Contemporary Performing Arts Research Residency

An artistic research development programme that aims to support creative research in contemporary performing arts.



Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay invites artists, curators, programmers, writers, researchers and practitioners across all disciplines in the performing arts to apply for the Contemporary Performing Arts Research Residency, taking place in Singapore between April and June 2024. In its second cycle, the Contemporary Performing Arts Research Residency is an artistic research development programme by Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, supported by the National Arts Council, Singapore.


The fully-funded residency aims to support creative research in contemporary performing arts by providing its residents the time and space for artistic inquiry, experimentation, development, research activities and opportunities for interdisciplinary and transcultural dialogues. The residency welcomes various manners and methodologies of enquiry, embracing a pluralistic approach towards research that unfolds not only through the written word, but also includes forms of experimentation with the body, performed moments, and other non-traditional systems of knowledge.


There is no commitment for residents to create a production during or after the residency. Instead, residents will be asked to present at least one public programme of their choosing, developed in conversation with the Esplanade Team.


The residency is a duration of between one month to three months long and residents will receive a stipend, access to a shared-working space, studios when required, as well as accommodation and international travel to or from Singapore, if from abroad.


There will be biennial open calls held for applications to the residency and each cycle will revolve around a thematic focus conceived to respond to current critical issues in our society. In 2024, the residency presents the thematic focus Decentring Access.


Residents are chosen through a Selection Panel comprising leading international curators, programmers, academics, artists and managers. They have been appointed based on their thought-provoking practices, dynamic networks with practitioners from a wide variety of disciplines and their invaluable knowledge of the performing arts across Singapore, Asia and beyond. The Selection Panel will also serve as interlocutors in the programme’s development and be available as consultants for all residents.


The Selection Panel of the 2024 Contemporary Performing Arts Research Residency are:


Guy Cools, Dance Dramaturg and Professor at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Canada


Shubigi Rao, Artist, writer and Curator of Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2022


Shzr Ee Tan, Reader and ethnomusicologist, Royal Holloway, University of London, United Kingdom


Faith Tan, Director, Programming (Dance, Theatre, Visual Arts & International Development)


Jia Jia Hoon, Deputy Director, Sector Development (Performing Arts), National Arts Council, Singapore


The residency invites individuals working and researching within any discipline(s) in the performing arts in Singapore and across the world to submit proposals that complement the conceptual lines set by the thematic focus alongside their artistic practice.


As a partner for Contemporary Performing Arts Research Residency 2024, Dance Nucleus will co-host the 2 dance projects by Hasyimah Harith & Ayu Permata Sari and Jared Jonathan Luna, who will be given access to their rehearsal space.


The residency is also supported by NAC's Arts Resource Hub which supports arts Self-Employed Persons (SEPs) and freelance practitioners in Singapore to unlock new opportunities and grow meaningful careers.

Open Call for 2024 Residency Outcome


Announcing the Residents of Esplanade's Contemporary Performing Arts Research Residency 2024! The open call received an overwhelming number of 265 applications, spanning diverse disciplines and contexts. We thank everyone for their enthusiastic interest and support.


Following rigorous review and deliberations by the Selection Panel, we are pleased to announce three independent practitioners and three duos as Residents from April – June 2024 within the thematic focus of Decentring Access. Get to know the residents of 2024 and their research, traversing disciplinary boundaries, challenging existing systems, and aiming to collectively expand artistic inquiry, experimentation and discourse for the future.


If you wish to connect with any of the residents about their research, you may contact

Residents of 2024

Get to know the residents of 2024 and their research: three independent practitioners and three duos, selected from 265 applications across disciplines and in diverse contexts.

Decentring Access


Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay is seeking participants for its 2024 Contemporary Performing Arts Research Residency. Intended for Singapore and international artists, curators, programmers, writers, researchers and practitioners across all disciplines in the performing arts, the second edition of the residency welcomes artistic research projects and inquiries in the contemporary performing arts that confront “access” through a broad and critical scope.


