NDP 2013 to showcase stories of Singaporeans

Segments will reflect narratives that have defined Singapore as a nation

ST 20130510 VNDP 3560120

THE Singapore story is a tapestry woven from millions of individual threads.

That idea underpins this year's National Day Parade (NDP) whose theme, "Many Stories... One Singapore", was unveiled yesterday, exactly four months before the nation's 48th birthday.

"We think that the sharing of stories is a very compelling way of bringing people together: Most of us have our individual stories of growing up in Singapore, of going to school, to NS, making lifelong friends," said the chairman of the NDP executive committee, Brigadier-General Perry Lim.

He said these, together with overcoming adversities like Sars, "have defined us as a nation".

Thus, this year's National Day song will not be sung by a celebrity but a choir of Singaporeans from all walks of life who were selected through auditions, said actress-director and comedienne Selena Tan, the creative director of this year's show segment.

The first-time NDP director still recalls the green leotard she wore as a parade performer at the age of 12. Best known for being one of the Dim Sum Dollies, Ms Tan promised there would be fun amid the traditional pomp and pageantry.

This year's show, at the Marina Bay Floating Platform, will drop the traditional three-act and mass display formats of previous parades and instead adopt a nine-segment variety show format, said Ms Tan, who called the opportunity "a director's dream".

Each of the segments will revolve around verbs like "play", "build", "represent" and "party", and will work in the stories of Singaporeans of all stripes, she said.

The parade logo is a series of rippling circles of vibrant colours that together form the island of Singapore.

For more information on the parade, see the updated NDP website at www.ndp.org.sg. Here, users can:

  • Read the untold stories of some Singaporeans like director Jack Neo, and contribute their own
  • Participate in a photo competition on this year's theme to win NDP tickets and prizes
  • Track parade-related updates on the NDP 2013 mobile app for both iOS and Android, and the NDPeeps Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ndpeep.

The show segment might be different, but perennial crowd favourites like the Red Lion parachutists, the 21-gun salute and the roaring aerial salutes by the Republic of Singapore Air Force F-15SG and F-16 fighter jets will stay, said BG Lim.

The audience will also get to view some new vehicles from the Singapore Armed Forces and the Home Team not yet seen in a parade. "In every NDP, we always have to achieve a good balance between honouring our traditions and introducing a fresh format as well as new elements to excite the spectators and television audience," he said.

Balloting for parade tickets will be from tomorrow to May 20. Singapore citizens and permanent residents can apply for preview and actual day tickets through the website, the phone apps, SMS or via AXS and SAM stations.

yanliang@sph.com.sg