Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep

Music, text, performance and image

A work that sweeps across the senses, Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep is new music icon Margaret Leng Tan’s exploration of memory, time, control and loss.

Combining spoken and recorded text, projected images, and original composition for prepared piano, toy piano, percussion and toys by Tan’s long-term collaborator Erik Griswold.

A native of Singapore, Tan forged a path as a major force within the American avant-garde, collaborating with such giants as John Cage and George Crumb. Her career is a stellar part of the past fifty years of experimental music lineage.

Created by a team of Singaporean and Australian artists, including director Tamara Saulwick, video designer Nick Roux, and dramaturg Kok Heng Leunand performed by Tan, this cross-cultural collaboration is an evocative collage of the forces that have shaped Tan’s life and how music has been both her passion and her refuge.

Till this day I count the number of steps when climbing a flight of stairs or the number of times I rinse after brushing my teeth. These counting rituals permeating my daily life serve no particular purpose other than to satisfy the need to perform them. That is the nature of O.C.D. Enter music and rhythm: you can imagine how delighted I was to be actually required to count the beats in a piece of music. I could now count to my heart’s content …

‘Music of the Unquiet Mind’ by M. Leng Tan (New York Times)

This project is a co-production with CultureLink Singapore

Supported by the Australian Government through the Department of Communication and the Arts through the Cultural Diplomacy Arts Fund, The SUBSTATION, Playking Foundation, Asia TOPA and the Robert Salzer Foundation.