A term frequently used in conversations revolving around healthcare, education, universally designed and accessible spaces, the thematic focus Decentring Access aims to engage the term’s multiple definitions and usages in all contexts and facilitate nuance into access-related discussions. Engaging with the dynamics of inclusion and exclusion, the residency seeks to support research projects that employ performativity as a lens to examine pertinent issues today. These topics are not limited to equity, inclusivity in physical and digital worlds, movement, ownership, climate crisis, power relations, age, gender, race, disability, language and knowledge circulation.


These impulses also endeavour to investigate the intersectional confluences of thinking about access in social, cultural, economic, practical, regulatory, institutional and technological spheres, and understand access needs as coming from plural and decentralised ways of knowing and experiencing the world.


The residency welcomes proposals that complement and interpret the conceptual lines of the thematic focus alongside the applicant’s artistic practice and interest.

Photo credit: Pawel Wyszomirski

Guy Cools is a Belgian dance dramaturg, who has also worked as a dance critic and dance curator. From 1990 – 2022, he curated the dance programme of Arts Centre Vooruit in Ghent, Belgium. As a production dramaturg, he has worked with the likes of Jean Abreu (UK), Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui (BE), Akram Khan (UK), amongst many others. As a dramaturgical mentor, he has been mentoring Anghiari Dance Hub, the project Danse et Dramaturgie in Switzerland, the Biennale Dance College in Venice and the Atlas program of Impulstanz in Vienna. Cools has also lectured and taught at different universities and arts colleges in Europe and Canada, and was until recently a postdoctoral research fellow at S:PAM Research Center, University of Ghent, where he completed his practice-based PhD. He is currently a full-time professor in the dance department of Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Canada. His most recent publications include Performing Mourning. Laments in Contemporary Art (2021), The Choreopolitics of Alain Platel’s les ballets C de la B, co-edited with Christel Stalpaert and Hildegard De Vuyst (2019) and Imaginative Bodies, Dialogues in Performance Practices (2016).

Photo credit: Alfonse Chiu

Shubigi Rao is a multidisciplinary Singaporean artist whose fields of study include histories and lies, literature and violence, libraries and archival systems, ecologies and natural history. Her films, art, books, and photographs look at current and historical flashpoints as perspectival shifts, and examine contemporary crises of displacement, whether of people, languages, cultures, or knowledge bodies. Since 2014, she has been working on Pulp: A Short Biography of the Banished Book, her decade-long film, book and visual art project about the ideologies behind censorship and book destruction. Rao's works have been exhibited in international biennales and institutions, most recently the 10th Asia Pacific Triennial, Brisbane, Australia (2021-22), with upcoming solo shows in 2023 at Rossi and Rossi Gallery, Hong Kong, and Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai, China. In 2022 she represented Singapore at the 59th International Venice Biennale, Italy. She has won numerous accolades for her visual art practice and literary works. Rao is currently the Artistic Director for the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2022.

Shzr Ee Tan is Reader and ethnomusicologist—with a specialism in Sinophone and Southeast Asian worlds—at Royal Holloway, University of London (RHUL). She is committed to decolonial and EDI (equality, diversity and inclusion) work in music and the performing arts, with interests in how race discourses intersect problematically with class, gender and recent debates on posthuman digitalities, climate change and multispecies thinking. Her writings have appeared in imprints by Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Palgrave Macmillan and Routledge, among other publishers. Her scholarly works include Digital Inequality and Global Sounds, Cambridge University Press (2019) and the monograph, Beyond 'Innocence': Amis Aboriginal Song in Taiwan as an Ecosystem, Routledge (2012). Tan is also an active musician with a background in classical piano, Korean percussion, tango/Balkan accordion, Chinese and Okinawan lutes (sanxian and sanshin), and the Chinese fiddle (erhu). Venues in which she has performed include the South Bank and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London as well as The Arts House, Singapore.

