Making good youths of talent

Published on 23 June 2015

Get ready for two different festivals for young adults!

TEXT BY PAMELA HO 

Youth culture is all about exploring ourselves, finding our individual interests and not just blindly following a certain trend,” states Sufian Hamri aka TraseOne, a street artist involved in the Singapore Street Festival 2015.

The 14th edition of this annual youth festival kicked off 19 June and runs till 6 September. Themed ‘Youth Diversity’, it will showcase an explosive variety of urban acts — from street graffiti, belly dancing and Parkour to freestyle street football and funk/soul music.

“This street festival has always been a platform for youth to perform, to learn through experience and to connect with like-minded people,” says festival director Annie Pek. “We have a team of mentors to guide them so it’s a great chance for them to learn and grow, which is really what’s most important to me.”

Dru Chen, a funk/soul singer-songwriter, who will be performing at Bugis+ Civic Plaza Outdoor (27 June) and Concert of Ideas (6 September), shares, “Performing to a street audience is a challenge because, on the one hand, you have to be impactful to catch the attention of passers-by, but also be able to let the subtlety of your performance shine through.”

For TraseOne, Super Heroes (a street graffiti exhibition), happening at 313 @ Somerset from 9 July to 10 August, will be a great opportunity to change public attitudes towards street art. “There have been several high-profile mentions involving graffiti in recent years. This showcase gives the public an opportunity to witness how an artwork is created from scratch to finish, so they can understand the craft and accept it as an art form.”

Making its debut this year is Peer Pleasure, a youth theatre festival presented by ArtsWok Collaborative. Peer Pleasure is a platform for amateur theatre-makers aged 13 to 18 to stage productions at professional theatre venues, under the guidance of professional theatre practitioners. Themed ‘Causality’, this year’s festival will feature five plays from schools like Catholic Junior College and Raffles Institution.

“These students are invited to join the Production Mentorship Programme and are trained by our production stage manager, Jason Ng, in the principles, skills and methods of production and stage management,” shares Ngiam Su-Lin, ArtsWok’s co-director. Another invaluable mentor is The Necessary Stage’s Alvin Tan, who is the festival’s artistic director. “Peer Pleasure fills a gap in the Singapore theatre scene. Usually, we have adults making theatre for young people. It’s our hope that Peer Pleasure will spread the news that young peoples’ theatre is vibrant and more audiences can now enjoy this vibrancy.”

Peer Pleasure plays at Esplanade — Theatres by the Bay, 28 July-1 August. Tickets are available here.

DIVERSE ACTS Musician Dru Chen  and theatre-makers from Nanyang Junior College are just some of the young performers getting into the spotlight.
ART IN MOTION Yo-yo championships will get Singapore Street Festival audiences in a spin. Photo Singapore Street Festival
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