Argentinian tango at Esplanade

Sylvie Guillem will be performing her final tour programme, Life In Progress. Tango Legends will be presented by dancer-choreographers Mariela Maldonado and Pablo Sosa, and their troupe.
Tango Legends will be presented by dancer-choreographers Mariela Maldonado and Pablo Sosa, and their troupe.PHOTO: ESPLANADE - THEATRES ON THE BAY

It is the first time the fiery dance form is presented as a main event at the da:ns festival, which is celebrating its 10th year

To celebrate its 10th birthday, Esplanade's da:ns festival reunites with world-renowned dancers and choreographers who will return to the Singapore stage.

The festival runs from Oct 9 to 18 and ticket sales start tomorrow.

Back after a slick debut here in 2013 is Nederlands Dans Theater 2 (NDT2), the second company of the famed contemporary dance group which comprises dancers below the age of 25. It will perform on Oct 9 and 10.

Its two-hour show, An Evening Of Five Works, will feature five pieces including the witty and energetic Cacti by Swedish choreographer Alexander Ekman.

Ekman is known for the humour in his works, including 2013's Left Right Left Right, which NDT2 has presented here, with its dancers executing synchronised moves on a treadmill.

Also back is French ballerina Sylvie Guillem, who will present her last touring work, Life In Progress on Oct 13 and 14. She was here in 2011 at the da:ns festival, where she dazzled in the triple bill, 6,000 Miles Away.

Sylvie Guillem will be performing her final tour programme, Life In Progress. PHOTO: BILL COOPER

Life In Progress caps an illustrious 35-year dance career for Guillem, which included stints with the Paris Opera Ballet and Royal Ballet in London.


    WHERE: Various venues at the Esplanade

    WHEN: Oct 9 to 18

    ADMISSION: Free and ticketed (go to or call 6348-5555)

    INFO: For full programme details, go to

She will perform four works, including techne, choreographed by United Kingdom-based choreographer Akram Khan.

Khan will return to the stage at the Esplanade on Oct 16 and 17, going head-to-head with Spanish flamenco dance-choreographer Israel Galvan in Torobaka. They will be accompanied by live singers and musicians.

When asked why the arts centre is bringing back familiar names for the da:ns festival, producer Faith Tan says it "wants to celebrate this special occasion with artists who have performed at the Esplanade before and have developed a connection with our audiences".

This year's festival, however, will see a number of firsts.

The fiery Argentinian tango will set the Esplanade Concert Hall stage ablaze for the first time in the festival's history with Tango Legends, presented by dancer- choreographers Mariela Maldonado and Pablo Sosa, and their troupe.

Previously, the dance form was presented only in workshops and dance presentations.

The audience will also get access to previously off-limits areas of the Esplanade, such as the cargo lift and basements, in the site-specific piece Impulse, by Korean choreographer Kim Jae Duk and T.H.E Dance Company.

The festival will present a number of free programmes, including a Javanese court dance showcase in the outdoor theatre and dance sessions by the Esplanade waterfront featuring waltz, lindy hop and K-pop.

The 10th-year anniversary event is significant for the Esplanade, says Ms Tan, "because it marks how far we have come from a time when audiences here were very apprehensive about dance".

"Yet, in other ways, 10 years is still young and there's more for us to look forward to in continuing to champion this art form in Singapore."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 07, 2015, with the headline 'Argentinian tango at Esplanade'. Print Edition | Subscribe