Faith Tan has over 19 years of programming, producing, management and international networking experience in the performing arts. She was Head of Programme Development at Dance House Helsinki, Finland in 2020, where she co-initiated a commission programme for new dance productions by Finnish dancemakers. She is currently the Head of Dance and International Development, in Singapore’s national arts centre, Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay. Under her direction, Esplanade’s da:ns festival and series in Singapore co-produced productions by world renowned artists, commissioned and championed new work from significant Asian dancemakers, supported the practice of dramaturgs for dance, presented a large public participatory programme, as well as an artist lab and seminar workshops. Tan’s work at Esplanade included overseeing the Theatre department between 2017 – 2019, and programming music for the Mosaic Music Festival from 2005 – 2012. She is a founding member of the Asian Network for Dance (AND+) and serves on panels for grants from the National Arts Council in Singapore. Tan holds a Masters degree in Arts and Cultural Management.

Jia Jia Hoon joined the National Arts Council in 2005. Over the years, her portfolio included policymaking and implementing programmes for the music and traditional arts sectors. She had also worked on various initiatives to strengthen the capabilities of the arts sector, including a fundraising training programme (in partnership with LASALLE College of the Arts), the Singapore Regional Fellowship (in partnership with ISPA) and the Arts Resource Hub. In 2014, she obtained a MA in Culture, Policy and Management from City, University of London, graduating with the Head of Department Prize for the highest overall mark.

Open Call for 2024 Residency


The Open Call for this cycle of the Contemporary Performing Arts Research Residency at Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay starts on 3 Mar 2023 and closes on 7 May 2023.

3 Mar 2023

Start of Open Call

7 May 2023

Deadline to submit application (11:59pm, GMT+8)

May – Jul 2023

Review of the applications by the Selection Panel

End Aug 2023

Announcement of the outcome

Apr – Jun 2024

Residency period in Singapore

Before applying for the residency, applicants are asked to keep the following in mind:


  • Only research proposals will be considered—production and rehearsal proposals will not be accepted.

  • As a physical space will be granted to conduct research, it is expected that residents will commit to using the space within the residency programme dates.

  • The residency is self-directed. Residents should be open to dialogues on their research and practice with the residency panel, fellow residents and, where appropriate, the public as well as the artistic community in Singapore.

  • Residents are expected to conduct a public programme (live or virtual) related to their research (such as talks, workshops, etc.)

  • Research content or artistic form has to be contemporary and related to the performing arts.

Eligibility: The residency is open to artists, curators, programmers, writers, researchers and practitioners who practice in contemporary performing arts, at any stage of their career. The residency can accept applications from companies, ensembles, collectives, work groups or duos but can only provide funding, work space, airfare and accommodation (if from overseas) for one (1) person.

  • A stipend of S$2,000 per month (minimum one month, maximum three months)

  • An allowance of up to S$1,000 for research materials or support (subject to approval)

  • Shared-working space for all residents

  • Studio spaces when required

  • Accommodation and international airfare to and from Singapore, if from abroad

  • Resources for organising a public programme (to be further discussed with the residency team)

  • Access to the Selection Panel for consultation to help strengthen the research

  • Access to other residents for peer feedback and support, if sought

  • Programming support in the form of research connections, networking, etc.

a. Completed Application Form

All applicants will have to submit their application via the online application form, found here. A completed application includes fully filling in mandatory fields in the form, including an online file sharing platform link for items b – f listed below.


b. Research Proposal

In the research proposal, the applicant should articulate the following:


  • Describe the content and aims of the research, and how it relates to your artistic practice.

  • The purpose and meaning of being able to develop the research in the context of a residency in Singapore and/or Southeast Asia.

  • How the research relates to the thematic focus of the residency.

