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Singapore to Host First Major International Art Festivals since Pandemic

Jakarta Globe Tue March 16, 2021

JAKARTA Singapore will stage international arts festivals involving over 60 shows and 300 performances starting mid-May, arguably the biggest festivals since the Covid-19 pandemic began early last year.

The festivals will be a mixture of video streaming, live performances and multi-platform interactive shows to attract as many audiences as possible while giving high regard for the health protocol.

The 16-day event will “showcase artists who have incorporated different technologies from lo-fi to high-tech to interact with audiences in real time; live performances in theatres, and shows where artists have collaborated across borders,” the organizers said in a statement on Tuesday.

The Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) will present artists from Switzerland, Australia, the US, Lebanon, Japan, Malaysia and the Philippines to perform alongside hundreds of Singaporean artists and freelancers. 

“If we had to find a silver lining to COVID-19, it is that there is a far greater appreciation for the arts and a pent-up demand for live performances,” Festival Director Gaurav Kripalani said.

The opening show on May 14 will feature a tribute concert to celebrate Singapore jazz legend and 2018 Cultural Medallion recipient Louis Soliano.

Highlights include the debut of Chinese-English modern adaptations of Chekov’s Three Sisters by New York-based SITI Company and Singapore’s Nine Years Theatre, with SITI company actors appearing digitally whilst the Singaporean actors perform on stage; American dancer and choreographer Pam Tanowitz using remote working technology to create a new piece as part of the three-part production The Rhythm of Us by Singapore Dance Theatre and Singapore Symphony Orchestra, who will be performing together live for the first time.

Sophia Brous will present the world premiere of Invisible Opera in which she will perform live in Melbourne while interacting with audiences in a Singapore city square.

“As festival programs thread across both physical and digital platforms, more audiences can now come together to enjoy and experience the arts, safely,” said Low Eng Teong, Deputy Chief Executive of the National Arts Council.

“We celebrate the resilience of the arts community as we saw how quickly they had adapted to put together an online showcase last year, allowing audiences from around the world to experience the best of performing arts. Even with the ongoing pandemic, the arts continue to bring people together as we remain safely apart.”

SOURCE – Jakarta Globe, Indonesia Tue March 16, 2021

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