge and looks down upon the rocky ravines below.
That is when she sees it. She was wondering when it would come, if ever at all.
This will be the worthy conclusion to her chronicles. She smiles.
Written by BIG (Zulfadli Rashid) and directed by Rizman Putra, The Chronicles of One and Zero: Kancil is a fantastical pastiche of what we perceive to be our culture and heritage, set in today's digital and virtual world. It seeks to unravel hidden stories from the ancient Malay fable Hikayat Sang Kancil (The Chronicles of Sang Kancil), retold and deconstructed through Syair and Puisi (forms of traditional Malay poetry), body projection mapping and animated sequences.
The Chronicles of One and Zero: Kancil features performers Gloria Tan and NADA (Rizman Putra and Safuan Johari), with lighting design by Andy Lim, media design by Brandon Tay and sound design by Max Lane.
This production was developed with support from Centre 42.
Zeugma is an artist collective that aims to explore and excavate ancient Asian folklore by reconstructing old and new narratives.
"Zeugma is an exciting new Singapore collective, made up of familiar faces and names well-loved in the fringe scene. I am thrilled to present this electric new work helmed and directed by powerhouse Rizman Putra."
Relationship to Art and the Animal
The animal kingdom is of great fascination to many. The impetus of this project is the '80s TV animation of Hikayat Sang Kancil, also known as The Chronicles of Sang Kancil, which was aired on RTM (Radio Televisyen Malaysia). The series depicted the mousedeer's adventures in the jungle, meeting its foes and resolving conflicts. It had simple narratives mirroring human conditions and effective storylines.
The animation created an impact on the generation of Malays that grew up in the '80s as it presented narratives that blurred morality through Kancil's wit and cheekiness. The revival of such narratives needs to be redeployed, and there is no better way to re-present them than through modern technology such as body projection mapping.