Singapore International Festival of Arts unveils line-up under new director

One of the headlining acts at SIFA 2018 is a stage adaptation of George Orwell’s “1984”. (Photo: SIFA 2018)

Making his debut as new festival director, Gaurav Kripalani unveiled this year’s Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) line-up this week.

Speaking at the media conference on Monday (5 Feb), the artistic director of the Singapore Repertory Theatre said, “I am thrilled to present a diverse range of art forms and world perspectives in a re-imagined presentation of the Festival to appeal to both newcomers and art enthusiasts. With programming anchored in strong, compelling narratives, SIFA 2018 will feature game-changers who push boundaries, whether through impactful stories they tell or how they advance their art form.”

Making reference to the festival’s origin, Kripalani said, “I hope to ignite the imagination of all in the same way the arts festival inspired mine 26 years ago.”

Running from 26 April to 12 May 2018, the 41st edition of SIFA 2018 presents headline acts including an award-winning theatrical adaptation of the literary masterpiece, George Orwell’s “1984”; an evening of poetry and love by doyenne of Indian cinema Shabana Azmi and poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar; and a concert by two-time Grammy winner and jazz musician Jacob Collier.

The festival is commissioned by the National Arts Council and organised by Arts House Limited, which oversees management of art spaces. The Arts House is making its debut as the new Festival House, the centre of festival activities where workshops and talks will be held. 

Over the opening weekend, Empress Lawn will feature free outdoor experiences including an outdoor circus theatre piece by France’s Cirque Rouages, evening concerts and pop-up dance performances. There will also be a free outdoor concert in the Singapore Botanic Gardens by the iconic American jazz orchestra, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, to close the festival. 

SIFA 2018 includes dance and music such as tap dance showcase The Blues Project by famous dancer Michelle Dorrance and a dance piece that will pop up in unexpected locations in Singapore.

Two Singaporean artists will be presenting site-specific works at some of our national monuments. Singapore director, Zelda Tatiana Ng, will take audiences on a multi-media, theatrical journey through the National Gallery from the former holding cells to the courtroom, in art collective Ground Z-0’s “0600”.

Local storyteller Kamini Ramachandran will uncover “The Hidden” at the 180-year-old Armenian Church to unearth the lives of travellers, lovers and heroes from domains both real and imagined.

Besides engaging local and international artists and companies, SIFA 2018 is also collaborating with independent arts intermediary Centre 42, and Asian Film Archive.

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