Singapore Arts Festival 2010 - Connections ‘Between You And Me’ Set Stage For 2011
Singapore Arts Festival 2010
14 May – 13 June 2010
CONNECTIONS ‘BETWEEN YOU AND ME’
SET STAGE FOR 2011
SINGAPORE, 16 JUNE 2010 – The Singapore Arts Festival 2010 closed on 13 June 2010 with the Mega Line Dance – a fitting finish to a Festival that has embraced the creative spirit and engaged audiences at all levels. Audience and critics alike appreciated the renewed focus on audience engagement and education, and the variety and quality of productions. The 2010 edition was pivotal in positioning the Singapore Arts Festival for future editions by setting in place key changes and initiatives to embrace a meaningful relationship between audiences and art makers.
The Festival reported good attendance, with overall ticket sales at 71% and nine of the 29 ticketed productions sold out. The sold out productions were Emily of Emerald Hill, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields & Joshua Bell, Cargo Kuala Lumpur – Singapore, Sound System, Eonnagata, On the String, Lady Macbeth, Red Demon and The Carnival of The Animals and Peter & the Wolf. Overall attendance at the 35 productions of the Festival, both ticketed and non-ticketed, was 80,800.
CONNECTING WITH ARTISTS
Placing emphasis on the creative process as well as the perspectives of art making in Asia, this year’s Festival embarked on a new phase of development. Artists were given opportunities to explore, create and foster connections with heritage, cultures and audiences. Key programming changes facilitated deeper dialogue and collaboration between artists, recognising the importance of the creative developmental process. Traditional categories were disbanded and new platforms such as Between Tradition and Contemporary, OPEN-STUDIO, Solo Project, dance/film, Re/visit/create/imagine/mix, were introduced to give artists the space to conceptualise new works and re-examine seminal pieces.
These platforms were welcomed by artists, critics and audiences alike. Local works such as On The String, Those Who Can’t, Teach and Emily of Emerald Hill ran to full houses and received positive reviews. OPEN-STUDIO and dance/film were appreciated by a niche audience, expected to increase over time as the format of the work becomes more familiar.
CONNECTING WITH AUDIENCES
To engage more deeply with the arts and artists, and understand the process of art-making, the public were encouraged to join learning workshops, master classes, and chat sessions at community libraries. These were part of a new year-long education and outreach programme titled com.mune, which was introduced to keep audiences involved in the arts all year round rather than limiting the participation to the Festival period. Activities under com.mune spanned a wide range, reaching out to all age groups, arts enthusiasts and uninitiated alike.
Post-show dialogues also increased in number, with a session after every ticketed show where possible. This move received a positive welcome from audiences, a large number of whom stayed behind after shows to discuss the work with artists and gain a keener understanding of the inspiration behind the production and how it was developed.
A significant number of productions required active participation from audiences and involved volunteer performers, such as An Invitation to Dream – A Fire Garden Installation, The Hood, In the Mood, I, Malvolio, I, Peaseblossom and OPEN-STUDIO, creating unique, intimate and interactive experiences.
CONNECTING WITH PARTNERS
This year’s Festival saw many returning sponsors from the 2009 edition, demonstrating their strong support and endorsing the Festival’s fresh vision. The Festival collected S$1.73 million in cash sponsorship in 2010, up from S$1.57 million last year. New cash sponsors Kwan Im Thong hood Cho Temple and Live! Singapore joined returning sponsors Coke Light, PSB Academy, the University of Western Australia, Goethe-Institute, Suntec Singapore, EZ-Link, Vivocity, Lee Foundation and JCD in paying cash sums for sponsorship.
The first to invest in the Festival’s corporate social responsibility initiative, Festival Day Out, were PSB Academy and the University of Western Australia. Their contribution enabled 45 children from the Singapore Children’s Society to enjoy The Carnival of Animals and Peter & the Wolf. Moreover, the sponsors convinced 50 of their students to volunteer as Festival Ambassadors, encouraging a participatory connection between youth and the arts.
2011 AND BEYOND
The 2011 Festival sits in the middle of a trilogy that began this year with the theme ‘Between You and Me’. Interconnected, the trilogy of festivals, which concludes by the 2012 edition, investigates our sense of place in time.
“The thematic thread for Singapore Arts Festival 2011, ‘I Want to Remember’, comes from a very deep, personal desire not for nostalgia, but for a reconnection to memories, histories and places that we have long forgotten,” said Low Kee Hong, General Manager of the Singapore Arts Festival. “Told through sights, sites and sounds, ‘I Want to Remember’ engages with the past and redefines the way we look at the present, as we race toward the future.”
“The curatorial works for the 2011 edition stem from both personal and public acts of recollection,” commented Low. “They speak of a longing when we are about to forget, when something almost fades completely from our consciousness. In turn, like ghosts and imprints that linger as the faintest of memories, they trigger reconstruction and reconnection.”
The 2011 Festival will run for three weeks commencing 13 May 2011. It will feature the return of the Festival Village. Recast at the Padang, the Village will play host to a number of free programmes that work as extensions to the ticketed performances. The platform will also serve as a gathering point for artists and audiences over talks, drinks, food and performances. The first-ever Kids’ Arts Village will be housed within the same space. Under the curatorial direction of the Kids Advisory Panel formed this year, programmes performed and managed by children will be offered.
The 2011 edition of the Singapore Arts Festival expresses more facets of the ongoing evolution to a Creation and People’s Festival. Education, outreach and developmental platforms like com.mune, OPEN-STUDIO and Platform Campus will have a full year to roll out the programmes. Said Low, “New commissions are in progress, and more Singaporean works and artists will be showcased at the Festival. So between you and me, come 2011, I want to remember.”’
 Overall attendance for 2010 was calculated based on tickets sold for the 29 ticketed productions and the attendance at the 6 non-ticketed events (In the Mood, The Hood, An Invitation to Dream – A Fire Garden Installation, Zapin Di Muara, Trois and Mega Line Dance). Attendance numbers from com.mune were not included, as it is a year-round programme, and cannot be demarcated as being part of one edition of the Festival.
Attendance figures from partner events such as flipside, Singapore Street Festival, ConversAsians and Cantonese Opera Showcase from Nanning were not taken into account, unlike previous years. This decision is to enable us to measure accurately the reach and level of engagement achieved by the Festival programming, and to use this information to review and improve programming.
About the Singapore Arts Festival
The Singapore Arts Festival 2010, themed Between You and Me, promises to be an intimate and inspiring showcase of international, Asian and seminal local performances. As a People’s and Creation Festival, the programmes are selected and designed to connect with audiences on a personal level through active consumption of the arts. Beyond performing and creation opportunities in intriguing productions, the Festival also introduced a new year-long education and outreach programme, com.mune, to enable deeper understanding and better appreciation of the arts. Connect and create with the Singapore Arts Festival like never before! For more information, visit www.singaporeartsfest.com.