New National Arts Council initiative to get Singaporeans dancing to kick off in October

ST VIDEO: LEE JIAN XUAN

From flashy, frenetic K-pop moves to the sensual hip gyrations of belly dancing, Singaporeans can soon get their groove on under a new dance initiative to be launched in October by the National Arts Council (NAC).

The public can look forward to a slew of about 40 dance-related activities such as open classes and studios, dance workshops and masterclasses, and talks during the annual event, dubbed Got To Move. These will be be free, and available from Oct 8 to 23.

"We want people in Singapore to have a personal experience with the art form - whether it's through a taster class or open rehearsal... watching a dance performance, or just plucking up the courage to dance," says the NAC's director of sector development for dance and traditional arts Elaine Ng in a press statement.

The Got To Move project, which cost about $1.5 million, will culminate in a event at The Promontory at Marina Bay on Oct 24, which runs for about half a day.

Visitors will get to watch performances put up by both traditional and contemporary dance companies here such as the Singapore Dance Theatre, T.H.E Dance Company and Bhaskar's Arts Academy.

They can also join in free K-pop, belly dancing and yoga dancing classes, and a dance after-party with live music in the evening.

This two-week-long dance extravaganza coincides with the Esplanade's annual da:ns festival, which runs from Oct 9 to 18 and promises a lineup of diverse works from local and foreign dance groups, and comes after the Singapore International Festival of Arts' first-ever Dance Marathon in August and September.

It also comes at a time when Singapore's burgeoning dance scene is making strides - ticketed attendance at dance performances have climbed by more than 50 per cent, while sales have risen by a third, according to figures from the NAC.

The Government has also introduced similar programmes to pique interest among the wider public in the arts and culture. The yearly PAssionArts Festival, which has a strong focus on bringing art to the heartlands, is already into its fourth edition this year. It is helmed by the People's Association, and supported by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.

Got To Move's programme producer, Ms Norhayati Yusoff, has previously planned arts festivals for the Esplanade. She says of the upcoming dance event: "The activities and performances feature a broad mix of dance forms, and professional and amateur groups. I hope event-goers will catch more dance performances and take up dance-related hobbies."

For more information, go to www.facebook.com/gottomovesg

jianxuan@sph.com.sg