The Season of Brilliance!




~ The Season of Brilliance ~


26 May to 26 June 2005


The most brilliant gems in the arts from all over the world will be on display in Singaporewhen the annual Singapore Arts Festival returns this June.


An international arts festival with a distinctive Asian flavour, the 2005 Singapore Arts Festival will feature some 4,400 artists from 27 countries and regions in 22 main productions and over 400 free performances, exhibitions and special events, offering something for everyone.  With a mix of mainstream and classical productions, contemporary and cutting-edge programmes, the Festival has established a strong identity as a bold, progressive Festival that presents original and innovative works, promotes international collaborations, as well as introducing new or emerging faces that are catching the attention of the world all over.


Core Productions

The core productions will have four blockbusters, five world premieres, three Asian premieres and four co-productions involving festivals and arts organisations in Hong Kong,China, Korea and Europe.


Opening the Festival on 26 May is the blockbuster production Amber, directed by Meng Jinghui, one of China’s most influential contemporary theatre directors. This music theatre spectacle of love in contemporary China, presented by the National Theatre Company ofChina, features actor Liu Ye (刘烨), winner of the Golden Horse Award and Golden Rooster Award for Best Actor, and established actress Yuan Quan(袁泉).   Other blockbusters include The Philadelphia Orchestra led by legendary conductor Christoph Eschenbach and featuring star Chinese pianist, Lang Lang in the first of the two-night performance, The Royal Ballet with Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, as well as celebrated circus group Les Arts Sauts swinging into action with Ola Kala.


The Festival continues to make its mark for the incubation and presentation of exciting world premieres.  Belgium dance group Ultima Vez and Wim Vandekeybus, one ofEurope’s most inventive choreographers, given a 2-week residency in Singapore, will show off a new work combining dance and film, entitled Puur.  After Singapore, the work will be presented at the Festival d’ Avignon.


The other four world premieres are powerful, thought-provoking works presented by Singaporean companies working with international artists. Set in an intimate prison setting of cold cells, steel and closed circuit security cameras, Impenjarament by Teater Ekamatra is a devised ensemble performance by eight male performers from Indonesia,India and Singapore, examining ideas of masculinity, machismo and eroticism of the Malay psyche. Spirits by Toy Factory Ensemble is a new music theatre work directed bySingapore’s award-winning director Goh Boon Teck. Fusing contemporary theatre and music styles with the traditions of five Chinese opera forms, the work revisits the secrets and lives of five infamous beauties spanning 5000 years of Chinese history whose tragic fates are intertwined with the fall of China’s dynasties.  In Stravinsky Dances, the Singapore Dance Theatre collaborates with multi-talented French choreographer, Marie-Claude Pietragalla to present a double bill based on composer Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and Les Noces. Conducted by Lim Yau, Les Noces features the remarkable State Choir “Latvija” and pianists Shane Thio, Lim Yan, Eleanor Tan and Beatrice Lim.  The Singapore Chinese Orchestra will present a new musical epic, Zheng He – Admiral of the Seven Seas, written by composer Law Wai Lun, to mark the 600th anniversary of the year the Admiral embarked on his great voyages of discovery and diplomacy.  It will not only bring together a stellar group of top vocalists, a scriptwriter and a librettist, it will also incorporate traditional Malay and Chinese dances.


Three international productions make their Asian premieres at the Festival.  Crossing the boundaries of architecture, visual arts, theatre and music, Theremin by Hotel Pro Forma will take us through a century of inventions and developments in electronic music, world history and an individual’s life that led to the discovery of the instrument theremin.Heavenly Bento by post theater new york | berlin, is an inventive, exclusive and intimate re-telling of a global economic success story, set atop a huge table around which only 30 audiences will be seated as guests in the company’s anniversary celebration. Having sold-out his performances of D.A.V.E. in the 2000 Singapore Arts Festival, award winning composer and media artist Klaus Obermaier returns with Apparition, a collaborative multi-media dance performance that integrates motion sensor and tracking technology, blurring the lines between dance, digital image and sound.


