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     FrontPage Edition: Sat 24 April 2004

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Singapore Arts Festival 2004


Delight in intensely colourful and glorious performances when Singapore's annual celebration of the arts reaches full bloom this June.

As an international arts festival with a distinctive Asian flavour, the 2004 Singapore Arts Festival brings Singapore and Asia to the world and the world to Singapore with its new season featuring more than 300 performances by 1500 artists from over 32 cities.

International commissions, new and the latest works, young and emerging companies, and Singaporean artists in major collaborations continue to feature in the 2004 Festival. Audiences will be engaged by the wide-ranging programmes from the best and latest in contemporary works to traditional classics, massive productions to intimate shows, which are accessible and affordable to all.

The 2004 Festival core programme presents four world premieres.

The Festival Gala features the highly sought-after young choreographer extraordinaire Akram Khan with his newest and biggest creation to date, Ma, oven-fresh from a two-week residency in Singapore. Ma is a co-production between the Festival and other major festivals and arts centres from Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, UK and USA.

Two local theatres will present commissions based on historic events in the region. TheatreWorks collaborates with Japanese and Australian artists to present Sandakan Threnody, an evocative account from wartime survivors of the Borneo death march at the end of the second World War. Sandakan is jointly presented by the Festival with the Melbourne International Arts Festival and Brisbane Festival.

Checkpoint Theatre presents a chamber opera epic OPIUME, based on the opium wars and featuring music composed by Mark Chan, performed by T'ang Quartet, musicians from Hong Kong and western opera singers from Australia. OPIUME is jointly presented with Hong Kong's New Vision Arts Festival.

New exciting local dance group Ah Hock and Peng Yu will present PENG YU, an all-male alliance with choreographers and dancers from Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

In addition, four international productions will make their Asian premieres at the Festival.

Celebrated Compañía Rafaela Carrasco from Spain bringing their contemporary interpretations of the emotive passion synonymous with flamenco in La Música del Cuerpo or The Music of the Body.

National Theatre of Northern Greece choreographer Konstantinos Rigos brings his edgy Swan Lake City, examining human behaviour in a trailer-park setting.

Outstanding Brazilian choreographer Deborah Colker brings her brand of exhilarating physical dance in MIX.

Also coming from the American continent to our side of the globe is Certain Inhabitants' Theatre from Mexico with their theatre, silent film and Japanese silent film narration tradition benshi production El Automóvil Gris (The Grey Automobile).


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Public Holidays LABOUR DAY is the next public holiday. It falls on 1 May 2004.