Diaspora - Special Cultural Performance for Delegates Attending Singapore 2006


Special Cultural Performance for Delegates Attending Singapore 2006


Singapore Performance Company to Develop Asian Production for International Audience


Delegates attending the Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group, the highlight in Singapore 2006, will be treated to a specially commissioned opening cultural performance titled Diaspora.  A brand-new work by TheatreWorks (Singapore) and directed by Ong Keng Sen, Diaspora is an intercultural, interdisciplinary production with a strong Asian focus, showcasing the very best and brightest from Singapore and ASEAN countries.  Diaspora will be shown from 18 to 21 September 2006 at the Esplanade.


A sweeping panoramic docu-performance based on the Chinese saying, “To seek a better life by crossing the Four Seas”, Diaspora explores the diasporic phenomenon of the human spirit in both time and space. Through the life-stories and works of five visual artists, Navin Rawanchaikul (India), Dinh Le (Vietnam), Tintin Wulia (Indonesia), Zai Kuning (Singapore) and Otobong Nkanga (Nigeria), it examines and celebrates humanity and human tenacity.


Told through documentaries, video images, music, narratives and dance, the personal stories of the production’s five protagonists aim to strike a strong emotional chord with the audience. Issues concerning globalisation, the formation of new cultural roots and tackling the enormity of change are underscored by a musical-scape that showcases music fromAsia. Music is key, representing a continuum in the diasporic phenomenon in Asia. 


Spanning 2,000 years of Chinese music in history, and ranging from folk music to contemporary compositions, the music will be played by the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, led by Yeh Tsung, in consultation with a renowned Chinese musicologist, Prof Li Xi An. Japanese soundscape composer and artist, Toru Yamanaka, strings the musical piece together, with a special showcase of Gambang Kromong (a musical form found only in the outskirts of present-day Jakarta) in the form of Rinu Malam with 80-year-old singer, Masnah.  More information on the artists can be found in Annex 1.


Goh Chye Boon, Co-Chairman of the Singapore 2006 Organising Committee, said, “We chose this theme because the stories demonstrate the strength and determination of the human spirit, which is the main driving force for the success behind Asia’s development and growth.  Diaspora is a celebration of human resilience, diversity, capabilities and vibrancy of our people.”


DBS Bank Ltd is the Presenting Partner for this specially-commissioned performance, as well as Lead Partner and first bank partner of Singapore 2006.  Its partnership with Singapore 2006 celebrates the shared history between nation and bank, the progress both have made, and the bank’s commitment to be part of a rapidly growing Asia.  Jackson Tai, Vice Chairman and CEO of DBS, said, “The work showcases those who returned home after the Asia Diaspora to build a better tomorrow.  As DBS extends its banking franchise into the region, we remain committed towards building a better tomorrow for Singaporeand Asia.”


Performances on 18 and 19 September are by invitation for the delegates of the Annual Meetings of the IMF and World Bank only.  Performances on 20 and 21 September will be open to the public, with tickets available at SISTIC from June 2006 onwards. 


Annexe: About The Artists