May is always the month for performing art lovers. The Singapore Art Festival is this year celebrating its 35th and coming full circle with a programme line-up that celebrates communities in Singapore through a re-discovery of their untold stories. With 44 ticked events and 66 non-ticketed productions there is plenty to chose from. Separetly from the festival, some of the world top classical musicians will also be in town: Yuri Bashmet, who has been hailed as one of the world's greatest living violinist and the grammy award-winning soloists of Moscow will present on May 25th an exciting program mixing Mozart, Paganini, Rossini, Stravinsky and Tchaikovski.. a real treat!
The Singapore Art Festival has what promises to be some very interesting Asian art performances. Here are my picks :
The Flight of the Jade Bird by Mark Chan (May 18-19 at Esplanade) - the multimedia music and dance performance that tells the fable of a young boy and a magical jade bird. The modern fable promises to create a dialogue among art forms.
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (May 25-26), based on a novel by Haruki Murakami, arguably the most popular Japanese novelist today. Murakami’s experimental style and compelling characters have gained him prominence and the classic themes of his stories (love and loneliness, realism, alternative worlds and enigmatic characters) are deeply emotional under a seemingly impassive front. In this multi-media production, these leitmotifs are not absent. Unemployed, aimless Toru Okada loses first his cat and then his wife, Kumiko. Toru’s struggle to cope with their mysterious disappearances catalyses a warped adventure David Lynch would be proud to call his own, with a phone-sex caller, a bossy prostitute, a death-obsessed teen, an old soldier who shares wartime atrocities, a sadistic politician, a dry well and a dark hotel room.
Lear Dreaming by TheatreWorks (May 31-Jun 1) - Director Ong Keng Sen reunites with Noh actor Naohiki Umewaka in this new piece inspired by his original Asian Intercultural work Lear in 1997 and Shakespeare’s King Lear .
Vertical Road by Akram Khan Company (Jun 1-2) - the latest contemporary ensemble work by Anglo-Bangladeshi choreographer Akram Khan with a score by composer Nitin Sawhney. The choreography draws inspiration from Sufi tradition and the Persian poet and philosopher Rumi, with Khan returning to pure movement in his choreography, eliminating the text and dialogue featured in recent works.