Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay’s 18th edition of Moonfest – A Mid-Autumn Celebration marks the occasion with a wide array of free performances of traditional Chinese arts and ticketed workshops for everyone to enjoy with their families and friends. In keeping with the festival’s objective to preserve traditions, Moonfest will present for the very first time, puppetry performances by Sin Hoe Ping, San Chun Long and Sin Ee Lye Heng performed in Henghua, Hainanese and Teochew respectively. There will also be xiqu performances featuring Cantonese Opera excerpts by the Chinese Theatre Circle and a getai concert infused with folk songs, Hokkien and Huangmei Opera. For those who enjoy a play on words, catch a witty crosstalk performance by the Young People’s Performing Arts Ensemble as well as storytelling in radio-play style by father-daughter duo Patrick and Jo Kwek. To push the boundaries of traditional arts, Teochew Opera artist Tan Wei Tian will be collaborating with electronic music producer evanturetime, and young nanyin artists from Siong Leng will team up with guitarist Sebastian Ho to breathe new life to traditional classics. This year, in addition to our parent-child and adult workshops, there will also be a grandparent-child workshop.
This year, Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay’s da:ns festival invites us to immerse ourselves in where dance takes us from 13 – 23 Oct 2022. This is also pertinent as after this edition, we will be transforming the festival into an exciting season of dance programmes spread out through the year, each with specific themes that allow for richer appreciation of this artform. After a hiatus of international dance productions touring to Singapore, this year's festival features diverse works which have tenaciously survived through the pandemic. In Tree of Codes, audiences will be transported into a world of visual and musical overdrive from three visionaries—multi-award-winning choreographer Wayne McGregor, Mercury Prize-winning producer Jamie xx and renowned visual artist, Olafur Eliasson. The Esplanade commission and co-production, No. 60 by Pichet Klunchun Dance Company, arrives in Singapore after its tour in Europe. To celebrate the opening of Singtel Waterfront Theatre at Esplanade, we have commissioned The Human Expression (T.H.E) Dance Company’s newest work, Infinitely Closer. Also featured is Singapore Ballet with Evening Voices, a spirited triple-bill set against the beautiful Marina Bay skyline. Our work-in-progress platform for Asian dancemakers, Forward Shift, will feature new creations by two emerging Asian dancemakers, Hwa Wei-An and Liu I-Ling.
Possibly the longest-running annual jazz event in Singapore, Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay’s Jazz in July celebrates its 15th edition through varied expressions of this music. Throughout the month of July, Esplanade will be bringing to audiences diverse offerings by the Singaporean jazz community, from breezy ballads to edgy free improvisation. These include Louis Soliano, Chok Kerong, Andrew Lim & Tan Weixiang, Aya Sekine, Mario Serio, Joshua Wan, Anson Fung Guitar Trio, Thomson Big Band, and many more. At the same time, the festival welcomes artists from the region and further abroad, such as Aaron Burnett (USA), Lucy Yeghiazaryan (Armenia/USA), Joyce Moreno (Brazil), Loop Doctors (Hungary), Kelapa Muda (Indonesia), Hachul Song Quartet (South Korea), Sunny Rattana Wongsansern & Julian Cary (Thailand), and Hope Yeh Trio (Taiwan). Aside from sharing their unique styles of jazz music, they will also be forging friendships and connections through the various jams and interactions with their counterparts in Singapore. Head down to Esplanade for an exciting 31 days of jazz performances and workshops in July, where there is a flavour of jazz for everyone, regardless of their tastes and inclinations.
Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay presents a line-up of live concerts as part of Mosaic Music Series from July 2022. Singapore artists and bands Forests, Coming Up Roses and brb. kick things off, followed by Linying and Sobs in September and October respectively. These young musicians represent the rich talent and diversity in Singapore’s alternative music scene, and many have journeyed with us through the different stages of their development and growth. After a two-year hiatus, we’re also excited to welcome international artists back at Mosaic. Indie-pop icon, boy pablo (Norway) in November, preceded by K-indie quartet, Say Sue Me, ambient experimental music artist, Meitei from Japan, and Bangkok-based singer-songwriter, Phum Viphurit in October, with many more to be announced in the coming months.
Over the last 19 years, Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay’s The Studios has been a space for inspiration, innovation and imagination. This is the final year of The Studios in the format we are familiar with. The opening of Esplanade’s new Singtel Waterfront Theatre later this year has given this platform the opportunity and space to evolve from 2023 onwards, and we look forward to sharing more about a new iteration of The Studios in time. In this final season of this iteration, our commissioned productions and supporting programmes illustrate how theatre can be construed as an act of collective care as we come together and share a couple of hours, or even a moment of epiphany. We hope that these programmes help you perceive refreshing new ways of living and relating after the circumstances of our recent past.
Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay welcomes everyone back to experience the 21st edition of Pesta Raya – Malay Festival of Arts at the centre, from 26 – 29 May 2022. It is also Esplanade’s 20th anniversary this year and even as we look forward to the future, we take a moment to shine a focus on icons who have shaped our arts and entertainment scene. At the same time, we put a spotlight on the next generation of artists who are making their mark on the scene. In An Evening of Dikir – Teraju Tiga, the Esplanade Concert Hall will come alive in one epic night of dikir barat. Our digital screenings will entertain audiences beyond our shores and those in Singapore who want to experience Pesta Raya from home.
Flipside returns to Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay from 3 – 12 Jun 2022 after two interrupted years. With more borders re-opening, families reuniting and a re-awakening of social, sporting and cultural life, the festival looks more like its pre-COVID self. For the first time in two years as well, we are excited to welcome international artists back to the festival in person. Join us at Flipside with its fun, quirky mix of experiences: from intimate, interactive performances and workshops, to spectacular outdoor events.
As we try to chart an equilibrium between caution and normalcy, it is natural to seek out anchoring influences in our lives. For many, this comes in the form of a belief in something greater than our worldly concerns or a deeper truth beyond our material existence. Some of the most primal expressions of such beliefs are manifested through the stirring power of the voice, and drums that elevate the spirit. They soar, swell, and even physically move us—bringing a visceral experience that cannot be adequately conveyed in words. Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay’s A Tapestry of Sacred Music returns from 25 – 27 Mar 2022 and brings a rich diversity of musical offerings, with focus on two fundamental manifestations of sacred music: the voice and the drum. This year, we are grateful to be able to welcome overseas artists back to perform live, together with practitioners from our local communities.
We are excited to announce the return of March On, Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay’s annual children-centric festival for people below 12 and their families, from 9 – 13 Mar 2022. At the heart of this year’s festival is the question: How does a child’s environment impact their learning and growth? Explore the answers at the festival’s participatory arts experiences and multi-disciplinary programmes for families and schools.
As part of Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay’s 20th anniversary celebrations, the centre presents PopLore – A Year of Singapore Popular Music, a year-long exploration of Singapore’s epic, storied and vibrant popular music from the 1960s to the present and beyond. With a focus on the many popular music forms in English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil, PopLore presents a series of live concerts from January to December 2022, featuring a roster of luminaries in the Singapore music scene such as Dick Lee, Jeremy Monteiro, Marcus Chin and Najip Ali, as well as younger artists including Charlie Lim, Fauzie Laily, Izzathy Halil, Nathan Hartono, Olivia Ong, Shabir and The Freshman. To enrich the experience for audiences and to raise awareness of the history and future possibilities of Singapore’s popular music, the series will also feature podcasts, videos and an exhibition at Esplanade on the various cultural forces, behind-the-scenes players and live music venues which shaped the scene. Produced in consultation with music industry veteran Lim Sek and emerging from the seismic disruption to the scene that is COVID-19, PopLore celebrates the power of music across generations, language and geography, and seeks to spur conversations and reflection on the way forward.
As Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay commemorates the 20th edition of Huayi – Chinese Festival of Arts, we bring to you new, original works by Singapore artists (five commissions and two co-productions) that delve into what really matters in our lives in times like this. In the original play, Between You and Me by Nine Years Theatre, a long-buried family secret is unveiled when a celebrated actress and a mother of three daughters come under the spotlight once again after winning a prestigious film award. Ding Yi Music Company brings you 5lements, a music concert inspired by traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Chinese philosophy. Go on a musical journey that shines a light on mental issues and the importance of feeling connected in Get in Touch – A Theatrical Music Concert featuring pipa artist Gildon Choo and ruan musician Leah Lo, amongst others. Experience the bittersweet stories of women from different eras fighting against traditional female stereotypes told through the language of dance in If It’s Now by Singapore Chinese Dance Theatre.
At the heart of Esplanade’s vision to be an arts centre for everyone, is making sure that the arts is accessible for as many people as possible. Esplanade is proud to take our accessibility and social inclusion efforts further, by becoming Singapore’s first Dementia-Friendly Arts Venue and a Dementia Go-To Point. In addition, a new ticket concession scheme for persons with disabilities (PWDs) will be implemented for all Esplanade Presents programmes launched from December 2021.
Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Singapore’s national performing arts centre, marks the last of its teen years as it turns 19 on 12 Oct 2021. In anticipation of the centre’s 20th anniversary, Esplanade is pleased to share more about its upcoming plans and activities for 2022. Highlights of Esplanade's 20th anniversary in 2022 include new physical and digital spaces for more programmes and experiences; PopLore, a year-long exploration of Singapore's popular music from the 1960s to the present and beyond, and initiatives to make the arts more accessible to the young and to people with different abilities and backgrounds.
Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay's alternative music festival Baybeats marks its milestone 20th edition with a line-up that reflects the raw, unbridled energy of the music community it serves. To allow as many audiences as possible to join in, this year’s festival from 4 – 7 Nov 2021 takes a hybrid format, with live, in-venue and livestreamed performances. The Esplanade Theatre stage welcomes back some of the most iconic Singapore bands who have performed in past editions. A first for the festival—the Esplanade Annexe Studio will feature artists in collaboration with indie organisers, labels and presenters. As with past editions, Baybeats continues to cast a spotlight on younger bands and individuals making a name for themselves through in-person and livestreamed performances. To commemorate this special year, a commissioned four-part video series that explores universal themes surrounding music will premiere on Esplanade Offstage.
Kalaa Utsavam – Indian Festival of Arts marks its 20th year of championing the Indian arts this year. As the first Indian arts festival with a multi-genre focus in Southeast Asia, the festival has sought to be a catalyst for excellence by developing and supporting the creations of Singapore artists in debut performances and premieres. Continuing in this direction, this year’s edition features a breadth of newly produced Singapore works. Over the years, Kalaa Utsavam has also brought artistic teams from all over the world together to raise the bar creatively through commissions and collaborations. This year, a digital commission featuring renowned lyricist Javed Akhtar and acclaimed singer Shankar Mahadevan will allow us to continue showcasing international artists in Kalaa Utsavam, despite current travel restrictions. For the first time, we have specially curated short films by international and Singapore filmmakers. We hope to keep our audiences connected to the rich diversity of Indian culture and the diaspora’s stories through these in-venue and online screenings.
Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay is delighted to present our 17th edition of Moonfest – A Mid-Autumn Celebration featuring a wide array of traditional Chinese arts performances and activities by Singapore and overseas artists. This year, we have planned a hybrid festival comprising both on-site live performances from 17 – 19 Sep 2021, and digital programme offerings till 3 Oct 2021. Everyone can look forward to an eclectic line-up of traditional Chinese art forms ranging from xiqu, music, dance, puppetry, crosstalk and more. At this year’s Moonfest, we have specially curated a series of digital performances by Shanghai Pingtan Troupe, Taiwan Puppet Theater and Foshan Cantonese Opera Troupe which put the spotlight on heroic figures who embodied the “courageous” spirit. This is also the first time Moonfest is featuring pingtan—a 400-year-old genre of musical storytelling performed in the Suzhou dialect. Apart from performances, Moonfest will also feature workshops for parent-child bonding as well as those targeted at adults who are keen to learn more about traditional Chinese arts and culture.
The 16th edition of Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay’s da:ns festival will take place from 8 – 17 Oct 2021 and presents the proposition of finding new ways to dance. Presented within four focal points, it addresses pertinent developments in dance, and sets us towards open pathways for dancing into the future. The festival looks inwards to see outwards, to reflect and celebrate how far and diverse our dance scene in Singapore has become in GO LOCAL. With the ongoing pandemic, dancemakers are expanding more into virtual stages and digital realms, which call upon both artists and audiences to see dance THROUGH A NEW LENS. DANCE REVOLUTION engages with important social issues of our times to empower individuals and communities through dance projects. After a year-long hibernation, we invite dance lovers and curious novices to reset and dance again in PARTICIPATE.
Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay’s newest venue, Singtel Waterfront Theatre gets a roof over its main building and is set to receive its Temporary Occupation Permit end of this year. Officially opening in Jun 2022, Esplanade's new medium-sized venue will host many more new works that express the stories, creativity and artistic talent of Singapore and the region. The three-week opening festival from 22 Jun – 10 Jul 2022 will feature three new works by Singapore and regional artists as well as a host of free performances, talks and other activities. Before that, Esplanade will be inviting various communities of supporters, audiences and artists in Singapore to help the centre finetune this new space through a series of free performances during the trial & orientation programme in early 2022.
Pesta Raya – Malay Festival of Arts has, for the last two decades, been a platform where a wide range of works from the Nusantara are presented and appreciated. From 10 – 27 Jun 2021, the festival will feature live performances, digital performances via live streams, workshops and short films, which will be available for viewing on Esplanade Offstage. Taking centre stage this year are 1970s Singapore icon, Sanisah Huri, who celebrates her 50th year in music, and two productions commissioned for the festival—Pulang Balik a double-bill by Teater Ekamatra and Tempoh by Orkestar Trio (Singapore) and Djangat (Indonesia). This year, the festival has also commissioned a special dance film, Sarung, by acclaimed Indonesian film auteur Garin Nugroho.
