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Blurring Boundaries at Singapore International Festival of Arts 2023

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Blurring Boundaries at Singapore International Festival Of Arts 2023
In her sophomore year as Festival Director of the Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA), Natalie Hennedige is focusing on blurring the lines that divide.
Keeping with the three-year overarching theme The Anatomy Of Performance, this year’s installation is titled Some People.
It’s an invitation for audiences to explore a range of emotions — in the relatively safe space of the arts — and to open their minds and hearts to the perspectives of others.
SIFA 2023 runs from 19 May to 4 June and brings together a wide range of performances, nationalities and edgy ideas.
It will exist across three platforms: CREATION, featuring 15 unique presentations; its virtual entity LIFE PROFUSION; and SIFA X, for experimental expression.
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To get a flavour of collaboration at SIFA 2023, here’s a quick sampling.
Angel Island is a commissioned work based on verses written on the walls of the immigration station on Angel Island, in the San Francisco Bay area. It is directed by Asian-American composer Huang Ruo and Singaporean Brian Gothong Tan, and explores racism a century ago.
Realm of Silk explores transformation and metamorphosis with Canadian multidisciplinary artist Sougwen Chung together with Singapore master cellist Leslie Tan, in an exploration of nature and technology at the intersection of human and non-human (robotic) collaboration.
Pompeii brings together Australian artist Edith Podesta and Singapore filmmaker K. Rajagopal in a multi-media theatre performance.

Among the other offerings:

Blurring Boundaries at Singapore International Festival Of Arts 2023 - Lies
Credit: £¥€$ (LIES) by Ontroerend Goed
£¥€$ (LIES) brings a more current perspective to the post-pandemic era. Here, Belgian theatre company Ontroerend Goed brings the world of high finance into a game setting, exploring human behaviour when belief in the system that controls money and markets begin to ebb.
Blurring Boundaries at Singapore International Festival Of Arts 2023 - HUMANS 2.0
Credit: Circa and Yaya Stempler
Humans 2.0 by renowned Australian circus company Circa pushes humans to achieve amazing physical feats.
SilverStreak speaks with Natalie about SIFA 2023.

Dissecting The Anatomy of Performance

"The Anatomy of Performance, allowed us to move away from the silos of theatre, music, dance, film and visual arts as separate forms, to invite interdisciplinary works and collaborations; where you could watch a performance borne from a collaboration between a film-maker and an orchestra or a work that blurred the boundaries between dance and theatre.

Of primary importance for SIFA is the elevation of Singapore artists, supporting mature artistic creation and international collaboration."

About Some People

"Some People engages with the idea that the human experience exists on a spectrum. We are the sum of all the narratives that chapter and alter our lives; each trial and transformation, what our ancestors and communities have had to struggle through, our experiences as children and adults, things inherited, and circumstances imposed on our lives shape how we move through life and experience the world.

The works featured in SIFA 2023 reflect the human experience in its spectrum of hues."

Which Artists to Choose?

"With the pandemic mostly behind us, SIFA 2023 is reaching out once again to discover a fresh international dynamic.

It's important to position the Festival as a platform that inspires and facilitates creative intersections and collaborations."

Opportunities for the Silvers?

Blurring Boundaries at Singapore International Festival Of Arts 2023 - Abyss
Credit: Sanghoon Ok
Kampong Lorong Buangkok 4
Credit: Arts House Limited

"We have several workshops that SilverStreak readers can sign up for.

These offer insights into artistes’ vision and process. With Body, Memory, Landscape: Workshop with Muna Tseng and Irene Hultman, participants are invited to warm up the body to enliven the flow of qi or energy, as individuals, with a partner and as a collective group. Participants will also get the chance to understand EIZO-Theater, a new type of theatre that Toshiki Okada has begun to develop in recent years together with stage and video designer Shimpei Yamada, through a workshop with Shimpei Yamada which relates to Toshiki Okada’s presentation New Illusion.

And almost anywhere and at any time, SliverStreak readers can access Life Profusion, SIFA’s digital platform. Privacy curated by Mojoko presents 8 digital pieces that offer artistic impressions on privacy in the digital world. Play, curated by Hong Xinyi, invites a diverse range of contributors writing in response to the Festival performances while drawing links to the conversation of the day and other contemporary insights."

Also read:

Kannan Chandran

The Editorial Consultant of SilverSteak has enjoyed a journey that has taken him from print to digital, and words to visuals. Every rock tells a story and under every rock is a deeper narrative.

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