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Performing Arts - Traditional Arts Residency

Traditional Arts Residency

The Traditional Arts Residency supports the incubation of new and innovative content with a traditional performing arts focus. The residency invites individuals, groups or collectives primarily practising Traditional Arts to collaborate with artists from other artistic disciplines, to experiment and incubate a new work that is intercultural and/or cross-disciplinary in nature, with plans for international dissemination.

The artist-in-residence will receive residency support, including: 

  • A grant of up to S$30,000, which comprises support for:
    • Up to S$20,000 covering the artist-in-residence and collaborator’s honorarium, research and other relevant costs associated with the residency; and
    • Up to S$10,000 for Project Showcase expenses;
  • Mentorship guidance and support by overseas mentor Long Play Lab (LPL);
  • A rent-free (utilities included) studio space fitted with air-con and lights for 5 months, shared amongst all the artist(s)-in-residence, subject to availability.

The application window closes on 31 January 2024, 2359h. Incomplete and/or late applications will not be considered. The successful applicant will be notified by 29 March 2024. The 5-month Traditional Arts Residency should be completed within the period of 1 June to 31 October 2024.

For more information on the Traditional Arts Residency, please refer to the open call guidelines here. Interested applicants may find the application form here and budget sheet here. If you have any further queries, please contact Deborah Lau at


About Long Play Lab

Helmed by Topi Lehtipuu (left) and Ivan Ludlow (right), Long Play Lab (LPL) is a strategic cultural think tank that designs training and strategy programmes for cultural institutions and government departments.  Both directors have a wealth of experience in performing, programming and producing, as well as an extensive international network of cultural executives and practitioners. 

  CV photo Lehtipuu  Ivan Ludlow photo                   

LPL will oversee and provide tailored feedback on the artistic developments of the residency projects, as well as conduct a 6-module curriculum for the artists-in-residence.


Past Residencies

Since its inception in 2018, there have been four runs of the TA Residency and NAC has awarded a total of six artists-in-residence. Scroll down to find out more about the artists and the projects that were supported through this TA Residency over the six years of its running.

Interviews with artists from past Traditional Arts Residencies


草动知风向: Ta Ri Ki Ta (A straw will show which way the wind blows: Our Dance) by Li Ruimin

Residency period: 16 June to 6 October 2022


This work presents the key moments in the personal dance journeys of Li Ruimin and her collaborator, Sufri Juwahir, to demonstrate how their training in the traditional arts (Chinese dance and Indian dance respectively) have evolved into their current contemporary practice. It aims to illustrate the experiences that have helped these dancers become more aware of the coexistence of preservation and development in a traditional art form, which prompts the audience to question their preconceived notions of ‘tradition’. Ruimin and Sufri collaborated and danced alongside three musicians for the live showcase – namely, Indian percussionist Govin Tan, Indian classical flautist Niranjan Pandian and Pipa player Gildon Choo. There is also a prerecorded track by Dayn Ng used for Ruimin’s solo in an earlier section of the show.

Chinese Dance for Young Audiences by Melissa Quek

Residency period: 23 November 2020 to 26 February 2022


The showcase, When the Mirror Birds Fly, is an interactive dance performance of 45-60 minutes for children aged six to nine years old, with facilitated discussions. The showcase starts with an introduction to the Chinese folk dance and classical dance inspiration and influences, followed by a 30-minute dance performance and story, and concludes with a facilitated discussion based on the performance and the theme of co-existing in nature. The work is a manifestation of the residency process of applying a creation approach to making and performing dance for young audiences that is not bound by genre, which contributes to the way traditional dance practices are introduced to children. This project was workshopped with performer-choreographers Yong Yong Xin and Lynn Tan, and SAtheCollective was engaged to compose and record an original piece of music specifically for the ethnic dance work.

Yanzilou: Forgotten Tales by Hanfugirl Collective

Residency period: 22 March to 11 July 2021

TA Residency_hanfugirls

Yanzilou: Forgotten Tales by Hanfugirl Collective is a site-specific, multidisciplinary and multisensorial performance showcasing the origin and legacies of Chinese performing arts, particularly the dance and music traditions. The project is an immersive time-travelling experience into the past, where one encounters the ancient virtuosos of Chinese arts, the Tang Courtesans, and hear their forgotten tales while appreciating the beauties of the artforms they have created. Through a long and rigorous research process, audiences will gain insights on the female perspective of performing arts, which has unfortunately been erased from history due to their largely patriarchal world.

To find out more about the project:

Rupavikara (metamorphosis) by Durga Devi Mani Maran

Residency period: 1 November 2019 to 21 February 2020

TA residency_durga

In collaboration with Visual Artist Mumtaz Maricar and Sound Designer Anand Krishna, Durga Mani Maran‘s Rupavikara (metamorphosis) is an interdisciplinary performance that transforms traditional practice through innovation and play. The work is inspired by Ashtapadhi, a traditional poetic text about the Hindu god, Lord Krishna, who resides in the Sri Krishnan temple along Waterloo Street. Unlike a typical Indian dance performance, the visual artist and sound designer interpreted the text before the dancer. The final performance embraces digital technology as it manipulates space, sound and colours, allowing audiences to experience an Ashtapadhi rather than merely watching it as a dance.

Project Transit: Echoes of Waterloo by Thamizhvanan Veshnu Narayanasamy

Residency period: 1 July to 20 October 2019

TA residency_veshnu

A collaborative effort led by Veshnu Narayanasamy, Project Transit: Echoes of Waterloo is an interdisciplinary exploration of cultural memories centred on the Waterloo Street area—a precinct where early migrants of different ethnicities and religions have partly left their mark, while much is also rapidly forgotten in the fast-changing urban milieu. The vocabulary in this piece is developed and created through interactive theatre and a combination of various Asian dance techniques. The final work is a blend of traditional and contemporary dance, re-choreography of traditional work, multimedia images, ancient songs and modern tunes.

Night Walker - 夜行者 by Neil Chua

Residency period: 25 July to 30 November 2018

TA residency_neil chua

Conceptualised by Artistic Director Neil Chua and Creative Director Lim Chin Huat, Night Walker - 夜行者 is a multidisciplinary and multicultural presentation that redefines how traditional musical arts are presented while preserving the essence of each cultural element. The theatrical recital cuts across three genres – Traditional Chinese instrumental music, Traditional Indian dance and Electronic Music with Live Soundscape. The work explores how the daily human lifestyle can affect the quality of one’s sleep, as well as how it is correlated with the Rise, Fall and Reborn of Ruan (阮).

To find out more about the project: