Monday, 27 January 2014

Private Peaceful: Young soldier facing brutality of war

A young WWI soldier Tommo Peaceful was in a cell waiting to be executed for cowardice.  For his last hours, he remembered his childhood in rural Devon, his schooling, his brother Charlie and first love Molly, and of course, how he was drafted into the army.  The play Private Peaceful was adapted and directed by Simon Reade, based on a book by Michael Morpurgo.

The story took place in the prison cell, and soon we were transported to the Devon countryside, the battlegrounds in Europe. The stage was pretty bare but under the direction of Simon Reade, and with minimal props, it was transformed from a prison cell into a battlefield.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Chinese New Year Light Up at Chinatown 2014

Horses galloping along Eu Tong Sen Street - this was the design of this year's Lunar New Year light-up at Chinatown, to ushering Year of the Horse.

I personally like the day time effect of these horses.

On the other end of Chinatown, another set of horses along South Bridge Road.

Chinatown was bustling with people shopping with Chinese New Year goodies.

Talking about China New Year, we cannot not talk about Yu Shang, the prosperous raw fish dish.

We had this meal at Red Star Restaurant, located at the fringe of Chinatown.

Let's hope for a prosperous and healthy 2014!

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

A slightly different Art Stage 2014

There was a big crowd waiting to enter the last day (Sunday) of Art Stage, a major art fair in Singapore held at Marina Bay.  The first impression was that there was more space for visitors to walk around, compared to last year.

Some art works looked familiar, probably due to the same galleries participating.  A unique feature of this year's Art Stage was the various Country or Region platforms.

Soe Naing's Intermission on Stage, where the artist was present to create his work.

Victor Balanon's Orpheus Reversed (Philippines), which drew inspirations from film montages

Thursday, 16 January 2014

SPROUTS 2014: Battle field for budding dance choreographers (5th Edition)

The School of the Arts Theatre was abuzz with excitement as the audience and supporters were getting ready for Sprouts, a platform cum competition for young choreographers.  The competition was organised by the National Arts Council and Frontier Danceland.

The competition opened with Jam (Malay word for 'Time') by Norhaizad Adam.  The concept of time was well articulated. The ticking of the clock sound made by the dancers was a bit weak though.

Koh Jia Ler's Interface "explores the interaction between the distinct entities of oil and water".  A simple piece of work, and a good effort from a young dancer.  For the contestants, all of them had the opportunity to work with a mentor to finetune their work.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

An evening celebrating the songwriting talent of Yusnor Ef

While I have heard of the name Yusnor Ef, a well known lyricist in Malay music, I never had the opportunity to hear his work.  It was thus a good opportunity to attend a retrospective of his songs on New Year's Day held at the Esplanade Concert Hall.

It was a good turnout at the concert, which was titled "Malam Aku, Dia & Lagu. While I could not understand his lyrics, I enjoyed the performance put up by artists of various generations.  Besides Rahimah Rahim and Sezari, I got to know more Malay singers such as Sansiah Huri, Maria Bachok, Zamzam, A Razak, J Mizan, A Rozainie and Imran Ajmain.

Mr Yusnor Ef came on stage at the end of concert to give a speech.  Unfortunately, I could not understand what he said but the audience was tickled.  A good way to start the new year with focus on our local artist.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Ushering in 2014 with The Philharmonic Orchestra, Singapore

The last classical concert of the year definitely.  Into its third year, The Philharmonic Orchestra Singapore started the concert at 10 pm and ended its programme at 12 midnight sharp, just in time to usher in 2014!

It was a good crowd at the School of the Arts Concert Hall and we were also entitled to a glass of champagne during intermission.  The pieces for the evening were mostly accessible, such as Leo Delibes (soloists Yin Yue and Su Yiwen from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts), Don Gillis's Symphony for Fun (heard for the first time).  Maestro Lim Yau also got the audience to stand up for Cuban Street Song.

Ottorino Respighi's The Applan Way from Pines of Rome was the piece that led the audience into 2014.  The piece was rather errie initially, with the orchestra pit in darkness except for the lights for the music score.  It however turned out to be rather magical in the end, where the clock on the screen started to countdown from 10.  By that time, most audience were more busy following the countdown and getting ready the party poppers.  It felt good entering 2014 this way and after the last song Auld Lang Syne, the concert was over.

A good way to end the year and usher in a new year.  I hope more audience will experience this concert next time.