Arts Picks: Esplanade's Studios season goes online; Epigram Books' meet-the-author sessions; and more

PHOTOS: ESPLANADE THEATRES ON THE BAY, FASHION INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, SING'THEATRE

THE STUDIOS ONLINE

The Esplanade's The Studios season has been an annual stalwart for small, experimental shows since 2003. Although The Studios 2020 season has been scuppered, two of its shows are going online.

Multimedia artist Brian Gothong Tan's Lost Cinema 20/20 and Checkpoint Theatre's The Heart Comes To Mind will be available on the Esplanade's Offstage website from June 6 to 12.

Before that, theatre fans can check out from 3pm on Saturday (May 16) six productions curated from the series' 17-year archive.

Teater Ekamatra's Harap (Hope/2017) - adapted by Zulfadli Rashid from playwright Haresh Sharma's 1995 script - is a gritty social drama addressing issues such as alcoholism, gambling, homosexuality and suicide.

In The Finger Players' To Whom It May Concern (2011), actress Karen Tan takes on multiple roles as an unreliable narrator who recounts an encounter between a housewife, an Internet scammer and a Residents' Committee member.

Tune into a Facebook Live session with Harap director Mohd Fared Jainal and playwright Chong Tze Chien at 3pm on Sunday (May 17) as they look back on these projects.

Theatre veteran Edith Podesta's 2016 prison drama Dark Room and Cake Theatrical's 2007 multilingual character drama Nothing will stream from 3pm on May 23, followed by a Facebook Live discussion at 8pm on May 27.

From May 30, playwright Faith Ng's 2018 drama A Good Death and spell #7's 2013 offbeat play Family Duet will be available, with a Facebook Live discussion scheduled for 3pm on May 31.

WHERE: Esplanade Offstage website

WHEN: May 16 to June 12

ADMISSION: Free

INFO: The Studios Online

BALLERINA: FASHION'S MODERN MUSE


PHOTOS: FASHION INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

As recently as the early 20th century, ballerinas were a marginal and exploited demographic. The dreamy ballet paintings of French artist Edgar Degas belied the sordid realities of poverty and prostitution for a majority of the corps de ballet.

But the emergence of the prima ballerina star and the dynamic impact of Paris ballet company Ballet Russes' experimental productions changed perceptions and attitudes.

This gorgeous exhibition by New York's Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) tracks the intertwined pathways of ballet stardom and high-fashion trends from the early to late 20th century.

Along the way, there are swoonsome couture gowns for fashionistas to drool over and plenty of trivia for the balletomanes.

The online show opens with a documentary narrated by the show's curator and FIT deputy director Patricia Mears. The exhibition is divided into four sections: Ballet Style Footwear, The Neo-Romantic Revival, Ballerina As Bird and From Costumier To Couturier.

This is the next best thing to seeing the show in situ as the digital re-creation offers installation views as well as close-up shots of assorted items - from an unexpectedly fluffy tulle evening dress from Coco Chanel to a bonkers pair of fetishistic pointe heels from Christian Louboutin. A must-see for fashion and ballet fans.

WHERE: The Museum At FIT's website

ADMISSION: Free

A SPOONFUL OF SHERMAN


PHOTO: SING'THEATRE

In the mood for something completely escapist? Tune in to Sing'Theatre's free stream of its production of A Spoonful Of Sherman.

The super-hardworking ensemble - led by Hossan Leong - sings, dances, moves props and more through this toe-tapping survey of the work of the Shermans.

Even if the names of this songwriting family do not ring a bell, their songs are instantly recognisable - from the terrible earworm of It's A Small World to clean-cut classic tunes for Disney films like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Jungle Book and Mary Poppins.

The cast, which also included George Chan, Mina Ellen Kaye, Vanessa Kee and Aaron Khaled, was nominated for Best Ensemble at The Straits Times Life Theatre Awards earlier this year.

Organise a watch party with friends and, for one hour and 45 minutes, indulge in happy peppy songs from yesteryear.

WHERE: Sing'Theatre's website

ADMISSION: Free till May 26

ASK AUTHORS ANYTHING

Epigram Books has taken its Meet The Authors sessions online with its Ask Authors Anything initiative.

Every Monday, it will highlight the week's featured writer on its Facebook page and Instagram account.

Readers can ask questions in the comments section. The writer will answer queries and pick the best question which will win the reader a $10 e-voucher to spend at Epigram's online store.

To date, poet Cyril Wong and writer Ng Yi-sheng have been featured, as well as the characters Sherlock Sam and Watson from A.J. Low's entertaining children's book series.

WHERE: Epigram Books' Facebook page and Instagram page

WHEN: Every Monday

ADMISSION: Free

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