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Here are the highlights at SIFA 2017 and why you should catch them

Our pick of the most anticipated showings this year

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By SG-Promoted | Aug 07, 2017

  • Here are the highlights at SIFA 2017 and why you should catch them
    Vegetative State. Credit: Maida Carvallo
  • Here are the highlights at SIFA 2017 and why you should catch them
    Le Syndrome Ian. Credit: Marc Coudrais
  • Here are the highlights at SIFA 2017 and why you should catch them
    Germinal. Credit: Alain Rico
  • Here are the highlights at SIFA 2017 and why you should catch them
    Trojan Women. Credit: National Theater of Korea

Enthralled, or should we say, enchanted, by the lineup at Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) 2017 so far? If you’ve managed to catch some of the showings at The O.P.E.N. pre-festival, you’ll know that this year’s selection, the work of Founding Festival Director Ong Keng Sen, has been as amazing as always.

This is his final year with the festival, and he’s not pulling any stops with a total of 16 commissions focusing on Singapore artists, seven international productions with Asia-Pacific premieres and 90 unique events led by Singapore-based artists and residents of Singapore, all put together under the umbrella theme of “Enchantment”.

With so much happening, we’ve decided to break it down for you and bring to your attention ten shows you’ll not want to miss.

Becoming Graphic

Having won the Singapore Literature Prize and more recently, three Eisner awards, you can be sure graphic novelist Sonny Liew’s combined creation with acclaimed theater-maker Edith Podesta will be a hit. In this work for SIFA, the languages of comics and theater meld into one as the two collaborators make use of the superhero genre to tell a narrative about ageing and mortality. Limited tickets left. 17-19 Aug

Details and ticketing information here

Open Homes

Reimagining the boundaries of theater is Open Homes, which makes a triumphant return to this year’s programing after an overwhelmingly successful 2015 launch. Here, 30 homes —comprising HDB flats, condominiums and landed residences—of ordinary people will be open to the public. Its residents will then share with an intimate crowd a snippet of their everyday life, whether it be through storytelling, conversation or a walk through a home museum. 5-6, 12-13, 19-20 Aug

Details and ticketing information here

Germinal

Just four people using nothing more than guitars, pickaxes and microphones onstage is Germinal. Don’t be deceived by the lack of fancy stage sets and colorful props, this minimal use of tools is done with great care to bring out the primal allure of performances as the four actors peel away the smoke and mirrors that often accompany the usual theater-going experience through, well, theater. 31 Aug-2 Sep

Details and ticketing information here

Guilty Landscapes III

Don’t expect a comfortable experience at this interactive exhibition meant for the viewing pleasure of only one person at a time. Imagine watching a news coverage on the state of poverty and desperation in the world as the protagonist stares right back at you. Feel challenged on preconceived notions of guilt, privilege and pity as you confront your own psychological complexes. 31 Aug-9 Sep

Details and ticketing information here

Le Syndrome Ian

If hitting the clubs for heady, joyous nights filled with frenzied dancing is something you enjoy, this personal imagining of nightclub dances is for you. Be transported to a world where the grooves and moves were all that mattered as nine dancers take to the stage and explores this anonymous choreography that happens spontaneously every night on the dance floor. 24-26 Aug

Details and ticketing information here

Trojan Women

Ong is personally directing this contemporary Asian musical—created using elements from K-pop and traditional pansori—in collaboration with the National Theater Of Korea, that retells the tale of the fall of the ancient city of Troy, from the perspective of its surviving women. This is also the first time Trojan Women is being staged outside of South Korea. You should catch this not just because of the rave reviews it got from Seoul’s audiences late last year, but because this is also Ong’s swan song for SIFA after his four-year tenure. 7-9 Sep

Details and ticketing information here

Vegetative State

Coincidentally reminiscent of Kuo Pao Kun’s Singapore classic, The Silly Little Girl and The Funny Old Tree, Vegetative State is an expressive, one-person performance that explores the ways in which new concepts of the plant kingdom—such as plant intelligence and plant-to-plant communication—can renew the way we think about our own sense of self. 1-4 Sep

Details and ticketing information here

Red Carpet Gala: Lizard On The Wall, The Film

Audiences who took part in the filming process of Lizard On The Wall at The O.P.E.N. pre-festival will be anticipating how the experimental mode of movie-making will turn out. Well, find out at the gala premier of the film that will be screened at The Projector. Come dressed in what you wore for the shoot and someone may even recognize you as you mingle among fellow luminaries over a glass of Champagne at the red carpet/closing event for SIFA 2017. 9 Sep into 10 Sep

Details and ticketing information here

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