Singapore Arts Festival 2012 Media Preview

The Singapore Arts Festival will be here again from 18 May to 2 June. I had the opportunity to attend the media preview along with a few other bloggers and it was a fun night.

The stage for FLUX,a performance by Théâtre du Centaure (France) set against the backdrop of the SIngapore Skyline. This shot is taken from the rooftop cafe at the Festival Village.

The event started on the rooftop cafe at the Festival Village at Esplanade Park where the festival GM Mr. Low Kee Hong gave a rundown of the programs and what to expect. The media preview takes us through a few of the key performances which will be staged at this year’s festival.

Festival GM Kee Hong giving the members of the press and media an overview of the performances at the Singapore Arts Festival.

XII – In Search of 13

To start off, we were treated to a performance titled XII – In Search of 13. This is a light-hearted performance revolving social/national issues in Singapore (such as the issue of the China family who tried to forbid their Indian neighbour from cooking curry.) Twelve contenders vie to be the ultimate national icon amid all these social issues.

The commentator speaks to Mr. Merlion and introduces him to the audience.
A member of the press/media randomly picks a contestant to fight with Mr. Merlion. It turned out to be the Getai.
Ms. Getai performs a short dance routine before the fight begins.
Ms Getai is no match for Mr. Merlion and is taken down within moments of the fight.
Mr. Merlion emerged as the winner and shows off his muscles.

Kids Art Village

This is an area of activities and performances curated by groups kids from various schools and community groups. During the preview, we were given a song performances from 2 groups of kids as well as a preview of Tangle.

Kids from the Kids Gallery Singapore performs "Talking to the Animals."
Festival GM Kee Hong getting all tangled up.
A spray of conffetti marks the opening of the Kids Art Village.


Pronounced flu, Flux is a performance by Théâtre du Centaure (France). It tells a story about the existence of mythical centaurs among us. Unfortunately we didn’t really get to see much of it as we had to rush to the rehearsal of Mark Chan’s Flight of the Jade Bird at the Esplande Theatre. I’ll have to return to see it again.

A projection of a centaur onto a spray of water with the Singapore Skyline in the background.

Flight of the Jade Bird

An operatic tone-poem presented in song, music, dance and spoken words, Mark Chan’s Flight of the Jade Bird tells a story of a young boy’s friendship with the last remaining jade bird and dilemma of whether to stay and fight the battle against vulgar materialistic change, or take off to join his brethren in a transcendental realm.

To get to the rehearsal, we were led through a labyrinth of corridors in the Esplanade Concert Hall before we arrived backstage, truly an eye-opener for me.

Rehearsal of "Flight of the Jade Bird".
Dizi and Sheng players
Cellists/Erhu players.
Belinda Foo conducting the musicians for the Flight of the Jade Bird during the rehearsal.

For more photos of the media preview, please check out my Flickr Set.


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