Other interesting and innovative works include The Al-Hamlet Summit by The Sulayman Al-Bassam Theatre Company, The Busker's Opera by Robert Lepage and Ex Machina, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Goran Bregovic and his Band, and Gumbo Jumbo by The Gogmagogs. Look out also for the Singapore-Korea collaboration, 12 SMS Across the Mountains by Arts Fission Company and Dance Theatre CcadoO, as well as the Singapore Symphony Orchestra with celebrated pianist Stephen Hough.


Outreach Programme

Making the Festival a national celebration of the arts, an extensive Outreach programme will offer free arts everywhere.  Regular features such as KIDSFEST, Special Events, Weekend Highlights, Arts on the Move, Late Shows and Closing Celebrations return with even bigger, interactive programmes.


A key highlight is a new Asian Showcase which focuses on traditional and contemporary Asian art forms.  A series of three free shows will bring back the experience of street performances by Chinese, Malay and Indian ethnic groups. Pasar Theatre presents Chinese storytelling (jianggu) with other street performances like Chinese opera, acrobats, folk singing and cross-talk.  Teater Rakyat showcases

traditional Malay Theatre with contemporary elements while Therukkoothu Mahotsavamwill showcase traditional Indian folk theatre with an interesting mix of comedy, music and dance.  There will also be other performances presented by the Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society with the Singapore Indian Orchestra and Choir, Temple of Fine Arts, People’s Association MESRA, Chinese Opera Institute, Kreta Ayer People’s Theatre Foundation,Chinese Theatre Circle and the Malay Heritage Centre.


Large-scale events that encourage interaction with audiences are another feature of the Outreach programmes.  Mirando Al Cielo is an interactive dance performance staged on a transparent dance floor that will present audiences an alternative perspective to enjoy fancy footwork – from beneath the stage.  Audiences are invited to stretch their vocal cords and sing to evergreen Mandarin pop tunes inSing-a-long: A Night of Thousand Voices, while Kids Feststretch, will provide workshops and activities for children.


Heart-thumping, percussion performances are also strongly featured in Drumming Explosion,Community Drumming Festival and Rock on Singapore which is a showcase of Singapore’s best bands.  The Closing Celebrations performed by The Stroj from Slovenia will end the Festival on a high note with a spectacular

foot-stomping session of percussion and pyrotechnics.


Visual Arts Showcase

The Festival will also have a visual arts showcase of three exhibitions. The Art of Collaboration: Masterpieces of Modern Tapestry (Australia/Singapore) at the Singapore Tyler Print Institute is a showcase of tapestries created at the Victorian Tapestry Workshop in Melbourne, the world's pre-eminent centre for the production of contemporary tapestry.  Sculpture Square will present Don't Let Sleeping Androids Lie, an electronic art work that seeks to engage the public to interact with art more actively.  Design Exposureat the Arts House is a series of three exhibitions that focuses on the art of design in glass art and fashion: Contemporary Australian Studio Glass, Dinosaur Designs and Printemps et Ete.


International Meetings

In the midst of the Festival buzz, a series of international network meetings will be held inSingapore.  The Association of Asian Performing Arts Festivals (AAPAF) will hold its first Annual General Meeting on 6 and 7 June at The Arts House.  The Association of Asia Pacific Performing Arts Centres (AAPPAC) will have its 8th Annual Conference, 13th Exco Meeting and Programmers Group Meeting on 5 and 6 June at The Esplanade. The Informal European Theatre Meetings (IETM) Asia and Europe Performing Arts Colloquium will meet on 6 and 7 June at The Arts House.  The Asian Arts Market hosted by The Esplanade is from 3 to 5 June.  Some 100 international delegates are expected to meet and network at these events in Singapore.


With the range of stellar brand name artists and arts companies to gritty, innovative line-ups, whether you are sitting inclined beneath a stage, under a circus tent or in plush theatre seats, you will be treated to a massive array of shows that will captivate both arts aficionados and casual browsers of the arts.  Don’t miss the dazzle that will light up thisSeason of Brilliance!


Please find the following annexes enclosed for information:

 Annexes  - Key Dates                                                     
   - Fact Sheet
   - Summary of Productions
   - Ticket Discount Schemes
   - List of Festival Partners