NDP 2019: Riot of colours - as 6m lion steals the show

A 6m-tall steel lion, the biggest National Day Parade prop yet, stealing the limelight as it made its appearance. It was accompanied by some 900 children decked out in miniature lion costumes, complete with a ''mane''.
A 6m-tall steel lion, the biggest National Day Parade prop yet, stealing the limelight as it made its appearance. It was accompanied by some 900 children decked out in miniature lion costumes, complete with a ''mane''.
A multicultural dance segment in Act Three of the show, titled Our River, brought together performers from the People's Association representing the four major races in Singapore.
A multicultural dance segment in Act Three of the show, titled Our River, brought together performers from the People's Association representing the four major races in Singapore.
A drum performance by youth performers from the Singapore Soka Association with drums designed to be translucent and illuminated during Act Four of the parade.
A drum performance by youth performers from the Singapore Soka Association with drums designed to be translucent and illuminated during Act Four of the parade.
Dancers representing the four major races - Chinese (orange), Malay (green), Indian (pink) and Eurasian (cyan) - coming together in a multicultural dance segment by the People's Association.
Dancers representing the four major races - Chinese (orange), Malay (green), Indian (pink) and Eurasian (cyan) - coming together in a multicultural dance segment by the People's Association.
Performers, including rapper Yung Raja (with green hair), taking wefie photos with one another after the parade. This year's parade was the first held at the Padang since 2015, with previous years' NDPs held at the Marina Bay Floating Platform and th
Performers, including rapper Yung Raja (with green hair), taking wefie photos with one another after the parade. This year's parade was the first held at the Padang since 2015, with previous years' NDPs held at the Marina Bay Floating Platform and the National Stadium.
Dancers representing the Chinese in a multicultural dance segment. There were 380 dancers from the People's Association and 40 from the Music and Drama Company of the Singapore Armed Forces. Their performance was greeted with loud applause by the cro
Dancers representing the Chinese in a multicultural dance segment. There were 380 dancers from the People's Association and 40 from the Music and Drama Company of the Singapore Armed Forces. Their performance was greeted with loud applause by the crowd.
Performers in silver lion masks and costumes wowing the crowd in a segment to celebrate Singapore's future. Titled Our Dreams, the segment was performed by students from Hua Yi Secondary School, Juying Primary School, Pasir Ris Crest Secondary School
Performers in silver lion masks and costumes wowing the crowd in a segment to celebrate Singapore's future. Titled Our Dreams, the segment was performed by students from Hua Yi Secondary School, Juying Primary School, Pasir Ris Crest Secondary School and Temasek Secondary School.

Art director opts for 'futuristic vibe' with NDP costume design

Cyan, magenta, lime green and orange - these are colours that, besides red and white, featured strongly in this year's National Day Parade (NDP).

Singapore fashion designer Yang Derong, art director of this year's parade, said he was going for a "futuristic vibe" with the costume design this year.

"Instead of looking to the past at history or archives, in our bicentennial year, this year's NDP is all about looking to the future and what it holds," said Mr Yang, who had also worked on the art direction for the NDP shows in 2010, 2014 and 2015.

"The funky colours work together with the dance choreography, lighting and music to give a whole new vibe," he added.

One of the performances was a multicultural segment by the People's Association bringing together dancers from the four major races - Chinese (orange), Malay (green), Indian (pink) and Eurasian (cyan).

Dancer Celestine Eu, 27, who is taking part in the NDP for the eighth year, described this year's costumes as vibrant and colourful. The costumes in her segment feature different ethnic groups and symbolises multiracial harmony, she added.

But all eyes were on a 6m-tall steel lion - the largest-ever NDP prop - that made its appearance in Act Five last night. With its reflective surface, the lion appeared iridescent under the Padang's stage lights.

  • 27,000

  • Number of people in the stands.

Ten performers were needed to control the massive prop that is 8m in length and 4m in width. Six men steered it onto the stage, while four others controlled the movement of its legs.

Colonel Lim Han Yong, chairman of the NDP 2019 show committee, said they had decided to "revisit our roots" in this bicentennial year.

"The lion is not just representative of our beginning (when Sang Nila Utama saw what he thought was a lion upon landing on the shores of Temasek), it is also a symbol of our courage and strength."


SEEN AND HEARD

K. RITHIKA, 13, SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENT

"I hope Singapore will be more inclusive, regardless of gender and race, and I hope we will be more united as one Singapore."


MR MUHAMMAD ZULKARNAEN, 38, PUBLIC SERVICE OFFICER

"I used to live in a kampung growing up, so I hope the kampung spirit can continue even in the future."


MS CHNG SIOK HUEY, 45, ASSET MANAGER, WITH HER HUSBAND AND TWO CHILDREN

"I hope Singapore will enjoy continued economic growth so that my children will enjoy the same opportunities I did, and that the next generation can find well-paying and meaningful jobs."


MS WASANTHA PADMINI, 52 (RIGHT), SRI LANKAN DOMESTIC HELPER, WITH HER FRIENDS

"I have spent 32 years in Singapore and I love the country. People are loving and kind here. This country is the best place for everybody, they treat us like our own family."

REPORTS BY

Lim Min Zhang, Cara Wong, Jolene Ang, Lester Wong, Toh Ting Wei, Vanessa Liu, Sue-Ann Tan, Rahimah Rashith, Jan Lee and Rei Kurohi.

PHOTOS BY

Gavin Foo, Alphonsus Chern, Ariffin Jamar, Benjamin Seetor, Chong Jun Liang, Desmond Foo, Desmond Wee, Gin Tay, Jasmine Choong, Jason Quah, Jeremy Kwan, Kelvin Chng, Kevin Lim, Kua Chee Siong, Lim Yaohui, Mark Cheong, Ng Sor Luan, Ong Wee Jin and Shintaro Tay.


Correction note: We have updated the picture caption on the drum performance for accuracy.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 10, 2019, with the headline 'Riot of colours - as 6m lion steals the show'. Print Edition | Subscribe