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Family Dance Music Theatre

Be in your element

Nuggets of ancient wisdom for a roaring new year


Published: 26 Jan 2022

Time taken : ~10mins

Switch up your horoscope game with guidance from the five elements of Chinese philosophy! Characterised as cosmic forces, the elements of metal, wood, water, fire and earth govern a broad range of phenomena such as core musical tones, personal health and even a country’s fate. All elements are present in any situation, though it is common for one to be dominant. There is a need to achieve balance across these interdependent energies for a happy, healthy life. 

Find out which element best resonates with you and use it as your roadmap to explore programmes at Huayi – Chinese Festival of Arts 2022! Read on, and take our quiz. And if you're interested in finding out more about the relationship between all five elements, check out the illuminating chamber music concert 5lements – A Confluence of Chinese Chamber Music and the Five Elements.

Centred by the lungs, you are grounded in the present moment like the life-sustaining breath. Having a profound sense of purpose makes you a go-getter and perfectionist who doesn’t take long to reach greater heights. Conversely, the lack or loss of your north star can induce a stubborn refusal to let failed plans go. Perhaps this is why your element is associated with the bittersweet autumn and emotion of grief.

Get in Touch - A Theatrical Music Concert is likely to resonate with metal types caught at a fork in the road: No longer fulfilled by her musical passions, protagonist B embarks on a journey towards mental wellness and self-actualisation. Her desire to be part of something greater is conveyed through a riveting fusion of contemporary jazz, Chinese folk music and dramatic narration.

The ancient Chinese liken the liver to a general armed with foresight and strategy. With this corresponding organ, you thrive in places where you can flex your organisational skills. Akin to the elegant bamboo in springtime, you are also guided by high morals and refuse to bend to the winds. Structure may be your forte, but you are also unafraid to break the rules if they are sketchy or hinder your growth. Do keep your primary emotion of anger in check when stumbled by injustice!

The Universe According to Niu – Puppetry Production for Childrendramatises a dilemma that may be familiar to wood types. Stand by Niu as he makes a difficult choice between saving his kingdom or abandoning a corrupt system that failed him. First staged in 2021 for Huayi, this lively puppetry performance returns to entertain and enlighten young audiences on-screen.

Intuitive and introspective, you do not shy away from opportunities to delve into deeper emotional waters. Such intrepidity is backed by trust in the flow of your life—an innate trait believed to be stored within the kidneys. 

Being attuned to your own feelings and those of others makes you an effective communicator who builds excellent rapport. On the flipside, an unexpected tidal wave of sensitivities can trigger your corresponding emotion of fear. Similar to a frozen lake in winter—the season linked to water types—it can incur paralysis and a great deal of indecisiveness. Between You and Me reveals the strengths of sincere communication in resolving brooding conflicts. Witness how a veteran actress and her three daughters navigate a shattering family secret while fighting their own battles. Written and directed by local thespian Nelson Chia, this play is bound to tug the water type’s tender heartstrings.

You light up the room with your infectious joy. Ruled by the heart and the warm season of summer, your passion is easily set ablaze, spurring you to execute your next big idea. Paired with the gift of staying optimistic during the bleakest of times, you’re a natural leader amongst your peers. The flip side of this fieriness would be your mood swings and impatience, which can bring about unnecessary interpersonal conflict. 

Fire types can look forward to the musical camaraderie of Gather Your Kakis!, comprising merrymakers with a shared love for Chinese ensemble music. Be moved by their zesty repertoire of classic and reimagined pieces.

Those with a penchant for innovation can also tune in to Read Sing Eileen Chang (Screening). Building on the literary icon’s voracious spirit, this film presents her life’s works in a new perspective using stage technology. 

Your reputation as a nurturer spreads far and wide—extending from your loved ones to the community at large. People look up to you as the responsible team player. Governed by the spleen, you also have an appetite for all things culinary and crafty. At times, being down-to-earth to a fault can result in a lack of imagination as well as pessimism. Considering your association with late summer, it does make sense why you’re worried about what’s to come.

Earth types will likely enjoy Huayi’s documentary-workshop series Rekindle. Learn to make your own rubber stamps with Droolstamps, or paint tote bags inspired by traditional Chinese motifs with tobyato. These limited designs are inspired by the two contemporary artists’ conversations with their veteran counterparts. 

Little ones can also catch Karung Guni Boy, a play that demonstrates how a little imagination and care towards the people around us can go a long way. This is Esplanade’s first performance that is interpreted in Singapore sign language by a narrator, as part of ongoing efforts to nurture an arts ecosystem for all.

All illustrations by Ang Wei Tyng.

Take our quiz below to see which element you most resonate with!

A roaring new year

Huayi – Chinese Festival of Arts

Join us as we mark the 20th year of Huayi with blockbuster productions and exciting programmes that celebrate Chinese arts and culture!

11 Feb – 6 Mar 2022

See all programmes
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