Performances at Singapore Night Festival 2017 to reflect diversity of local arts scene

(From far left) Daphne Huang, Firmann Salim and Ponnamma Devaiah are among the artists who will be performing at the Singapore Night Festival.
(From left) Daphne Huang, Firmann Salim and Ponnamma Devaiah are among the artists who will be performing at the Singapore Night Festival.PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

From Peranakan songs to installations with performances, the Singapore Night Festival next month will feature a range of shows reflecting the diversity of the local arts scene

Pole-dancing, Chinese drumming and pro-wrestling are some of the diverse performances that festivalgoers can expect to attend at the Singapore Night Festival from Aug 18 to 26.

The festival is in its 10th edition.

At a media preview held at the National Museum of Singapore on Wednesday, 10 local artists, who featured in past editions, shared their offerings at this year's festival.

Peranakan Sayang, Singapore's premier Peranakan performing group, will be entertaining with a repertoire of Peranakan songs.

Flamenco Sin Fronteras and Nawaz & Friends (Singapore) will bring together two different dance forms - flamenco, which is from southern Spain, and kathak, an Indian classical genre.

The festival's creative director, Ms Christie Chua, says these artists not only represent the diversity of Singapore's arts scene, but are also reflective of the journey that the festival has taken.

Festival director Angelita Teo adds that some of the artists have collaborated more than once with the festival.

  • VIEW IT / SINGAPORE NIGHT FESTIVAL 2017

  • WHERE: Various locations in the Bras Basah-Bugis precinct

    WHEN: Night Lights, Aug 18 to 26, 7.30pm to midnight; performances, Aug 24 to 26, 7.30pm to midnight

    ADMISSION: Free

    INFO: Go to nightfestival.sg

She says: "Over the years, they have also innovated and returned to the festival with a different performance each time."

For instance, the group Starlight Alchemy started off as buskers, but has since evolved to become stage performers and installation artists.

At this year's festival, the company will be putting up a geometric and reflective outdoor installation called The Flower Of Life And The Infinite Self, which is inspired by the work of American systems architect Buckminster Fuller and Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher.

This year's festival will kick off on Aug 18 with Night Lights, a showcase of light art installations with performances, and culminate in three evenings of performances from Aug 24 to 26.

Previously, the performances took place over four evenings on two weekends.

She said that with the new format, fans of the Night Lights installations can have more time to enjoy and take pictures of and with the installations without feeling like they have to rush to catch the other performances.

The full programme will be unveiled at a later date.

The festival, which was introduced in 2008 to enliven the Bras Basah-Bugis arts and heritage district, has grown over the years and enjoyed international coverage. In its first year, it had six partners and drew 60,000 people; in recent years, this has grown to about 70 partners and more than 500,000 attendees.

Looking ahead to the next 10 years, Ms Teo says she hopes the festival will continue to be a platform for innovation and creativity, especially for local talents.

"We want to promote a can-do spirit among our local talents."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 14, 2017, with the headline 'Lighting up the town'. Print Edition | Subscribe