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May. 15, 2012
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Singapore Arts Festival opens (May 18 – June 2, 2012)
Since 2010, the Singapore Arts Festival has treated the theme of “memory” from various perspectives, and this year the focus is “Our Lost Poem.” A richly varied program has been assembled for this year’s festival, featuring foreign works from 12 countries joining the lineup of woks by Singaporean artists and companies.
The festival opens with a performance of The Flight of the Jade Bird, a piece written and performed by Singapore composer/singer Mark Chan that blends elements of the mythical and contemporary society. Among the noted works that follow are the USA-Japan collaborative production of The Wind-up Bird Chronicle directed by Stephen Earnhart that attracted so much attention at last year’s Edinburgh International Festival; The dance work Vertical Road by Anglo-Bangladeshi choreographer Akram Khan that brings together an eclectic cast from across Asia, Europe and the Middle East for a composition drawing inspiration from Sufi tradition and the Persian poet and philosopher Rumi; a musical titled End of the Road performed by the senior-citizen chorus group Young@Heart from Massachusetts, USA that has been popularly received at numerous international festivals.
Of the more experimental works on the program are the joint project Parallel Cities by Stefan Kaegi of Rimini Protokoll, appearing for the third consecutive year at Singapore, and the rising new Argentine artist Lola Arias; and Slung Low, the British group known for their site-specific performances, uses an old school building to stage a vampire horror piece titled They Only Come at Night: PANDEMIC. Other highlights include The Best Sex I’ve Ever Had, a women-only (audience also) work based on a concept by Toronto’s Mammalian Diving Reflex company that has women over 65 talk about their sex experiences; and Advanced Studies in…, a work that has middle school students become teacher for a day to teach adults about their subject of choice.
During the festival, some 300 free performances and events will be given at the “Festival Village” meeting point at the main Esplanade venue. Among the performers there will be familiar Festival/Tokyo regular Kim Itoh performing a Singapore version of his work Oyaji Cafe titled Bridge Café Project. Itoh’s café is staffed by seniors and young men alike, who serve up entertainment along with the food and drink.

Festival Outline
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, known for 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.
+Singapore Arts Festival