Things to do, watch, listen this week: 21 to 27 Feb
It is an exciting week ahead for music lovers as the Esplanade rolls out a series of free lunchtime and evening concerts. In dance, we have picked out a new version of Aravinth Kumarasamy’s 2011 piece, Nirmanika, which brings to life the spiritual elements built into Hindu temple architecture. For the little ones, there is a theatrical lesson in breath control, while grown-ups can take the path less travelled in the company of writer and artist Wendy Mack – one of two literary treats in our arts and culture picks this week.
Sing Lit Blk Party
Spend a day immersed in books, talking about books and meeting fellow bibliophiles at this hybrid event organised by registered charity Sing Lit Station. Celebrate the books that carried us through a difficult 2021 at Sing Lit Station and Happen.SG from 10am on 26 Feb. There are events and activities for all ages and reading abilities, from serious panel discussions to interactive games and workshops. You can also get into the spirit of things from the comfort of your own home, as there is a livestream of the whole event. There are plenty of fun activities for children, half a dozen literary workshops, and even a mini-festival fringe. You can find more information and links to sign up for workshops at Sing Lit Blk Party here.
A signature piece in the repertoire of Apsaras Arts Dance Company is being staged at Victoria Theatre on 26 Feb, updating and reimagining the choreography originally created by Aravinth Kumarasamy in 2011. Nirmanika is a Sankrit word meaning architectonics (the scientific study of architecture) and the 14 dancers explore the way the worship of Shiva in the form of the five elements – fire, water, wind, earth and space – is embedded in the architecture of Hindu temples. This production uses the expressive nature of Bharatanatyam classical Indian dance and Carnatic music to deconstruct and recreate ancient monuments such as India’s Konark Temple and Borobudur in Indonesia. Book tickets for Nirmanika Reimagined here.
Head to the Esplanade this weekend for a series of fun 30-minute concerts performed by ensembles from across the island as part of Free Performances Feb: Cool Classics.
- Band Weekend: Arias and Chamber Music for Voice and Winds, 25 Feb at 6.45pm and 8.15pm – Featuring beloved arias by Bach, Sarri and Vaughan Williams, this performance by 11 instrumentalists and four singers promises to be a real pleasure.
- Band Weekend: Classical Remix!, 25 Feb at 7.15pm and 8.45pm (also livestreamed)– Classical music like you have never heard it before, fusing electronic dance music with live brass instruments and the erhu. It is a club-styled DJ mash-up tuned into the sounds of a large brass ensemble.
- Band Weekend: Crescendo, 26 Feb at 1.15pm – Fairfield Symphonic Band plays familiar melodies such as Happy from Despicable Me 2, whaling song The Wellerman, and Spania, a number in the pasodoble style (120 beats per minute) used to whip up excitement at bullfights..
- Band Weekend: Band TEHgether!, 26 Feb at 6.45pm and 8.15pm – From America to Hungary, baroque to contemporary, sit back, relax and drink in the music of this TEH (Trombone, Euphonium, Horn) trio..
- Band Weekend: Thomson Big Band, 26 Feb 7.15pm and 8.45pm (also livestreamed) – Bask in the golden sounds of a live big band as top-notch Singapore swingers Thomson Big Band pump out some of the finest tunes from Glenn Miller and Count Basie..
- Band Weekend: Crescent Girls’ School Symphonic Band, 27 Feb at 1.15pm – Enjoy familiar tunes (Bohemian Rhapsody, Polar Express, Les Miserables and many more) performed by Year 4 students. Founded in 1967, this is one of the most respected school bands in Singapore..
- Band Weekend: It Takes a Village to Oboe, 27 Feb at 6.45pm and 8.15pm – Join the Singapore Oboe Band as it samples a diverse catalogue, culminating in the music of Australian-born American composer, and collector and arranger of folk tunes, Percy Grainger. .
- Band Weekend: Lion City Brass Goes Pop!, 27 Feb at 7.15pm and 8.45pm (also livestreamed) – Lion City Brass Band, led by Ignatius Wang, presents an exciting mix of virtuosic brass music and popular favourites.
Catch a Breath!
This theatrical production for children at Esplanade Theatre Studio (recommended for ages 3 to 6 years) entertains as it teaches lessons about the strength and power of breath as the foundation of movement and emotions. The performers create fantastical playscapes and experiment with sounds, shapes and colours, and use puppetry to show children how they can use breath control to get through difficult situations and be more mindful towards difference. The show runs from 25 Feb to 13 Mar. Read more about Catch a Breath! here.
Wendy Mack, The Curious Forager
This very personal showcase at SainouSpace in the Kapo Factory Building is a physical extension of The Curious Forager: A Study of Weeds: a little book of hand-pressed prints conceived by Wendy Mack during a period where she was struggling to make sense of the world around her. Studying and pressing the wildflowers and weeds in an overgrown plot in her backyard prompted Mack to chart a course of exploration into writing, art-making and self-development. “That exploration,” she says, “is the work of a curious forager.” Mack bares her soul to bring us a printmaking showcase that is a commentary on inner fragmentation and the integrative power of nature. Book a viewing time and read more about Wendy Mack, The Curious Forager here.
(Photos: Sing Lit Station, Asparas Arts Dance Company, Esplanade/Video: Wendy Mack, SainouSpace and @theonlookers.co)