Local businesses take center stage at the Singapore International Arts Festival

SINGAPORE – Models, Malaysian drummers and Indian classical dancers will share the stage in Ceremonial Enactments, one of the main commissions of this year’s Singapore International Arts Festival (Sifa).

It returns this year from May 20 to June 5 with the new festival director Natalie Hennedige, 47, at the helm.

The founder and artistic director of Cake Theatrical Productions, known for her multidisciplinary approach to artistic creation, organizes her three-year tenure under the overarching theme, The Anatomy Of Performance.

Guests at a media preview at Pasir Panjang Power Station on Tuesday evening (February 22) got a taste of what will be on offer this year, inspired by the subtitle Ritual.

Ceremonial Enactments features fashion designer Max Tan’s Ang, a fashion performance inspired by his mother and Southeast Asian birth rituals; 293NW by Nadi Singapura, a look at the ceremonies of a Malaysian wedding; and Yantra Mantra, which features an ancient temple cleansing dance ritual, by Artistic Director of Bhaskar Academy of Arts, Santha Bhaskar.

Hennedige said at the event that the emphasis on performance and multidisciplinary process “is a way of reflecting a dissolving of categories or labels, of instead inviting and embracing collaborations and collaborators artistically. fluids”.

She noted that this is how contemporary art is currently done and Sifa, which marks its 45th edition this year, aims to keep pace with current developments in a complex and rapidly changing world.

“Sifa 2022, as such, brings together within individual creations a range of artistic disciplines, practices and perspectives, inviting practitioners of vivid cultural hues from different backgrounds to embrace a mix of genres, artistic disciplines and internationality in performances by artists with strong and unique perspectives in the courageous, dynamic and universal language of art,” she added.

The cavernous space of the Pasir Panjang Power Station will host the opening commission, Mepaan.

The multimedia piece is anchored by the Singapore Chinese Orchestra and Borneo cultural agency The Tuyang Initiative. It will also feature costume designs by Tan, photography by Singaporean Sean Lee and the work of indigenous Sarawak filmmaker Harry Frederick.

Another local production is Bangsawan Gemala Malam, the reworking of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Teater Ekamatra.

Darcy J. Skinner