Dance Ensemble Singapore Premises Expand


Official Opening of Arts Building


 Date:  1 June 2004 (Tuesday) 
 Time:  5.30 pm 
 Venue:  Dance Ensemble Singapore 
 60 Waterloo Street
 Guest-Of-Honour:  Mr Lee Suan Hiang
 CEO, National Arts Council 


Dance Ensemble Singapore (DES), one of Singapore’s most active Chinese cultural dance groups, officially opens its four-storey extension, the Arts Building, today. With their new facilities, DES plans to grow its student base and strengthen its position as a premier professional dance group.


Sitting on a 276 sq m site behind the DES main building, the new Arts Building extension has 8 dance studios, a music studio, a conference room, 2 instructors’ rooms and a costume room. These facilities complement the existing Lu Sin Studio, a hall, classroom and office space in the main building.


The National Arts Council is supporting the building of the extension under its Arts Housing Scheme. The extension is also sponsored by the Lee Foundation, Venerable Shi Fa Zhao of Golden Pagoda Buddhist Temple and 5 other donors.  The total cost of constructing the Arts Building is $1.062 million.


DES started in 1993 as an ethnic dance company with only about 100 students.  Their aim is to nurture young talents and upgrade their skills in Chinese dance, as well as provide opportunities for them to showcase their talents.  


On its part, besides Arts Housing, the National Arts Council is offering total support to Dance Ensemble through grants and assistance in overseas touring. Besides receiving an Annual Grant from the Council since 2000, Dance Ensemble is also enjoying our touring grant for their upcoming trip to the Festival of Austronesian & Formosa Indigenous Cultures in Taiwan in August.


DES moved into the Waterloo Street Arts Belt – the first arts belt – in June 1995 as a tenant under the National Arts Council’s Arts Housing Scheme.  It has used this space extensively to conduct dance classes, workshops, rehearsals and small-scale performances to promote traditional Chinese culture and performing arts.


Led by Artistic Director Madam Yan Choong Lian, DES has built up a classical and contemporary repertoire that incorporates multi-disciplinary arts forms, a fusion of both Eastern and Western forms, and also introduced a creative and versatile dance education programme.  With the Arts Building and the range of facilities it offers, members of Dance Ensemble will enjoy an even more conducive environment to train and develop in.  DES plans to expand its student base from the current 700 students to 1,000, increase its current 8 full-time dancers to 20, as well as form a second core group with 40 dancers.


Annex 1 - Arts Housing Scheme Backgrounder