Sunday, 29 June 2014

Cavalia gallops into Marina Bay Sands

Cavalia, an innovative multi-media and multi-disciplinary theatrical production created by Normand Latourelle, one of the co-founders of Cirque du Soleil, will make its Asia debut in Singapore from 12 August 2014, under its signature White Theatre Tent at Bayfront Avenue, beside the Sands Expo and Convention Centre.

Cavalia is a lavish production involving 50 magnificent horses and featuring 43 riders, aerialists, acrobats, dancers and musicians from all over the world. It is a harmonious celebration of beauty and nature, encompassing imagery that whisks the spectator’s imagination around the earth over land and sea by displaying a vast array of equestrian and performing arts.

Supported by state-of-the-art multimedia can be described as an epic adventure, a fantastic demonstration of horsemanship that transports the audience into virtual atmospheres. In Cavalia, horses cavort with the many artists in front of a constantly changing digital background projected onto a 60 metre-wide screen, drawing spectators into dream-like environments. Unlike traditional horse shows, Cavalia’s audience faces a single 50 metre-wide stage which allows the horses space to gallop at full speed, at times running completely free, unfettered by bridles or halters.

The show takes place under a white, 2,440-square-metre big top, rising some 35 metres high that gives the horses an ample playground to perform with their trainers and artists.  Cavalia’s White Theatre Tent is the largest touring tent in the world.  The show has received critical acclaim from around the world. The Washington Post described the show as “Horseplay of the highest order”.  Las Vegas Magazine claimed it is “One of the most spectacular hybrids of modern theatre in the world” while Paris Match defined it as “Pure poetry”. 

Cavalia explores humankind’s longstanding relationship with the horse’s horse training is based upon a philosophy of understanding horses, rather than making horses understand the humans around them. The tone of the show, embraced by the entire company, is one of mutual respect, kindness, patience, and trust. Audiences have found Cavalia exhilarating in scope, yet touching in the compassion shown by both horse and human.  

WHEN:   Premieres 12 August, 2014
WHERE:  Under the White Theatre Tent, at Bayfront Avenue, beside the Sands Expo and Convention Centre
TICKETS: Available at or by calling tel:65-31586735 Ticket prices S$58 to S$288 + applicable fees.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

The Sound of Music opening at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

The evergreen musical The Sound of Music would open at the Marina Bay Sands Mastercard Theatres Singapore in 2 weeks’ time from 11 July 2014.  Due to good demand for tickets, this musical has extended its run to 10 Aug.

The Sound of Music tells the uplifting true story of Maria, the fun-loving governess who changes the lives of the widowed Captain von Trapp and his seven children by re-introducing them to music, culminating in the family’s flight across the Austrian mountains.

As the name suggests, The Sound of Music touches hearts of all ages and includes those memorable tunes that we all grew up with: My Favourite Things, Do-Re-Mi, Climb Ev’ry Mountain, Edelweiss, The Lonely Goatherd, Sixteen Going on Seventeen, and of course the title song The Sound of Music.

For the Singapore run, the coveted roles of six out of the seven children of the von Trapp family will be played by eighteen of Singapore’s young actors and actresses. The successful young boys and girls, aged from six to 13, will perform in rotation as the small and cute Gretl, the brothers Federich and Kurt, as well as their sisters Marta, Brigitta, and Louisa.

The original 1959 Broadway production of THE SOUND OF MUSICwon six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and was Rogers and Hammerstein’s biggest success.  The 1965 movie starring Julie Andrews as Maria won five Oscars, including Best Picture, and remains one of the most popular movies of all time. The musical's original score is the genius output of composer Richard Rodgers collaborating with the lyricist and librettist Oscar Hammerstein.  This current production is by Andrew Lloyd Webber and David Ian.

PERFORMANCE TIMES: Tuesday– Friday 8:00pm; Saturday 2pm and 8pm and Sunday 12pm and 6pm

TICKET PRICE:  From $65* (excluding booking fee) available from SISTIC.
* Excludes the booking fee of SGD$3 per ticket

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Review: Light and Nothingness by John Mead Dance Company

Based on the programme note of Light and Nothingness, choreographer John Mead wanted to create a dance piece that was equivalent to a musical "tonal poem", which required audience to engage in a "longer, connected tonal or melodic thread".

This site specific work was staged at the gallery space of The Sculpture Square at Waterloo Street, a former church venue.  It offered the creator and dancers the opportunity to feel and explore space. The dancers, mostly Lasalle and Nafa graduates and also included the Co-Founder and Co-Director Lim Mei Chien, conveyed the sense of lightness or wander well. Some dance movements reminded me of yoga and taiji poses.

Each dancer had a solo segment, which in some way prolonged the length of this piece.   While the choreographer's aim was to create a meditated mood, it went slightly long for me.  But overall the John Mead Dance Company succeeded in creating the right mood in this space, and I was engaged most times. It will be interesting to see their next site specific show.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Review of Le Noir 2014: Daredevil act adds sparks to arts spectacle

There was a good turnout at the opening night of Le Noir 2014, making a return after a successful run last year. (Read my review for Le Noir 2013) I was fortunate enough to be seated at the ring-side seats and was closed to the actions.

The addition to this year's programme is the Wheel of Death, featuring two acrobats who perform high-risk feats atop and inside a pair of spinning wheels rotating high above the stage.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Buds Theatre's Death and Dancing in Joo Chiat

This is Buds Theatre Company's second staging of Death and Dancing by Claire Dowie.  An American gay student met a lesbian while studying there.  A relationship developed, and may possibly turn into a relationship.  And of course, one party backed out.  While this play explored theme that was beyond same sex relationship, it took some time to develop.  Some of the jokes were rather long and repetitive, and the second half was quite preachy.

Buds Theatre chose to stage this production at a space at Joo Chiat Road shophouse, partly to give an intimate setting, or to save on theatre rentals.  Director Claire Devine made good use of the venue where the audience were seated close to the actors. Rebecca Lee and Zuhairi Idris gave credible performance as Max, though putting on the foreign accents did strain our ears at times.  The 2-hour performance was also taxing to the performers during the second half of the show.

While I did not really enjoy the first act more for the script, I was more engaged in the second act. Script aside, Buds Theatre put up a good show in a simple setting and we felt the commitment of the 2 actors.