In New Light 2022 Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep featuring Margaret Leng Tan (Singapore/USA) An Esplanade Co-Commission
In New Light 2022 Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep featuring Margaret Leng Tan (Singapore/USA) An Esplanade Co-Commission

In New Light 2022 Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep featuring Margaret Leng Tan (Singapore/USA) An Esplanade Co-Commission

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

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.

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