Esplanade's da:ns festival returns with live international dance in a last hurrah

Tree Of Codes by Wayne McGregor, Olafur Eliasson and Jamie xx will be among the headline acts at Esplanade’s da:ns festival. PHOTO: JOEL CHESTER FILDES
No.60 by the Pichet Klunchun Dance Company at the Esplanade's da:ns festival. PHOTO: HIDETO MAEZAWA
Evening Voices by Singapore Ballet. PHOTO: BERNIE NG

SINGAPORE - After two years of Covid-19 pandemic travel restrictions, the Esplanade’s da:ns festival returns with live performances from international dance companies.

The annual festival will run from Oct 13 to 23. This 17th edition will also be its last, as it will then transform into a year-long series of dance programmes instead of being concentrated over 10 days or so.

Among the headline acts from abroad is Tree Of Codes, in which award-winning British choreographer Wayne McGregor, artist Olafur Eliasson and composer Jamie xx fuse dance, electronic music and visual art.

It is based on American author Jonathan Safran Foer's 2010 work of the same name, in which he cut out words from Polish writer Bruno Schulz's 1934 book, The Street Of Crocodiles.

The performances will feature Company Wayne McGregor and dancers from Britain's Royal Ballet.

Also long-awaited is the Esplanade commission No. 60 by Thailand's Pichet Klunchun Dance Company.

The work, which builds on 20 years of research, was meant to have its Singapore premiere in 2020, but was delayed for two years due to travel restrictions. Instead, the festival screened a mini-documentary, The Intermission Of No. 60.

Marking the opening of the Esplanade's new Singtel Waterfront Theatre is Infinitely Closer by Kuik Swee Boon, artistic director of Singapore's The Human Expression (T.H.E) Dance Company.

Kuik will be working with a team of designers from across Asia, from Singaporeans such as lighting designer Adrian Tan and dramaturg Kok Heng Leun to South Korean costume designer Choi In-sook and Australian-Laotian guest performer Billy Keohavong.

Singapore Ballet will stage Evening Voices, a triple bill at the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre, while the festival's work-in-progress platform Forward Shift will feature two emerging choreographers: Hwa Wei-An, a Malaysian dancer who was formerly with Singapore's Frontier Danceland, and New York-based Taiwanese dancer Liu I-Ling.

Street dance showcase Full Out! will spotlight the next generation of Singapore street dance, featuring groups from six tertiary institutions here.

Book It/da:ns festival

Where: Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay, 1 Esplanade Drive
When: Oct 13 to 23, various times
Admission: Various prices from Esplanade's website

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