Full Album Here: Singapore Night Festival 2015 Weekend 2
This is the second and final weekend of the Singapore Night Festival 2015. (For those of you who missed the writeup on Weekend 1, have a gander here: Singapore Night Festival 2015 – Weekend 1.)
Having gone through most of the performances and installations of the first SNF weekend, I did not know quite what to expect of the second. On paper, the anchor performance by Theatre Tol looked positively anemic alongside the incendiary ways of Starlight Alchemy. I am glad to say that I was quite badly mistaken.
The first encounter with the troupe was at their street parade, which was something right out of Alice in Wonderland…should that particular tale include float-elevated parades and pigs on rollerskates. Theatre Tol’s performance this year was inspired by the paintings of Marc Chagall and the historical essence of their venue. The parade was remarkable in having performers both on the ground and astride floats, guaranteeing visibility to all and sundry who remain bogged down by the sheer pack of humanity on Armenian Street. Despite that obvious drawback, experiencing the surreal parade winding its way up and down the street was well worth it.
The performers returned in their Garden of Angels performance before the National Museum of Singapore. The early part of the show included the powerful delivery of Italian arias like O Mio Babbino Caro alongside the crystal strains of their animal charmer violinist and Fez-adorned sorceror.
It culminates in a remarkable routine with a carousel of angels suspended from a construction crane, positively covering the crowd in confetti and feathers even as the tumbling acrobat made her pyrotechnics-encouraged descent to the main stage. (Yes, I would not keep angels as pets; they clearly shed too much)
Theatre Tol done and duly applauded, my friend and I chanced upon the fiery Soniquete performance by Flamenco Sin Fronteras. It is a performance that is worthy of the flamenco appellation, with sheer passion fueling every earth-shattering step the dancers took. A shame the performance was not astride a stage, where more could appreciate its glory.
Finally, we visited SAM @ 8Q, with some quite remarkable installations. While these installations are part of the museum’s current President’s Young Talents 2015 display rather than a subset of the Night Festival proper, they are certainly worth mentioning. Amongst the noteworthy installations were Ezzam’s flowers in Here’s Who I Am, I Am What You See…made from his very own dead skin. Truly inspirational for considerations on matters of the flesh.
Another was Haykal’s Necropolis For Those Without Sleep, with an outlandishly slow mechanical turk playing both sides of a lopsided chess match, creating an experience that immerses the audience in the experience of gross inequality. It certainly delivered on that count.
All told, I was initially skeptical of this year’s SNF offerings, but that certainly turned around the more I saw of the festival and especially from experiencing what I did on the last night. I am certainly glad for the company of all concerned, and with that I will now close the chapter on this year’s SNF. See you next year!
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