The Singapore International Festival of Arts presents a novel public engagement initiative, The O.P.E.N.
Having played a symbiotic and catalytic role in the development of Singapore’s artistic and cultural landscape for the past three decades, the Singapore Arts Festival has rebranded itself as the Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA), reflecting its refreshed focus on internationally acclaimed acts, and spring-boarding local productions onto a global stage.
The much-anticipated festival themed Legacy and the Expanded Classic will run from 12 August to 21 September, organised by the Arts House Limited (AHL), and directed by celebrated theatre director Ong Keng Sen – marking the first time the national festival has introduced an artist as the Festival Director.
In the bid to enrich lives through the lens of art, Mr Ong proposes to deepen audiences’ love for the performing arts by showcasing works in a manner that is relatable and significant, contextualising the works within global socio-political realities. This contextualising occurs four to six weeks before the Festival, where SIFA 2014 presents a novel public engagement initiative, The O.P.E.N. (Open, Participate, Enrich, Negotiate), which runs from 26 June to 12 July 2014. Where Q&A sessions with a production’s cast and crew usually take place post-performance, The O.P.E.N. connects with the public in a holistic, integrated manner in the weeks prior to its actual performances.
Styled as a popular academy, The O.P.E.N. is a place to explore fascinating questions about humanity and the world at large. Audiences are invited to participate in The O.P.E.N. through its public performances, film screenings, exhibitions, brunch talks and beginner’s guides. Throughout the initiative, insights behind five tags will be shared with participants, which inform the Festival’s theme:
Legacies of Violence. The O.P.E.N. explores the historical legacy of acts of violence and how it has shaped societies and individuals, along with the struggle to accept the past and move into the future.
Iconic Legacies. Discover the legacy of three 20th century icons of the performing arts: Martha Graham, the mother of modern dance; innovative theatre company The Wooster Group; and German playwright Bertolt Brecht who founded the Berliner Ensemble after WWII.
Digital Legacies. Our future is digital. Technology is ever-evolving. In the advent of the digital age, discover the profound social, political and personal impact that digital culture makes on today’s generations.
Personal Legacies. Personal Legacies put on display the stories, idiosyncracies and forces that shape us. A selection of individual celebrations of our humanity.
Legacies of Science. In the wake of major breakthroughs in science, we probe the limits, perils and possibilities of our evolving interventions on nature.
Illustrating the rationale behind the pre-festival, Mr Ong says: “The O.P.E.N. is ultimately concerned with creating a sustainable ecosystem of the arts in Singapore. SIFA proposes to move beyond superfluous consumerism and the trend of ‘use and throw’ in the arts, and instead, percolate ownership in the weeks before the Festival opens on 12 August 2014. Too often, an arts festival is a U.F.O. which descends on the city and then leaves just as suddenly as it arrives. The O.P.E.N. hopes to create an atmosphere, a climate which will welcome the Festival and persist thereafter.”
Event: Singapore International Festival of Arts: The O.P.E.N
Dates: 26 June – 12 July 2014
Venues: All events will be held at 72-13, Mohamed Sultan Road, Singaporeexcept for Martha@ACM, MEDEA on media, and Ways of Wandering.
Admission: Admission to all events at The O.P.E.N., except the special performance (MEDEA on media) and the free performance (Ways of Wandering), is through purchase of The O.P.E.N. Pass and pre-registration (at theopen.sifa.sg/register). The O.P.E.N Pass: $45, Concession $25.
Info: sifa.sg, theopen.sifa.sg
More info on www.sifa.sg