Adelina Ong, BA, MA

Project Title

Compassionate Mobilities

Supervisor

Prof. Sally Mackey

Qualifications

MA Applied Theatre (Distinction), The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London

BA (Merit) Psychology & Theatre, National University of Singapore

Abstract

This ‘fully-written’ thesis explores

how parkour, skateboarding, graffiti and ‘breakin’ (also known as ‘breakdancing’)

might open up

opportunities and possibilities

for young people in Singapore.

 

These urban placemaking performances

are (I suggest) active metaphors

opening up new narratives

composing alternative pathways

within Singapore’s highly-ordered landscape.

 

This thesis will focus on young people

in Singapore

between 14 and 20 years of age.

Social geographer Doreen Massey defines ‘space’,

as ‘a simultaneity of stories-so-far [and]

places are collections of those stories’

(Massey 2005: 130).

 

Individuals immerse themselves in ‘place’

physically, imaginatively, or both.

‘Place’ is more than what is experienced right now.

 

This thesis will playfully

interrogate some old stories,

disrupting/interrupting/retelling, 

as it instigates experimental, exploratory

rewriting of stories

by young people for Singapore

through collaboratively facilitated applied performance workshops

with skateboarders, parkour practitioners, graffiti artists, and dancers

in London and Singapore.

 

In composing activistic placemaking performances

a theory of compassionate mobility emerges,

offering an alternative to ‘social mobility’

which has far to go in terms of imagining

what an inclusive city/society/nation might be.

Profile

I am currently a full-time PhD candidate at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (Central) and my research explores the placemaking possibilities offered through urban-art inspired applied performances devised with young people in Singapore. The urban arts explored specifically are parkour, skateboarding, graffiti and breakin’ (breakdancing). I have an MA in Applied Theatre (Distinction) from Central and a BA in Psychology and Theatre from National University of Singapore.

I am a Visiting Lecturer at Central, Wimbledon College of Art and Kingston University. I am also a workshop leader for Outside Edge Theatre Company. I have served on the executive committee of Theatre & Performance Research Association (TaPRA) as a postgraduate representative since January 2015 and am currently assistant convener for the Theatre Applied Centre for Research in Performance and Social Practice at Central.

In Singapore, whilst working for The Old Parliament House, I set up an interdisciplinary arts school for young people from low-income families with two colleagues in 2008. It offered dance, music, visual arts and theatre and I was primarily involved in curriculum development, outreach, producing and devising the year-end performances for five years. I also personally taught the youth theatre group and the devising of these performances.

I have 19 years of experience as a freelance theatre practitioner, mostly as a performer (stage, TV and film) and performance-maker, collaborating with various socially-engaged ‘troublemakers’ including the2ndrule, a guerilla magazine, to produce Pulp (2003), a ‘street x art’ festival. 

Practice

2015 Facilitator. Graffiti Walk, in collaboration with graffiti artist Stranger, Singapore

2015 Organiser and co-facilitator. Breakin' x Applied Theatre Workshop, Lakeside Family Service Centre, Singapore

2015 Organiser and co-facilitator. Streets of London Graffiti Workshops with Femme Fierce (Artists: Jarvis and Zina), Britannia Village Primary School, London

2015 Theatre workshop facilitator. Danger Risk of Falling, ParkourDance, London

2015 Theatre workshop facilitator. Parkour x Applied Theatre Workshop, ParkourDance Youth Company, London

2014 Organiser and co-facilitator. Art du Déplacement (ADD) x Applied Theatre Workshop, Singapore Polytechnic, Singapore

2014 Organiser and co-facilitator. Parkour x Applied Theatre Workshop, Parkour Generations, London

Key Publications

2016 ‘The Path is Place: Skateboarding, Graffiti and Performances of Place’, Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, 21:2 (forthcoming)

2015 ‘Creating Places of Radical Openness in Singapore’, Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, 20:3: 271-77.

2004 ‘Against a Brick Wall’, The Open Page: Theatre, Women, Struggle, Odin Teatret and The Magdalena Project, ˂http://www.themagdalenaproject.org/sites/default/files/OP9_AdelinaOng.pdf˃

Conference Presentations

2016 ‘Practice (Confounds) Research: Grappling with ‘Lost Causes’’, Intersections – The annual postgraduate conference of The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London

2015 ‘Battling Fears: A Sea Monster and a Friend’, London Theatre Seminar, Senate House

2015 ‘Moving On: Making Amends and Taking Responsibility for Disruptive Change’, Theatre and Performing Research Association (TaPRA) 2015, Applied and Social Theatre Working Group, University of Worcester

2015 ‘Creating ‘Places’ of Radical Openness in Singapore’, IDIERI 2015: ‘Open Culture in the Asian Century: Reimagining Drama Education’, National Institute of Education, Singapore

2015 ‘Multiplicities’, ‘Utopias, Futures, Temporalities: Critical Considerations for Social Change Symposium’, Bristol Zoo

2015 ‘What is the Value of Being a Public Nuisance?’ Intersections 2016 – The annual postgraduate conference of The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London

2014 ‘Beyond Panopticism: Reimagining ‘Places of Identity’’, City-Centric, King’s College University of London

2014 ‘Compassionate Mobilities and Temporary Places’, Performing Places, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London

2014 ‘Can Bodies Resist Panoptic Control Through Parkour-inspired Applied Theatre Practice?’ Theatre and Performing Research Association (TaPRA), Royal Holloway, Performance and the Body Working Group, London

2014 ‘Can Urban Arts be Considered as a Form of Applied Theatre Practice?’, International Federation of Theatre Research Congress –- New Scholars Forum, University of Warwick, Coventry

2014 ‘Is Life Not Complete Without Shopping?’ Performance Research, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London

2014 ‘Can Heroes Limit One’s Imagination?’ Theatre and Performing Research Association (TaPRA) Interim Event, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Applied and Social Theatre Working Group, London

Academic Events Organised

6 February 2016. Executive committee for ‘Thresholds and Permeability in Performance’, TaPRA PG Symposium, Humanities Research Institute, University of Sheffield

16 December 2015. Co-convener for ‘Who Do We Think We Are and Who Do We Imagine Becoming?’ PG Speakeasy, Theatre Applied Centre for Research in Performance and Social Practice, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London

7–10 September 2015. Executive committee, TaPRA, University of Worcester

7 February 2015. Executive committee, TaPRA PG Symposium, ‘People and Processes: Behind the Scenes of Theatre and Performance’, University of Manchester

15–16 January 2015. Organising committee, Intersections – The annual postgraduate conference of The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London

10 December 2014. Co-convener for ‘Dialogue, Collaboration, Conflict’, PG Speakeasy, Theatre Applied Centre for Research in Performance and Social Practice, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London

Teaching areas/expertise

Applied Theatre

Contextual Studies (Theatre Design)

Cultural Landscapes (Theatre)

Email

adelina.ong@cssd.ac.uk

Website

onelab2010.wordpress.com/