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Apr. 15, 2011
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Singapore Arts Festival 2011 opens May 13 (until June 5)
 The Singapore Arts Festival was established originally in 1977 for a national arts celebration and has since grown into one of the leading festivals in the world, with its bold, innovative programs and collaborative work projects in the contemporary arts. The general manager is Low Kee Hong. With one of the largest theaters in Singapore, the Esplanade, as its main venue, the Festival presents a number of top-class national and international showcases and globally acknowledged productions each time.

The opening performance of the 2011 festival is When a Gray Taiwanese Cow Stretched by Ishinha, a work that tells stories of the sea routes that have connected the cultures of the Pacific Rim. It will be the largest outdoor performance ever held at Esplanade Park. The theme of this year’s Festival is “I want to remember,” and it pays tribute to Pina Bausch, Merce Cunningham and Kazuo Ohno, all of whom passed away in recent years. The program includes Alain Platel’s Out of Context: For Pina, Boris Charmatz’s Flip Book and Yoshito Ohno’s Kuu (Emptiness). Related film and video materials are also screened.

Works that approach “history” and “memory” from various perspectives are programmed. The 1955 Baling Talks by Five Arts Centre recreates the debate between the Malayan Chief Minister, Singaporean Chief Minister and leader of the Communist Party of Malaya in 1955. Life and Times: Episode 1 by Nature Theater of Oklahoma is based on telephone conversations on the personal history of a member of the company. Memory II: Hunger by Living Dance Studio follows the company’s previous work presented at Festival/Tokyo in 2010 with recollected memories of the 1959-61 great famine. Radio Muezzin by Rimini Protokoll brings to the stage real muezzins (who call the faithful to prayer from the minarets of mosques) in an examination of this tradition about to disappear in the Arab world. CRACK is a collaborative work by Arco Renz and Amrita Performing Arts that casts new light on the “present” of Cambodia as the country tries to overcome the history of massacres and its negative heritage. From Singapore are projects such as HERstory that explores the “forgotten history” of women in the 1950s and 60s and Singapore by The Necessary Stage that reflects on ideas of “migration,” “harmony” and “identity” by juxtaposing historical figures with contemporary ones.

In “com.mune,” the section for reinforcing participation of audience beyond individual presentations of performances, discussions with artists and dramaturges, a contest of short films related to the theme “I want to remember,” training sessions for volunteers and educators, and programs for children and community are held.
+Singapore Arts Festival