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10 Reasons da:ns festival 2015 is A Festival You Cannot Miss

The Joy of Movement 



“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” – Vivian Greene

Everyone has an inner dancer in them. Whether that secret dancer comes out when you hear your jam in a shopping mall or when the DJ drops a sick beat at Zouk, you can’t deny the groove that resonates through your bones and gives you boogie fever. 

The dance scene has been exploding in Singapore recently and you really don’t wanna miss out. The 10th edition of da:ns festival features world renowned dance icons, commissioned works and free programmes across all dance genres – there’s no better time to set your inner dancer free! 

If you need a little more convincing, here are 10 reasons why you should come down to the Esplanade on 9-18 October.


 1.  Catch world class dance acts 


Some of the world class acts visiting our shores for da:ns festival 2015 include Sylvie Guillem’s final production, Life in Progress, and Nederlands Dans Theater 2 . But one underrated performance flamenco lovers will love is TOROBAKA, which stars Akram Khan and Israel Galván, two stars collaborating for the first time in Singapore. They push the boundaries of dance by melding kathak, a Northern Indian classical dance, and flamenco, a native Spanish genre. 

The performance accentuates rhythm and gestures between Khan and Galván ,conveying a vivid storyline depicting a fierce battle. Despite their distinctive styles, the synergy pulsating through Akram and Israel’s performance is undeniable, blurring the lines of traditionally known genres and creating something exciting and refreshingly new. 

Date: 16 & 17 Oct
Time: 8 pm
Venue: Esplanade Theatre
Price: Tickets range from $20 – $100 (Limited concessions for students, NSFs and seniors: $25, $45)


  2.  Catch award-winning dancers – with live music!



If you’re equally as fascinated as I am watching Tango dancers maneuver their lean and swift legs at the speed of light, imagine 14 dancers taking the stage together! With their troupe of award-winning dancers decked in shimmery outfits, witness this grand celebration of the sensual art of Tango. 

To complete the Tango experience, each performance is accompanied by a live Tango Bardo Quartet. This blend of instruments like the piano, bandoneon, double bass and violin is the closest thing you’ll get to an actual mariachi band – or the Argentinian equivalent of it. Nothing like a live band to elevate a cultural experience to the next level!  

Date: 9 & 10 Oct
Time: 7.30 pm
Venue: Esplanade Concert Hall
Price: Tickets range from $20 – $120 (Limited concessions for students, NSFs and seniors: $25, $45)
Esplanade & Me special prices also available.


 3.  Venture into the Esplanade’s restricted area




Brace yourself for a performance so out of the box, it’s not even on a stage. Impulse is a dance performance designed specifically for the restricted backstage area of the Esplanade. It breaks the barrier between performer and audience member, welcoming you into performers’ private spaces. The dancers will interact and react to items found at out-of-bounds areas around the centre, creating a unique experience every night.

Witness the creative dark humour of Kim Jae Duk, and watch the talented dancers from T.H.E Dance Company turn these spaces of the Esplanade into their own personal playground in this explosive dynamic choreography.  

Date: 9 – 11, 16-18 Oct
Time: 9 & 16 Oct – 7.30 pm & 10.30 pm 
          10 & 17 Oct – 3 pm & 9 pm
          11 & 18 Oct – 3 pm & 7 pm 
Venue: Esplanade Backstage
*Meeting point: Esplanade Stage Door (Mezzanine Level)
Price: $30
Limited concessions for students, NSFs and seniors: $20    


4.  Watch a multidisciplinary dance performance 



Source: Bernie Ng

After travelling across Asia to research and interviewing 88 Asian dance-makers, Singapore artist Choy Ka Fai collaborates with dance artists from four countries to present a performance series from his monumental research project SoftMachine.

Part performance, part interview, and set against documentary films created with each of the artists, Choy’s enquiry investigates the choreographic minds of the present and speculates the possibilities of their futures. Artists featured in the Singapore staging of SoftMachine include Maniouri dancer Surjit Nongmeikapam from India, traditional Indonesian Lengger dancer Rianto, Yuya Tsukahara of contact improvisation dance company Contact Gonzo (Japan), and Chinese dancers Xiao Ke and Zi Han. 

Note: This performance takes place in two parts.

Date: 17 & 18 Oct 
Time: 3pm & 8pm 
Venue: Esplanade Studio Theatre
Price: $30
Limited concessions for students, NSFs and seniors: $20


5. Learn how to dance – In 5 minutes




Never thought you could have a dance lesson in just 5 minutes? Neither did we and being proven wrong has never felt so good. With a team of professional dancers roaming various locations around the Esplanade, don’t be shy when they approach you for an impromptu dance lesson – for free! 