Flipside returns to Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay from 28 May – 6 Jun 2021 with renewed vigour after an abrupt cancellation last year due to the pandemic. Many things have changed since; the festival’s DNA, however, remains the same. Flipside’s playful, fun-loving personality continues to lead the way as we invite audiences to revel in quirky inventiveness, witness feats of physical strength, flexibility, courage, creativity and most importantly, to enjoy our shared humanity. This year, the festival will take the form of live, digital and hybrid productions and juggling workshops will also be conducted online by Bornfire Circus.
Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay invites artists, curators, programmers, writers, researchers and practitioners across all disciplines in the performing arts to apply for its inaugural Contemporary Performing Arts Research Residency. Supported by the National Arts Council, Singapore, this new artistic research development programme takes place in Singapore between April and June 2022. The fully-funded residency aims to support creative research in contemporary performing arts and 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.
Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay’s A Tapestry of Sacred Music returns this year from 1 – 4 Apr 2021, gathering different faith communities and artists who perform music rooted in spirituality, in a secular setting. Together, their expression and artistry convey hopes, reaffirms convictions and take our minds to higher contemplations. Though the artforms may stem from different traditions and come in different flavours, the act of performing them is a pertinent response to shared human experiences and emotions, in the face of our present circumstances.
Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay’s brand new annual festival for children, March On, which will take place this year from 10 – 14 Mar 2021. The festival presents arts experiences criss-crossing music, theatre and dance for children below 12 and their families to participate in. The specially curated programmes at March On delve into relevant issues facing the young of today and place children squarely at the centre of the creative process. This children-centric festival not only adds to the range of programmes at Esplanade for young audiences, it is also committed to collaborations and the sharing of thought leadership. The festival will bring together arts practitioners to create new work for young audiences, as well as in panel discussions and talks.
In 2021, we press ‘play’ on some of the live performances in The Studios that had to take a pause in 2020, as well as new ideas that have been laying fallow and waiting for the right time to emerge. A poignant and apt start to the season in January, #THEATRE by INDEX is a site-specific conversation with the Esplanade Theatre. In April, we look forward to welcoming back Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep by Margaret Leng Tan and Lost Cinema 20/20 by Brian Gothong Tan, two commissions that were meant to be a part of The Studios 2020 season. To round off the 2021 season, By Design by CAKE is a playful exploration, looking ahead to new artistic possibilities and expressions at the intersection of graphic design and performance.
As Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay presents the 19th edition of Huayi from 19 Feb to 14 Mar 2021, we invite all of you into our artists’ worlds and creations. During these challenging times, Esplanade remains committed to supporting and working with Singapore artists and has commissioned six new works. These include Toy Factory Productions’ All the World is One’s Stage featuring four Singapore theatre veterans; Nanyin concert Fantasia presented in celebration of Siong Leng Musical Association’s 80th anniversary; puppetry theatre production The Universe According to Niu by Paper Monkey Theatre, and more. Audiences can also look forward to new collaborations between artists in Singapore and overseas. For instance, Singapore’s chamber music ensembles re:mix and Asian Cultural Symphony Orchestra String Ensemble will be performing celebrated Chinese composer Huang Ruo’s A Dust in Time, which was written as a response to the ongoing pandemic.
Following the first online edition of the festival held in Aug 2020, Baybeats returns to Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay for an unprecedented second time this year, from 6 – 8 Nov 2020. At a time when there are still limits to physical gatherings, the team has put together a line-up of digital programmes with livestreamed performances from our crown jewel, the Esplanade Concert Hall and the magnificent Esplanade Theatre. At the Esplanade Annexe Studio, audiences will be able to be part of a special two-way livestreamed experience. We also plan to welcome back small groups of live audiences at the centre for selected performances in line with the government’s regulations. So, grab your gear, roll up your cuffs, gather your troops and rock on(line) and onsite at Baybeats!
Amidst an unexpected and sweeping pandemic, we hold on to hope. The arts has the magnitude to build resilience and vigour in difficult times, connect mankind closer to the beauty of nature and reaffirm the positivity of life in all its permutations. In this 19th edition of Kalaa Utsavam – Indian Festival of Arts, we throw the spotlight on the local Indian arts that has shaped Singapore’s cultural and arts scene. The festival highlights include three digital premieres: Amara – Dancing Stories of Banteay Srei by Apsaras Arts; Pall