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     FrontPage Edition: Mon 17 Apr 2006

Singapore Arts Festival 2006


Singapore Arts Festival 2006 - One Season. Many Faces

1 to 25 June 2006

The Singapore Arts Festival has announced full details of its 2006 programme.
Over more than three weeks, it will present some 1,758 artists from 26 countries and regions in 24 main productions and over 400 free performances, exhibitions and special events this June.
The Festival¡¯s main productions feature 6 world premieres, 6 Asian premieres and 3 co-commissions involving festivals and arts organisations in Vietnam, France, the United Kingdom, the United States and Brazil.
The Singapore Arts Festival is Singapore¡¯s premier arts event. Annually showcasing the finest performing arts from around the world, it is an international event with a distinctive Asian flavour.
Organised by Singapore¡¯s National Arts Council (NAC), it is reputed for its adventurous programming and emphasis on originality and innovativeness.
Its 2006 programme features an eclectic mix of works from the traditional, mainstream and classical, to the contemporary and progressive. Its fun and interactive events spill over to the streets in a celebration of the arts.
Said Ms Goh Ching Lee, Senior Director for Performing Arts and Director for Singapore Arts Festival, NAC, ¡°The heart of the Festival is very much about encouraging and supporting artists and their instincts to dream and roam creatively, and seeking to connect their works with Singapore audiences. Through the commissioning of new works and championing artistic collaborations of Singapore and Asian artists, introducing fresh creative insights and presenting works by international artists of the highest calibre, the Festival this year brings a strong sense of energy, discovery and adventure. There is much to see and do, and I hope Singaporeans will not miss this special opportunity to experience and enjoy the arts"
Transcontinental World Premiere
Increasingly demonstrating the willingness to take risks in commissioning new work and initiating co-productions, the Festival has championed inter-cultural, inter-disciplinary and new media work, often involving international collaborations.
A prime example of this can be seen in this year¡¯s breakthrough transcontinental world premiere of Station House Opera¡¯s (UK) major new work Play On Earth.
In collaboration with TheatreWorks (Singapore), Philharmonia Brasileira (Brazil) and NewcastleGateshead Initiative (UK), the production literally transcends time and space in its simultaneous staging to a global audience in Newcastle, Singapore and São Paulo.
Asian & International Contemporary
The Festival has also become known for its commitment to contemporary performing arts, particularly the Asian contemporary.
The 2006 season opens with the world premiere of Quest, a landmark collaboration between two leading Singapore arts companies ¨C the Singapore Dance Theatre and Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO).
Inspired by the music of three Asian composers rendered by the superb SCO, three choreographers - Kim Eun Hee (Korea), Gao Yan Jin Zi (China) and Jeffrey Tan (Singapore) ¨C together create this triple-bill of contemporary dance.
A spread of Singapore talent will be featured in this year¡¯s Festival. The Festival has initiated a new dance developmental platform Forward Moves which this year features four talented young Singapore choreographers.
Other Singapore works include the world premieres of the Festival¡¯s commissions of Drama Box¡¯s A Stranger At Home; The Necessary Stage¡¯s Mobile featuring artists from Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, and Japan; composer and flautist Ghanavenothan Retnam¡¯s Ghana Sangam together with celebrated Sheng player Wu Tong from China.
Other than Play on Earth, two other co-commissions will feature in this year¡¯s line-up.
TheatreWorks¡¯ (Singapore) Asian premiere of Geisha features Kabuki onnagata master Gojo Masanosuke, New York-based performer Karen Kandel (winner of several Obies) and shamisen musician Kineya Katsumatsu. It is conceived and directed by Singapore¡¯s well-known artist Ong Keng Sen and is commissioned by the Singapore Arts Festival, in association with Spoleto Festival (Charleston) and the Lincoln Center Festival (New York).
In another co-commission, French-Vietnamese choreographer Ea Sola returns with an Asian premiere of Drought and Rain ¨C Two Memories, Two Generations. The work co-produced by the Singapore Arts Festival, Th¨¦âtre de la Ville (Paris), New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), L¡¯Espace - French Cultural Centre (Hanoi), Vietnam National Opera Ballet (Hanoi) and Grand Theatre of Groningen (Holland).
The Festival also presents an increasingly noted name from the Asian contemporary arts scene, Chinese choreographer Jin Xing, whose Jin Xing Dance Theatre will perform Shanghai Beauty, a work developed in collaboration with Germany¡¯s Rubato Dance Company.
This year, Festival audiences will also be treated to works by some of the biggest names in international contemporary dance.
Nederlands Dans Theater I (The Netherlands) will present a triple-bill of works including that of Jiř¨ª Kyli¨¢n. Making a Festival debut is Rain by dance luminary Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and her company Rosas (Belgium). Returning to the Festival, choreographer Marie Chouinard¡¯s (Canada) company performs her work bODY_rEMIX/gOLDBERG_ vARIATIONS.
Another treat is New York¡¯s acclaimed SITI Company (USA), led by theatre pioneer Anne Bogart, who will perform the American stage production of the early German Renaissance classic Death and the Ploughman, another Asian premiere.
Finest Classical Music
The lineup this season also boasts some of the best of the classical music world. They include the famed Oslo Philarmonic Orchestra (Norway) with the brilliant young violinist Sarah Chang; Camerata Salzburg (Austria) which will perform a special programme of Mozart¡¯s work; celebrated instrumental and vocal ensemble Collegium Vocale Gent (Belgium), who are known particularly for their outstanding performances of the music of J.S . Bach and will perform J.S. Bach¡¯s mass in B Minor; classical guitar virtuoso John Williams, who will perform with composer Richard Harvey in John Williams and Richard Harvey¡¯s World Tour (UK).

Source: News Release 31 Mar 2006

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