Day 076 : Singapore Arts Festival 2012 Bloggers’ Preview

Singapore's version of Twilight? We call it charp jee diam (Hokkien for 'twelve midnight').

No, it’s not Halloween in March. But come May, Singapore will be infested with vampires. And don’t bother with stocking up on garlic, cruxifixes and holy water. The vampires are immune.

Not even a stick to the heart can kill them and they’re out to hunt us! Only a group of last remaining vampire killers can annihilate them.

They are the last hope Singaporeans have to survive this Pandemic of a vampiral outbreak.

Does this sound like the plot of a video game or movies such as Underworld? Yes it does.

And that’s how the 2012 edition of the Singapore Arts Festival will make art relatable to the young, young at heart, heartlanders, and land-above culture vultures.

I’m never the arty farty sort. I can never tell the difference between Shakespeare and South Park. Or Beethoven from the ting of my microwave oven. But I have a feeling that the Singapore Arts Festival 2012 might just have something for me.

I attended a blogger preview of the Arts Fest and from the rundown of programmes and acts lined up for the 2-week festival starting in mid-May, I had the feeling that many of the performances would be movies brought to the stage in a format that a hoi polloi like me can appreciate.

Received an elegant and functinoal door gift at the event. It's so exquisite, I thought it was a pendant until I realised its true use. Me so suah ku (ignorant) lah!

Titled ‘Our Lost Poems’, this year’s theme is the final instalment in a trilogy of the Arts Fest 3-part journey to bring art to the man-on-the-street. The theme for 2010 was ‘Between You and Me’ and last year’s was a personal ‘I Want to Remember’.

The themes have such so a down-to-earth appeal right? I really appreciate that because my impression of art has always been something that only the very educated affluent (a.k.a. cultured people with too much money) indulge in. But this festival, 70% of the programmes are public and free!

The bloggers' event was held at Goodman Arts Centre. First time stepping into this house of art in Singapore's south-eastern neighbourhood.

Other than the experiential theatre brought on by Pandemic (They Only Come at Night) where the audience is part of the performance, there are a few other acts that piqued my interest.

There’s ‘The Best Sex I’ve Ever Had’, a dialougue-o-rama by a group of women above 65 on orgasm and love; ‘男男自语’, a gay tale spun around love, lies and loss; ‘The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle’ which is a theatrical adaptation of the works by Japanese literary master, Haruki Murakami; and ‘The Flight of the Jade Bird’ by Singapore’s very own man of multiple talents, Mark Chan.

Here’s a sneak of upcoming acts in Singapore Arts Festival 2012…

During the bloggers’ event, we got a treat to catch the very heartwarming, tear-milking documentary of one of the festival’s key acts, Young@Heart. The award-winning documentary traces a choral group in their lead-up to a performance. No big deal right? Sounds like an episode off Glee. Except that the chorus ensemble is made up of members with an average age of 80!

The documentary was inspirational without being cliched, hilarious without trying to be funny, and poignant simply because of the zest for life these geriatrics have. They have so much more purpose and enthusiasm about living than many people I know. And they are coming to Singapore to perform for the Arts Fest from 23 – 26 May (5 shows only)! Definitely a must-see…

My favourite dialgoue from the documentary was when the chorus’ conductor asked a member who had a near death experience if she saw a white light. “I refused to look!” was her response. LOL.

To find out more details about Young@Heart’s showtimes and the schedule of exciting programmes, performances and public acts coming your way, visit the Singapore Arts Festival’s website.

The elegant door gift was actually a well-concealed thumbdrive. Nice! And of course, acts of the Arts Fest is not like a movie you can download. The best way to enjoy is to experience the language of art in person! Tickets are on sale with early-bird discounts of 20%. Book early for great savings!


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jassy
    Mar 17, 2012 @ 19:45:23

    art makes life interesting! an expression of feeling…good for singaporeans eh 🙂


  2. Low Kee Hong
    Mar 19, 2012 @ 23:15:20

    Hey Darren thanks for coming to the bloggers preview and for this lovely post 🙂 see you at the festival ya? 🙂


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