The News: Issue 49

Published on 16 August 2016

TEXT BY Pamela Ho

Nocturnal Pleasures

This year’s Night Festival brings back familiar favourites and new delights.

The Singapore Night Festival returns for its ninth year over the last two weekends of August. Themed ‘Inventions and Innovations’, this annual nocturnal extravaganza will involve a record 70-plus stakeholders in the Bras Basah Bugis precinct (Singapore’s arts, heritage and design precinct) this year. Another first: the inclusion of Purvis Street and the Mint Museum of Toys.


Familiar favourites will make a comeback, with the façades of iconic buildings being giant canvases for light projection artists. Don’t miss Keyframes by Groupe LAPS (France) at the National Museum of Singapore and Journey by NOVAK (United Kingdom) at the Singapore Art Museum. Returning, too, the Festival Village with its artisan culinary delights, live music and local crafts fair. Armenian Street will once again come alive with a Bloc Party, featuring roving street performers, a light sabre battle, and a Harley Davidson motorcycle convoy.


Other highlights this year include House of Curiosities by Cake — which exudes a Jules Verne vibe reminiscent of the steampunk movement — The Wheel House by Acrojou (United Kingdom) and Invasion by Close-Act Theatre (The Netherlands), which will bring to life a mythical world of prehistoric animals, monsters and robots!


Singapore Night Festival 2016 takes place on 19-20 August and 26-27 August, 7.30pm to 2am. See Listings p22 for details.


Pilot programme introduces traditional arts to pre-schools.

In July, the National Arts Council launched a taster programme to introduce pre-schoolers aged four to six to the traditional arts. This age-appropriate programme — a collaborative effort by ACT 3 International, Bhaskar’s Arts Academy, and Era Dance Theatre — presented traditional Indian and Malay dance through storytelling, while engaging staging techniques kids could understand.


Apart from being treated to a 30-minute theatrical performance, the children participated in a hands-on workshop where they learnt about these traditional art forms.


For more information about the Traditional Arts Plan, visit


SIFA’s pre-festival reports 100 per cent increase in attendance. 

When the Singapore International Festival of Arts’ (SIFA) pre-festival of ideas, The O.P.E.N., came to a close on 9 July, it had drawn a record 16,500 attendees — a 37.5 per cent increase in attendance from 2015; and doubled from 8,000 attendees in 2014, its inaugural year. One reason many events were packed to full house was because an all-access O.P.E.N. Pass, priced at $45, was introduced for the first time, giving participants access to all 43 programmes.


The O.P.E.N. Pass also entitles pass-holders to a 25 per cent discount off all tickets purchased for SIFA 2016, which runs till 17 September.

New Blood

SYCO announces recruitment drive.

The Singapore Youth Chinese Orchestra (SYCO) is recruiting new members for 2017. In 2009, the SYCO was elevated to the status of a National Project of Excellence by the Ministry of Education, so for youth musicians studying in mainstream secondary schools here, their involvement in SYCO is recognised and awarded with Co-Curricular Activity points under the LEAPS scheme. LEAPS stands for Leadership, Enrichment, Achievement, Participation and Service. Application is now open, till 3 October.


For more information and registration details, visit

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