Feature Articles

The Singapore Arts Festival

By: yuhang on 17 Aug 2012
The Singapore Arts Festival is an annual event showcasing the success and continued development of the arts scene in Singapore. First established in 1977, the festival has become an icon as it symbolizes both the importance and value of the arts and cultural domain in Singapore, as well as ignites the public's interest and raises awareness of the arts.

Every year, the Singapore Arts Festival presents an interesting myriad of films, musical performances and dances. The Singapore Arts Festival 2012 will run from 18 May to 2 June this year.

In its 35th year, the Festival comes full circle with a programme line-up that celebrates communities in Singapore through a re-discovery of their untold stories. A total of 14 ticketed productions and 66 free productions will be featured in this year's festival. Through stories, legends and myths, the 2012 Festival's theme 'Our Lost Poems' will bring audiences on a journey of self discovery through recollections of their past and interactions with their communities.

As a Festival with something for everyone, performances will explore themes that resonate well with any audience, Singaporean and foreigners alike; stories about love, identities, ageing, education, immigration, life and death. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, based on acclaimed writer Haruki Murakami’s novel looks set to take audience through a multimedia production using a wide mix of art forms including bunraku-style puppetry, shadowplay, film and live music. Another production, LEAR DREAMING, based on Shakespeare’s acclaimed King Lear will feature a juxtaposition of different Asian cultures, languages and art forms, distilling the Shakespearean tragedy on patriarchy and succession through the purity of Japanese Noh theatre.

There will also be delightful music features at this year’s Festival, helmed by a performance of Rite(s) of Spring by classical composer Igor Stravinsky. Music will also be made to come to life through End of the Road, performed by the Massachusetts-based chorus group Young @ Heart, whose members falls within the grand age range of 70s, 80s and 90s. This performance promises to be a rock concert to bring the house down and proof that age is no more than just a number.

If watching plays and shows is not your cup of tea, there's more in store for you just yet! The Festival is also set to excite audiences with a selection of experiential works. These include programmes such as 'Ciudades Paralelas' or Parallel Cities, which is a series of projects that brings audiences to unconventional theatre spaces. Parallel Cities blends real life with art and theatrics to give audiences a new perspective to the way they see reality. They only come at night: Pandemic will bring vampire-loving audiences on a simulated RPG (role playing game) adventure, complete with multimedia and interactive installations.

Pandemic: an intoxicating mix of murder, mayhem and mysterious vampire killers.

That aside, you would not want to miss the Festival Village (Esplanade Park, along Connaught Drive). which will feature 8 performance spaces and play host to more than 300 free performances. Everyone can look to spending some lively moments at a café which houses the Bridge Café Project, a local community arts project led by renowned Japanese choreographer Kim Itoh. Expect the friendly waiters to burst into sporadic and thoroughly entertaining dance routines as they perform tunes familiar and well-loved by the local community.

The Village will also be home to the second edition of the Kids Arts Village, a quirky experience curated, performed and managed entirely by children. Being the heart of the festival, the Festival Village will host a wide array of exciting things to see and do everyday.

This May, let your imagination run free at the Singapore Arts Festival 2012 whether be it at the various theatre and musical performances, art exhibits, interactive works, Festival Village, or even the Golden Village Cinema Europa films.

Official Website: http://www.singaporeartsfest.com

​Hailing from Tokyo, the Bridge Cafe Project

Dates: 18 May - 2 June 2012.
Ticketing Info: Refer to official website.

Festival Village
Venue: Esplanade Park
Opening Hours:
4pm - 12am (Sun - Thu)
4pm - 1am (Fri & Sat)

Other performances and exhibitions will take place at a number of venues, including:

The Esplanade, Theatres on the Bay
1 Esplanade Drive

School of the Arts (SOTA) Singapore
1 Zubir Said Drive

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  • The Singapore Arts Festival is concurrently held with the Great Singapore Sale, so enjoy some fabulous shopping as well!!