We believe that the arts is for everyone. It is why we offer a diverse range of performances and activities that appeal to the broadest of audiences. Throughout the year, we present a diverse range of festivals and programme series, hence the name, Esplanade Presents.
What exactly are festivals and programme series? Festivals take place annually and they last between three and ten days. Programme series happen all year round, so there's always something happening at the centre.
As a cultural institution in Singapore, our programme offerings mirror the diversity in modern society, celebrating the heritage and artistry of Chinese, Malay and Indian cultures. Coinciding with the major community celebrations are our cultural festivals, that aim to connect our ethnic communities with one another through the arts.
We support Singapore artists and arts groups, providing them with a platform to hone their craft. At the same time, we hope to catalyse the development of various art forms in Singapore, particularly in dance, music, theatre and visual arts.
The festivals and series that we present feature home-grown and regional talents alongside internationally acclaimed artists and arts groups. We also actively collaborate with other organisations and independent arts groups to increase and diversify our arts offerings. We also present new and original works, encouraging fresh perspectives.
The arts touches lives and we hope to touch as many people as we can through the arts. As a not-for-profit organisation, we programme and make affordable performances, talks, workshops and a host of other activities, for the young and old, for families, for newcomers, for arts lovers.
That means that there are close to 3,000 performances every year. And the best part, approximately 70% of our programmes are free!
It is our pride to have performed in your centre. Our greatest reward was being able to share this cultural heritage with the passionate Singapore audience in a three-hour performance. The success of our performance was made possible by the invitation from the centre, the modern technology of the theatre, the warm hospitality, and the well cultured staff and audience. All these will stay in our mind for years to come. We thank the Esplanade from the bottom of our hearts, and we look forward to future collaborations. Wang Bin, Assistant Director, Peach Blossom Fan, Huayi, Feb 2010
At a glance: our festivals and series
- Opening of Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay
- Launch of Kalaa Utsavam – Indian Festival of Arts to celebrate Indian arts and culture during Deepavali
- Launch of Pesta Raya – Malay Festival of Arts to celebrate Malay arts and culture during Hari Raya Puasa
- Launch of Huayi – Chinese Festival of Arts to celebrate Chinese arts and culture during the Chinese New Year
- Development of 13 new regular programme series that spanned the different performing art forms, at differing levels of sophistication, so there would always be something for everyone. These include On The Waterfront, Coffee Morning & Afternoon Tea, A Date with Friends, Beautiful Sunday, Classics and Mosaic.
- Launch of Flipside, a three-week festival of wacky and off-beat quality acts to complement the then Singapore Arts Festival (now Singapore International Festival of Arts).
- Launch of Octoburst!, a festival for the little ones in celebration of Children's Day
- Launch of Moonfest – A Mid Autumn Festival that profiles traditional Chinese arts
- Launch of Mosaic Music Festival, the first genre-specific festival at Esplanade, which aimed to develop new audiences and grow and nurture Singapore musicians. It runs for 10 editions up till 2014.
- Launch of Marina Bay Countdown (renamed Marina Bay Singapore Countdown in 2008), a contemplative celebration that gathers the community in reflecting the past year as they welcome the year ahead.
- Launch of da:ns festival, Esplanade's second genre-specific festival for dance. It aims to foster appreciation of dance, develop the dance scene and audience in Singapore.
- Seven new programme series started to further develop local audiences and artists: Feed Your Imagination (FYI), Limelight, PLAYtime!, Bitesize, Electrolab, Pentas and concerts by community groups.
- Launch of A Tapestry of Sacred Music to introduce new sounds and experiences, encouraging audiences to immerse themselves in the joy of life as they encounter different forms of sacred music from all over the world.
- Launch of Yfest, a festival dedicated to youth featuring a mix of music, dance, art and spoken word activities for everyone. It runs for 6 editions till 2015.
- Launch of Voices – A Festival of Song, a festival that celebrates the art of ensemble singing in a variety of vocal styles, traditional and contemporary alike.
- Launch of Super Japan – Japanese Festival of Arts, a one-off festival that aims to immerse audiences in the arts, cultures and traditions unique to Japan. It also celebrates some of the relationships that we have built with Japanese artists and arts groups over the past 14 years.
Dear friends at Esplanade, we have performed over the last five years in more than 300 venues and it is a pleasure and honour to come and perform for Singapore’s audience. We have been received like kings and treated with great respect. And we hope that through our performances the audience felt like kings and queens! You have wonderful people working behind the scenes of this festival (Mosaic), a world class venue, magnificent organisation and an amazing programme. Thank you so much for inviting us. We hope to come back again at the venue or as part of the festival to offer our music to a new audience. All the best from all of us! The Seckou Keita Quintet, band, Mosaic Music Festival, Mar 2009