Esplanade Presents

Theatre | Music

Dragon Ladies Don't Weep

Co-commissioned by Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay and Asia TOPA Co-produced by Chamber Made and CultureLink Singapore
Featuring Margaret Leng Tan (Singapore/USA)

21 Oct 2022, Fri, 8pm

22 Oct 2022, Sat, 3pm & 8pm

1hr 15mins

(Intermission: None)

Singtel Waterfront Theatre at Esplanade

This event is over.

Photo Credit: Crispian Chan
Photo Credit: Crispian Chan
Photo Credit: Crispian Chan

“Most superlatives would shortchange Tan for her display of artistry, grace, style, eloquence, presence and physicality.” – Arts Equator


“[Tan] remains a vital and energetic performer, and Dragon Ladies provides us with a rare insight into that which drives her passion as an explorer and pioneer of new musical territories.” – LIMELIGHT


“In a work featuring twelve short musical scores by Erik Griswold, director Tamara Saulwick and Tan have collaborated to devise a uniquely structured, visually stunning choreographic, sound-based performance.” – STAGE WHISPERS


After captivating audiences in Singapore and Australia, the Dragon Lady returns to Esplanade for her debut in the Singtel Waterfront Theatre. Winner of the Best Work of the Year (Dramatic) in the Australian Art Music Awards 2021, Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep is a sonic portrait of new music icon Margaret Leng Tan—an evocative exploration of memory, time, control and loss that sweeps across the senses. 


An autobiographical rumination on the renowned pianist’s personal and professional history, the work reveals the inner workings of a spellbinding performer and vital musical interpreter. It presents a riveting collage of the forces that have shaped Tan’s life and how music has been both her passion and her refuge. A compelling theatre of memory, the production combines spoken and recorded text, projected images and original music for prepared piano, toy piano, toys and percussion by Tan’s long-term collaborator Erik Griswold. 


New York-based Singaporean pianist Tan forged a path as a major force within the American avant-garde, serving as muse to giants such as John Cage and George Crumb, and transforming the toy piano into a serious instrument. Her stellar career is a touchstone for the past 40 years of experimental musical innovation. 


Performed by Tan, Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep is a cross-cultural collaboration created by a team of Singaporean and Australian artists led by Chamber Made director Tamara Saulwick and dramaturg Kok Heng Leun.


A co-production by Chamber Made and CultureLink Singapore, co-commissioned by Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay and Asia TOPA.


Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep received grant funding from the Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grants Program of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and is supported by Creative Victoria, Australia Council for the Arts, National Arts Council (Singapore), The SUBSTATION, Playking Foundation, Asia TOPA, Sidney Myer Fund and the Robert Salzer Foundation.


A programme of In New Light – A Season of Commissions, in celebration of Esplanade’s 20th anniversary.


There will be a post-show meet and greet session with Margaret Leng Tan after every performance.


Mask-wearing is optional. However, audiences are encouraged to continue to exercise responsibility and caution, such as wearing masks when in crowded places.

Admission Age:
6 and above.
Language: English
Things to Note:
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Date & Time

21 Oct 2022, Fri


Singtel Waterfront Theatre at Esplanade

22 Oct 2022, Sat


Singtel Waterfront Theatre at Esplanade


Singtel Waterfront Theatre at Esplanade
Tickets & Prices

Students, NSFs, Seniors & PWDs

Price $45 $36

Esplanade&Me Early Bird Specials

In New Light Package of 4
19 Aug – 18 Sep

(Applicable to Standard tickets only)

Esplanade&Me members can enjoy 20% savings with purchase of 4 tickets to the same programme or across In New Light programmes. Terms & conditions apply.

Esplanade&Me Early Bird Specials

19 Aug – 18 Sep
(Applicable to Standard tickets only)

Black: 20% savings 
White: 15% savings  
Discover: 15% savings (min. 2 tickets, limited) 

Esplanade&Me Specials

19 Sep onwards
(Applicable to Standard tickets only)

Black: 15% savings 
White: 10% savings  
Discover: 10% savings (min. 2 tickets, limited)

Tote Board Arts Grant

All Secondary Schools (Upper Sec), Junior Colleges/ Centralised Institute & ITEs may use the Tote Board Arts Grant to subsidise up to 50% of the programme cost.  

For more details, please contact Esplanade Box Office at 6828 8389 or email


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