An Explosion of the Arts in Your Own Backyard
Is it just me, or are Singaporeans becoming more cultured? With more light being shone on the local arts and music scene, there’s no lack of these events and festivals for you to slot into your yearly calendar. But heavily promoted arts and music festivals also mean one thing – hordes of people pushing, shoving, and basically cramping your style.
If you’re on the look-out for an arts event that won’t suffocate you, these are 12 exciting art events happening right in your neighbourhood this March!
Reminisce about Singapore’s golden era
There’s nothing like taking a walk down memory lane – and what better way to do it than through a series of interactive dance, music, visual arts and theatrical performances?
1. Discover Toa Payoh on a music and storytelling trail
Toa Payoh is one of those estates with rich pieces of history tucked into every corner you turn. This March, unravel stories and memories long forgotten with young talented local musicians on a walking trail that will bring some of Singapore’s most prominent landmarks back to life.
Not just your average walk in the park, Arts Imprints Around My Neighbourhood uses music and storytelling, against the backdrop of Singapore’s most-loved iconic landmarks, to transport you back to a time and a place that will make you proud to be a Singaporean. Go back in time to Toa Payoh’s Town Park, where love blossomed, and children’s laughter filled the air.
It doesn’t matter if you’re not a resident of the area, the event calls out to all Singaporeans – regardless of age – to join in on an immersive experience that you’re bound to enjoy.
Arts Imprints Around My Neighbourhood
When: Sunday, 20th March 2016, 10am, 4pm
Where: Toa Payoh HDB Hub
2. Rekindle your love for some of Singapore’s most-loved games of old
Some things never get old. Five stones, pick-up sticks, chapteh – these were the building blocks of my childhood, unimpeded by technology’s grasp. These days, you can’t even walk a hundred metres without seeing a toddler glued to an ipad.
In an dynamic theatrical performance, The Rainbow Toymaker uses music, intricate costumes and larger than life props to bring us back to a simpler time. Rekindle your love for your favourite old-school games, and bring your family along to experience the spell-binding magic of theatre and stagecraft.
The young ones are sure to love this one!
The Rainbow Toymaker by Sweet Tooth (Cake Theatrical Productions)
When: Sunday, 13th March 2016, 2pm & 5pm / Sunday, 20th March 2016, 5pm & 7pm
Where: SAFRA Toa Payoh / Ang Mo Kio Central Stage
3. Admire never-before-seen pictures of Toa Payoh
When it comes to beauty and symmetry, we know all about what Toa Payoh has to offer. That’s why we selected it as a location for our first #Instawalk of the year. Chock-full of architectural gems, sights and history; appreciate all the area has to offer in a remarkable art installation that displays a stunning collage of never-before-seen shots of Toa Payoh’s icons, courtesy of talented community photographers.
Photo credits to Gabrielle Jeyaseelan
The installation also allows you to contribute to the piece by writing a phrase to share what you love about Toa Payoh. What does Toa Payoh mean to you?
The Real Estates – Toa Payoh edition
When: 10th-25th March 2016
Where: Toa Payoh HDB Hub
Get colored in a series of multi-cultural performances
4. Feast on a musical display of arts that reflects Singapore’s melting pot of cultures
Singapore has always been proud to hold its title as a melting pot of cultures, and this showcase of musical flair shows just that. CROSSING is a musical cultural feast by Riduan Zalani and NADI Singapura, alongside other recognised cultural musicians.
Bansuri and Vocalist Duo, The Tamarind Sound Project Source
Treat your ears to the experimental nature of SA The Collective, or the sweet-sounding jams of The Tamarind Sound Project; you just might just find yourself taking a liking to a different genre of music.
SA The Collective Source
CROSSING by Riduan Zalani with NADI Singapura
When: Saturday, 12th March 2016, 7pm / Saturday, 19th March 2016, 2pm
Where: Yew Tee Square / Toa Payoh HDB Hub
5. Revel in kampung vibes with a traditional shadow play performance
The Chinese have their mythical creatures and puppet shows, and in the same way, so do the Malays. Many Singaporeans are familiar with certain names in Malay folklore like ‘Radin Mas’, but few actually know the legends and history behind it all.
Wayang Kulit Source
Enter the team at Sri Warisan, a performing arts company established in 1997. They work hard to bring you a classical interpretation of the stories from Malay folklore with the help of Wayang Kulit (shadow puppets). With two shows lined up for you this month, get ready to be enthralled by a hypnotic performance of tradition, as they tell the tale of the legendary Ramayana – a popular Hindu deity.
Wow! Kampung by Sri Warisan
When: Saturday, 12th March 2016, 7pm / Sunday, 27th March 2016, 7.30pm
Where: Boon Keng MRT (Exit B Concourse) / Woodlands Civic Centre
6. Appreciate a fusion of East and West in a “rojak” of contemporary music
Let me introduce KULCHA. And no, I don’t mean the small fluffy indian bread. Formed a mere 3 years ago, Kulcha is a six-man band known for their catchy original compositions and covers.
What makes them stand out, is the fact that the band brings together an assortment of instruments like the Chinese pipa, Indian bansuri, Indonesia angklung, and the Middle Eastern gambus in a melodic ‘rojak’ of cultures and sounds.
There’ll also be an interactive segment where members of the audience will get to participate and try their hand at the angklung, possibly the world’s easiest and most engaging traditional instrument.