  • Any preliminary ideas* and thoughts towards what kind of public programme you may wish to have. This can take the form of talks, workshops or presentations which will be open to the public.


*Please note that these preliminary ideas are not central in the evaluation of the proposal. Residents will be accepted based on the strength of their proposed research subject.


In addition to text, you may use any medium you find useful to best describe your research proposal, be it various forms of text such as essays, scripts or narratives, audio such as recordings, sound art or music, and videos such as recordings, performance documentation, and so on. We would prefer a maximum of 1,500 words for texts and 12 minutes for audio and video.


The research proposal must be saved in PDF with first and last name of the applicant as follows: Proposal_FirstNameLastName.pdf


c. A short video presentation

The application must be accompanied by a short video presentation (5 minutes maximum) in which the applicant presents their practice, a summary of their research proposal for the residency and shares why this residency at Esplanade will be valuable to their research/practice.


The video must be saved in MP4 format with first and last name of the applicant as follows: Video_FirstNameLastName.mp4


d. Curriculum Vitae and Biography

The Curriculum Vitae must be saved in PDF format with first and last name of the applicant as follows: CV_FirstNameLastName.pdf


e. Portfolio of selected works

(web/video links, images, etc. must not exceed 12 pages)

The Portfolio must be saved in PDF format with first and last name of the applicant as follows: Portfolio_FirstNameLastName.pdf


f. Optional: Any other supporting documents which give us a better understanding of your work or research such as reviews, interviews, or references, if any or relevant. Supporting documents must not exceed 6 pages and must be saved in PDF format with first and last name of the applicant as follows: Supportingdocs_FirstNameLastName.pdf


The working language of the residency is English, therefore all information in the application form, research proposal, video presentation, curriculum vitae and biography, portfolio and supporting documents must be in English, and translations are required for non-English text. If there are any issues, please contact us prior to the submission at

Submission Procedure: All required documents must be submitted through the online application form by 30 April 2023, Sun (11.59pm, GMT +8). Please upload all documents and files to Google Drive and share the link via the field indicated in the online form. Please include information of your access needs, if any.


Do note that incomplete applications will not be considered.


Update: The deadline for the Open Call has been extended to 7 May 2023, Sun (11:59pm, GMT+8)


Your details will be stored securely for the purposes of this application and will be used only for the purpose of evaluation for the residency. We will delete the files to your application and any associated documents after six (6) months from the completion of the selection process.


For any questions or feedback, please email:

Eligibility and Application

The Contemporary Performing Arts Research Residency is open to artists, curators, programmers, writers, researchers and practitioners at any stage of their career who practice in contemporary performing arts. This includes but is not limited to theatre, dance, music and multidisciplinary works. The residency is for those who live and work in Singapore or anywhere in the world.

The residency can accept applications from such groups or organisations but can only provide funding, work space, air fare and accommodation (if from overseas) for one (1) person.

All applicants will be notified of their selection results by End Aug 2023.

Living in Singapore

The Residency is unable to accommodate and support the stay of family members, relatives, partners, and other guests.

Health insurance will not be provided by Esplanade. Residents are highly encouraged to purchase their own travel insurance, preferably one with medical coverage. All residents are expected to be responsible for their own health and well-being.

Other Questions

Yes, residents require a permit to stay in Singapore. The application for such permits will be done through Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay.

Yes, as long as the resident spends least 80% of the residency term in Singapore making active use of the studio space.

We will not provide any additional funding for accommodation and travel expenses beyond residents’ stay in Singapore.


We seek to support access and establish a safe and welcoming space to facilitate the participation of the widest range of people possible.


We acknowledge our potential blind spots and assumptions, and seek to learn and address the perspectives of others with diverse subjectivities and lived experiences whenever possible.


For any questions or feedback, please email:

2022 Thematic Focus – Potential Territorialities: Body, Space and Identity in Performance

Each year, the residency is framed around a thematic focus that is conceived in response to the present states of our lived realities.

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