The dance industry in Singapore is increasingly vibrant with various dance groups, collectives and independent artists performing in a wide variety of genres. In just less than a decade, the number of dance performances have increased three-fold from 500 to 1500. Today, there are over 50 dance companies, institutions and societies in Singapore as well as a growing pool of independent dance artists, who are working on innovative works and many have embarked on multidisciplinary collaborations.
The companies supported on NAC’s Major Company scheme come from a range of genres. This includes Ballet (Singapore Dance Theatre (SDT)), Contemporary (T.H.E Dance Company, Frontier Danceland, The Arts Fission Company and RAW Moves ), Indian Dance (Bhaskar’s Arts Academy, Apsaras Arts), Malay Dance (Era Dance Theatre) and Chinese Dance (Dance Ensemble Singapore, Singapore Chinese Dance Theatre). A younger base of Seed Grant companies including P7:1SMA and Cinemovement are quickly emerging to build their niche and provide novel experiences to dance audiences. These companies and many others have actively contributed to the vibrancy and development of the professional dance scene in Singapore.
The Ballet and Urban Dance scenes have continued to grow in capabilities and international recognition. The Contemporary Dance scene too has gained international recognition and has also expanded in the types of works focused on. We now have contemporary dance companies that focus not only on creating new and engaging works, but also companies that focus on interdisciplinary works, community facing works and dance film. The Chinese Dance scene is moving into professionalising, with more local practitioners receiving professional training in China and Hong Kong. The Malay Dance scene is growing and progressing with emergence of new groups and practitioners that are collaborative and the Indian Dance scene has continued to be vibrant, with strong participation and support from the local community. The pool of independent dance practitioners is growing and Dance Nucleus, a dedicated space for independent dance practice, was started by NAC to provide support for content creation, professional development and opportunities for dialogue among the dance community.