“Shall We Dance” is one of the many free programs offered at this edition of da:ns Festival. You’ll get to choose from a selection of dance genres and before you know it, your feet will be moving faster than you can say “I never knew I could dance!” 

Date: 9 – 11 & 16 – 18 Oct
Time: 6.30 pm – 7.15 pm & 7.45 pm – 8.30 pm 
Venue: Various locations around Esplanade 
Price: Free! 


6. Bust a move – Without getting judged




We’ve all probably had our own experiences with mass dances. Whether we’re goofing around and putting our own personal touches to each move or laughing at our friends with 2 left feet, there’s a special joy that comes from learning to dance with your friends. On the plus side, even if you mess up, there’s little chance of anyone noticing – since you’re in a crowd, you’ll have nothing to lose!

With a backdrop of the city skyline and a specially designed dance floor to cater to your grooving needs, this is the perfect setup for a mass dance under the moonlight. “What’s Your Move” lets you learn different genres of dance, ranging from Kpop, Jive, the Waltz and even Bollywood. Grab your friends and get ready for a great night out without spending a cent!

There’s also going to be a special Tango + Milonga party on 9th October, so don’t forget to check it out!

Find out more about the all the different genres you can try out here

Date: 9-18 Oct (Every Friday, Saturday & Sunday)
Time: 8 pm – 10.30 pm (Depending on the genre of your selection)
Venue: Stage@Powerhouse (Esplanade Waterfront)
Price: Free!


 7. Capture your moment on stage




If you’re looking for a little souvenir to remind you of your experience at this year’s Da:ns Festival, how about snapping a shot against the green screen with a background of your choice? Look for the Picture This! booth at the Esplanade’s upper concourse where you can capture your moment in the spotlight with your friends or blend in beside dramatic dancers! 

Date: 9 & 10, 16 & 17 Oct, 11, 18 Oct
Time: Fri & Sat – 7 pm to 10 pm, Sunday – 6 pm to 9 pm
Venue: Upper Concourse 
Price: Free! 


8.  Catch traditional dances from around the region




The distinctive trait of Asian dances is its storytelling quality and intricate gestures. If you’ve travelled and dined in places like Thailand and Bali, you’ll occasionally get to see traditional dances performed by the locals which immerse you into their culture. 

This October, you don’t have to leave the country or spend any money to get that experience! With performances by locals from Indonesia, Cambodia, India and Thailand, be transported to different regions of Asia at RASAS, a free showcase of traditional dances accompanied by live music. You’ll can learn about the history behind these dances too!

Date: 9 – 18  Oct
Time: from 6.30pm onwards, various timings 
Venue: Esplanade Outdoor and Concourse
Price: Free!  


9.  Get an insight into the life of a dancer




The life of a dancer is an extraordinary journey filled with performance highs and rejection lows – but don’t take our word for it. Credited with the title of “The World’s Most Exciting Dancer” and ranked as the best female dancer at the Paris Opera Ballet, this exquisite French Ballerina is still making waves in the dance industry at the age of 50! 

In Conversation with Sylvie Guillem reveals her life as a dancer over almost 40 years and what she’s like both on and off stage. Get an insight into her thoughts about her smashing performance, Life in Progress too. Don’t miss out on this intimate sharing with one of the world’s most talented dancers!

Date: 15 Oct
Time: 7.30 pm 
Venue: Esplanade Concert Hall
Price: $15
Concessions for students, NSFs and seniors: $10
Concessions for Sylvie Guillem My Life in Progress ticket holders: $10
Esplanade & Me special prices also available.


10. Get up to 15% off food and drinks at selected establishments



Source: Supply and Demand

Source: Restaurant Labyrinth

If you’re looking to grab something to eat before a show or fill yourself up after a night of splendid performances, flash your ticket at selected restaurants within the same day and you’ll get to enjoy up to 15% savings. A bespoke da:ns cocktail  will also be available at Restaurant Labyrinth for only $10 if you’re a ticket holder, so be sure to treat yourself and unwind after a long day’s work! Exclusive da:ns 10th anniversary deals can also be found at Kenko Wellness Spa and Mischief American Street Food. 

Ticketholders will also  get up to 15% discounts on selected retail and services at the Esplanade Mall. 


Time To Put On Your Dancing Shoes!


Now that we’ve given you more than enough reasons to get up and grooving, come celebrate the biggest dance festival of the year! Book your tickets before they’re sold out! For more information visit for details. 

What: da:ns festival 2015
When: 9 -18 Oct
Where: Various venues around Esplanade 

This post was brought to you by Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay.