On the 26th of April, the Singapore International Festival of Arts rolls back into town with a new festival director, Gaurav Kripalani, who will be at the helm for the next 3 years. Gaurav hopes to make the arts accessible for a variety of audiences – from the first-time festival goer of all ages to the seasoned arts connoisseur.
This year’s festival celebrates diversity, so you can expect a wide spectrum of local and international perspectives. Alongside ticketed events, SIFA will also host free outdoor performances and exhibitions for all to enjoy. Rub shoulders with artists at the festival village after a performance and discuss what you just experienced! These interactive spaces will allow both audience and artist to feel more connected to one another.
To inspire the next generation of artists and encourage the youth to fall in love with the arts, Gaurav has also introduced S$10 front-row student tickets that will be available at all the SIFA programmes and performances.
With such an eclectic line-up, the A List gives you a low-down on what’s new, what’s cool and what’s a definite must-see at the 41st year of the festival.
FOR THRILL-SEEKERS/ THE FAMILY
Sodade by Circus Rouages (France)
27 Apr, 7.30pm & 9.30pm 28 & 29 Apr, 7pm & 9.30pm on the Empress Lawn
Get your picnic blankets ready for a spectacle under the stars on the Empress lawn as Circus Rouages from France entertains you with a whimsical theatre-meets-circus performance. Produced with live music, French aerialists play out the story of an exiled old man as he approaches the seaside, remembering to survive.
Get caught up in the spirit of love and celebrate romance in a series of pop-up dance performances held within various SIFA venues such as Empress Lawn and Victoria Theatre. Look out for 4 unassuming dancers hidden in the middle of the crowd and be surprised as they burst from within the audience. Performed to original tracks by composer and sound designer Pippa Murphy, these dancers express bashful flirtations, passionate combat and playful ardour through fluid movement. Get swept up in the emotions, and bring along your partner to enjoy a romantic day amongst art and culture.
FOR THE GLOBETROTTERS
May 4- 5, 8.00 pm at the KC Arts Centre
Get a first-hand look into the lives of the Palestinian people with a one-man performance by Amer Hlehel showcasing the poetry of Taha Muhammad Ali. Let this prolific poet take you on a journey – starting from his village in Galilee, to a refugee camp in Lebanon, and finally returning to Nazareth, where Taha ran a souvenir shop and taught himself classical Arabic and English literature. This is about the resilience of the Palestinian people and of hopeful survival.
April 27 – May 12, various timings at the National Gallery Singapore
S$20, Admission for ages 15 and above, with limited concessions for NSFs, Senior Citizens and Students.
Go on an interactive tour of the National Gallery’s history and explore the building’s past as the former Supreme Court and City Hall. Retrace the steps of Singapore’s most infamous criminal cases and dive into the stories of death-penalty cases. Step into the shoes of death-row inmates, their victims, families and friends and uncover the personal impact of capital punishment. Multi-lingual performances draw the audience into these complex cases, allowing them to draw their own conclusions.
May 3-6, at various timings at the Armenian Church
One of Singapore’s oldest Christian sanctuaries, the Armenian Church has stood in a quiet garden at the city’s heart for close to 50 years. The Hidden invites you to step back in time and listen to what the church walls have to say. Guided by pioneer storyteller Kamini Ramachandran, step into the chapel through the restored parsonage and into the memorial garden as tales unfold.
S$40 General Admission, S$10 limited student concessions available
Be invited into the world of two-time Grammy winner, Jacob Collier’s musical universe, and see how this 23-year old virtuoso mixes up jazz, a capella, gospel, folk, soul and electronic music to produce his multi-track music. A breakout YouTube sensation whose home-made musical videos went viral, Jacob manipulates these genres through a multi-instrumental and visual performance that will be sure to get you off your feet!
May 4 at 8.00 pm and 10.00 pm at the Chamber at Arts House
A collaboration between digital and visual artist, Flex, and DJ Intriguant, Temporal opens up an electrifying world of rhythm and light as these two artists fuse their worlds into an explosive performance that delves into Singapore’s past, present and future histories.
S$50 General Admission, S$10 – S$35 concessions for students, NSDFs and Senior Citizens
See the world’s best tap artists perform their hearts out at The Blues Project. Featuring performances by Bessie award-winning tap dance company Dorrance Dance, this must-see production will leave you feeling energised as dancers innovatively explore the relationship between music, sound and movement.
To continue the SIFA revelry, flash your SIFA tickets to enjoy F&B discounts at the following establishments – House Pour@Festival House, Timbre@The Arts House, Courtyard Café at the Supreme Court – and enjoy ticket privileges at Esplanade Mall.