Open Season Issue 19

Published on 23 June 2015

Even as you count down to the Singapore International Festival of Arts, ongoing pre-festival The O.P.E.N. engages with its thought-provoking line-up. Here are some highlights.

TEXT BY JO TAN

THE IMAGINATION OF THE FUTURE

25-27 June at 72-13, Mohamed Sultan Road

In this play performed in Spanish with English surtitles, audiences are taken down an alternative path of history. In 1973, Chilean President Salvador Allende chose suicide over surrendering to the forces of dictator Augusto Pinochet. But what if Allende had turned to a professional team of communicators and spin-doctors instead of killing himself? Expect high-octane movement, disturbingly-convincing puppets and plenty of irony from Teatro La Re-Sentida, a Chilean troupe whose motto is to embody the pulses, visions and ideas of the generation.

TOYO ITO

27 June,  SOTA Studio Theatre

It’s all in a day’s work for an architect to design a home for a family or an individual. But not many can design a living space for an entire village. Toyo Ito is the Pritzker Architecture Prize-winning exception, creating communal huts for the homeless victims of 2011’s Great East Japan Earthquake. Dubbed ‘Home-for-All’, each communal hut (there are 12 currently completed) features gathering places, children’s play areas, spaces to restore communities, and even centres for non-profit organisations to help residents get involved in reviving farming and fishing industries. At The O.P.E.N., Ito presents the talk ‘The Role of Tomorrow’s Architects’, providing insights into creating spaces and platforms for people to interact and bond.

NAGARIKA

1-4 July at 72-13, Mohamed Sultan Road

The passing down of Indian movement arts has been a painstaking process, with teachers rigidly and intricately teaching set skills and gestures to their disciples. Observes Jayachandran Palazhy, artistic director of Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts in Bangalore, “When working on various productions informed by Indian movement arts such as [Indian martial art] kalaripayattu and [classical dance] bharatanatyam, we realised a detailed communication on these movement forms was not available. I studied bharatanatyam for several years, but when you study a form, you don’t necessarily know all the principles to that form, the teaching methodology doesn’t allow you to understand the different kinds of movement principles.”

Intrigued, Palazhy investigated the theoretical, historical and cultural contexts of Indian aesthetic forms and exhaustively interviewed masters, teachers and practitioners. He then consolidated the tenets of different Indian art forms on a technological information database. The result is Nagarika, an interactive and groundbreaking exhibition which you can catch at The O.P.E.N.

All O.P.E.N. offerings are free with the O.P.E.N. pass. Limited single-entry tickets are available. Tickets and information can be found at sifa.sg/theopen.

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