This show goes on, even in the rain
Ballet is synonymous with the indoor experience – plush seating, a grand stage and all the comforts of an air-conditioned theatre. Less so with insects and foliage. But at Ballet Under the Stars, this is the norm with its seats the rolling grounds of Fort Canning and its canopy the open night sky.
Now in its 25th edition, Ballet Under the Stars presents two weekends of classical and contemporary ballet that both new and seasoned ballet aficionados can enjoy.
And rain or shine, the show must go on – sweat, insects and all.
Lead dancers of Ballet Under the Stars’ Swan Lake sequences, Kwok Min Yi, 27, and Satoru Agetsuma, 22, share some of their most memorable experiences dancing in the outdoors.
How is it different dancing outdoors vis-à-vis in a theatre?
Satoru: It is very hot in Singapore, so we definitely perspire a lot more when dancing outdoors. I do less warm-up exercises because I have already been warmed up by the weather.
Min Yi: I have to hydrate myself more than when I dance in the theatre with air conditioning. Also, the stage outdoors does not have any curtains, so the audience can actually see us practising steps with our dance partners behind the stage.
Tell us about a memorable experience performing for Ballet Under the Stars.
Satoru: A few years ago, it started to drizzle in the middle of the show. The audience pulled out their umbrellas and continued enjoying the performance without skipping a beat. The dancers did not panic as well, but it was quite a rare, funny sight.
Min Yi: It rained when we did Giselle for Ballet Under the Stars previously, and there were so many insects. They hit the lights and fell on the stage, before crawling up the tutu of a dancer in front of me. I remember panicking and thinking to myself that there was also a bug crawling up my tutu, but I could not run as all the dancers had to stand in a line.
What would you say to young, aspiring dancers in the audience?
Satoru: We hope that you will enjoy our performance at Ballet Under the Stars this year, and that it will inspire you to never give up on your dreams.
Min Yi: Strive towards your goal because hard work pays off.
The responses have been edited and condensed. Details on Ballet Under the Stars here.