Singapore Night Festival 2013 Week 1 Highlights

Starlight Academy: Redux

Now renamed to Singapore Night Festival, this year’s festival is the 6th installation and my 2nd visit. I was impressed with last year’s festival, particularly with the La Argentina series of performances, and was looking forward to this year’s.

The Singapore Night Festival 2013 is billed as the largest so far, stretching from Plaza Singapura to Raffles City over the two weekends of 23 and 24th August and 30 and 31st August from 7pm to 2am.

I was invited to the media preview which gave a whirlwind tour of the festival highlights and also revisited the actual performances over last weekend.

Everlast by Sookoon Ang

Greeting visitors to the Singapore National Museum, under its iconic rotunda is an installation titled “Everlast” by Sookoon Ang, who is based in Singapore and France. Created with foil balloons, the work is a visual poem which is taken beyond the printed page, manifesting metaphysically and physically. The poem addresses life and death, light and lightness and speaks about the exhilarating energy and dynamics between 2 persons.

Everlast by Soonkoon Ang under the rotunda of the Singapore National Museum.

Vertical Extraction by Compagnie Retouramont

Dancers embark on a vertical journey up the façade of the National Museum and break into a rhythmic dance on bungee cords in this site-specific performance that explores the museum’s architecture and surrounding space. Light projections which amplify the dancers’ bodies, and a special video by acclaimed local artist and filmmaker Victric Thng, complement Vertical Extraction to offer new perspectives on movement and our environment.

A performer of “Vertical Extraction” gyrates in front of a flood light, casting a shadow onto the facade of the SIngapore National Museum.
Performers of “Vertical Extraction” swinging on bungee cords are superimposed with a video projection by Victric Thng, giving a blend of real and fake.
Performers of Vertical Extraction casts interesting shadows onto the facade of the Singapore National Museum as a sea of cameras and smartphones light up among the audience.

Pyramid of Void by Compagnie Retouramont

Also by Compagnie Retouramont is a performance titled “Pyramid of Void”. In this aerial dance performance, a pyramid structure made of ropes is suspended in mid-air, outlining the contours of a void, an abstract space invisible to the eye. With the ropes as their only form of support, dancers demonstrate their acrobatic creativity and agility as they negotiate the minimalist set. Their movements form a dialogue with the pyramid, breathing life into the structure and giving shape to the spaces in-between.

One of the performers of “Pyramid of Void” by Compagnie Retouramont
Pyramid of Void by Compagnie Retouramont
Performers of the “Pyramid of Void” descend from the pyramid at the end of the performance, casting their shadows onto the facade of the Singapore National Museum.

Starlight Academy: Redux

This is the most exciting performance of the first week of this year’s Singapore Night Festival. Using various fire and LED tools, the show features amazing feats performed by the artistes set against a video projection backdrop on the facade of the Singapore National Museum.

Starlight Academy: Redux
Starlight Academy: Redux
Fiery hula hoop!
The cast of Starlight Academy: Redux gives a curtain call at the end of the performance.

 Oomoonbeings by Singapierrot

Two ethereal jesters descend from a crescent moon and explore the land.  Dressed in plastics, these contemporary incarnations of Pierrot play in a series of teasing vignettes combining movement and installation. With a whimsical oldtime mood, this little reverie features gypsy-swing jazz duo So Ma Fan as live accompaniment.

The two ethereal jesters on the moon.
Love at first sight?
The gypsy jazz swing duo, amusingly named “So Ma Fan” (Chinese for “So Troublesome”) provides the soundtrack to the performance.

Homemade: Electric Symphony Orchestra

As a classical music fan, I am disappointed that this is not a classical orchestra with an electronic twist but more towards pop/rock. Anyway, this was conceptualised specially for the Singapore Night Festival 2013 and brought to fruition by Ewan A.S. and Syed Ahmad. This 20 strong orchestra features a strings section, two drummers, a turntablist, a horns section, two guitarist and a bassist, and aims to be Singapore’s first “rock” orchestra.

The brass and winds section.
Backup singers and string section.
Lead singer/guitarist.
The saxophonist with a silver lining.

And finally,

Absolut Canvas

With its iconic silhouette and its collaborations with some of the most recognisable artists and designers, ABSOLUT has cemented itself as the perfect canvas for creative ideas to flourish. ABSOLUT CANVAS showcases the ways in which artists and designers have used the ABSOLUT bottle as a channel for their creativity. The exhibition features beautifully designed bottles as well as an interactive area where visitors will get to unleash their own creativity. It also includes a pop-up bar serving ABSOLUT cocktails
that have been created specially for ABSOLUT CANVAS.

A selection of Absolut Vodka bottles from the City Edition.
Members of the media checking out the display of rare and limited edition Absolut Vodka bottles collection.
Canvas Symphony – A place where visitors can try the hands at mixing their own music by placing a Absolut Vodka bottle in various slots inside the booth.

For more details about the Singapore Night Festival 2013, do check out their website. You can also see more photos of the festival over at my Flickr set.

The last weekend of the Singapore Night Festival will be on 30 and 31 August 2013 from 7pm to 2am at various locations. Do check out the various performances.



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