Rojak Rendezvous by KULCHA
When: Saturday, 19th March 2016, 6pm / Saturday, 26th March 2016, 7.30pm
Where: Bedok South Road (Open space between Block 18 and Pasar 16 / Tanglin Halt (Block 88)
7. Spice up your world on a musical journey of local and ethnic flavours
Try naming at least one Indian musical instrument you’ve heard of. Struggling? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Get to know some traditional Indian musical instruments through a musical voyage with Bhaskar’s Arts Academy’s Swathi Orchestra.
Rock out and sing along to old classics like Rasa Sayang, Munneru Valiba, and our personal favourite – Home. If you’re lucky, the friendly performers might even let you try your hand at some of the instruments
Swathi Rhythms & Melodies
When: Sunday, 27th March 2016, 7.30pm
Where: Tanglin Halt (Block 88)
8. Attend a pop-up concert right in your neighbourhood estate
If the name Rit Xu rings a bell, it’s probably because he is one of the five musicians making up ‘Lorong Boys’, a five-man ensemble who wowed our Singapore subways with their musical prowess back in 2014.
This time, Rit Xu assembles another team of talents to take on another project – Chapalang Jukebox. As the name would imply, Chapalang Jukebox is a roving showcase of Singapore’s musical talent in a synthesis of pop, jazz, and world music.
So be sure to mark your calendars and immerse yourself in a unique blend of old-world jazz and modern pop classics.
Chapalang Jukebox by Rit Xu Group
When: Sunday, 13th March 2016, 9am / Thursday, 24th March 2016, 12.15pm
Where: Bishan North Shopping Centre/ Mapletree Business City (Open Plaza)
Get up close and personal with interactive art craftsmanship
9. Frolic under the stars at an open-air film screening
If you’re a sucker for outdoor festivals and events, this one is for you. Objectifs, the visual arts centre dedicated to promoting photography and film, is bringing you a night under the stars with Cinema’Hood. How old school is that!
Grab a few of your best mates, a picnic mat, some snacks, and prepare yourself for a relaxing evening with your favourite flicks. There’ll also be live performances from homegrown musicians to help with the festive atmosphere.
Definitely an event we’ll be keeping our eye on.
Cinema’Hood by Objectifs
When: Sunday, 27th March 2016, 7pm
Where: Toa Payoh Amphitheatre
10. Learn some traditional Chinese dance moves
Photo credits to Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan Dance Theatre
Tucked all the way along Upper East Coast Road, in the neighbourhood of Sennett, is a tree so big and majestic, it would make a worthy contender in the search for Singapore’s new Instagram tree. It is the perfect stage for a spectacular night of Chinese dance performances.
Be enthralled by the grace and beauty of authentic Chinese dance thanks to the troupes of the Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan Dance Theatre. And if you’re interested in picking up a few moves of your own, an interactive pre-performance segment will allow you to learn from the pros themselves.
Under the Big Tree by Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan Dance Theatre
When: Saturday, 12th March 2016, 6.30pm
Where: Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan Cultural Academy (5 Sennett Road)
11. Challenge yourself to a larger-than-life 3D Tic Tac Toe
If there’s one game that has withstood the test of time, it’s gotta be good old Tic Tac Toe. Now, imagine playing a super-sized 3D version of the game – how cool would that be? Angela Chong, the installation artist who has showcased her work at i Light Marina Bay and the artist behind 3D Tic-Tac-Toe, brings our favourite game of the past to life, and to a whole new level.
Instead of the usual heads-up challenge, battle it out with one, two, or three other players in this highly entertaining life-sized game that’s bound to excite everyone from the age of 8 to 80!
3D Tic-Tac-Toe by Angela Chong
When: 10th-27th March 2016
Where: Woodlands Civic Centre
12. Be transported to the world of movies and musicals with the Windstars Ensemble
Have you ever found yourself music-surfing the soundtracks of your favourite movies because you can’t get enough of its greatness? I know I listened to Hans Zimmer’s Interstellar soundtrack a hundred times, reliving each scene in my mind.
If you found yourself nodding your head in agreement, you’ll like this next event. A local instrumental band, the Windstars Ensemble (WSE), will be taking to the stage to bring you back-to-back tracks of your favourite Hollywood hits and musicals. We’re talking about Star Wars, Les Miserables and even The Lion King. You’re going to be in for a treat!
Musicals to Movies by Windstars Ensemble
When: Saturday, 26th March 2016, 7.30pm
Where: Ang Mo Kio Central Stage
Exploring the ‘Arts in Your Neighbourhood’
Singapore Art Week might be over, but that doesn’t mean the cultural appreciation has to end there. ‘Arts in Your Neighbourhood’ is programme under the Arts for All initiative by the National Arts Council of Singapore, which aims to promote self-expression, creativity and bonding through the arts by bringing it to where people live, work and play.
With 27 activities happening at 17 locations across the island, there won’t ever be a dull moment in the month of March. Get in touch with your local culture and heritage, and deep dive into others – you never know the treasures you may find.
Find out more about all that ‘Arts in Your Neighbourhood’ has to offer here, or download the season’s full programme brochure here.
Don’t forget to document your month of art appreciation with the hashtag #artsinyourneighbourhood!
This post was brought to you by National Arts Council