I guess I wouldn’t blog about the fire garden installation by Compagnie Carabosse (France) at the opening of the Singapore Arts Festival, since it’s kinda far back. Today we caught two great performances, Trois at Merlion Park, before heading down to Vivocity Sky Park for The Hood. Not to mention that both are free!
Trois. By Compagnie Une de Plus (France).
What I felt: A truly soulful experience. I actually reminded myself not to read up on what it is prior to the performance. The performance carried with it a supernatural aura, and gave me a slight tingly experience, accompanied by soulful music. The question of how the actors were able to navigate around the stage with seemingly opaque masks still lingers in my head, adding to the mystery that surrounds the entire 30 minutes of the performance. Largely, I felt that the story portrayed a dominant brown figure that largely had control over a lesser white figure. It reminded me of a patriarchal society. When the lesser white figure tries to rise up, and remains bound, she tries to break free. The scene of the dominant brown figure collapsing into a heap on the brown box cushions after the lesser white figure retaliates was startling. The revelation of a small puppet child near the end, as both mother and child approach the fallen paternal figure, with the child bending over as if mourning his father, left a deep impression in my mind. I guess the beauty of art is that people can have so many interpretations of the same performance. Some may be similar, but will there ever be one that is identical to another?
What it actually is: An outdoor show that incorporates puppetry, dance, mime, stilts and masks, Trois is a poetic and touching tale illustrating the circle of life. Two actors dress like puppets – one a newborn who can’t even stand up straight, the other a giant on stilts. The ‘parent’ takes the ‘child’ under his wing and teaches him to walk and be independent, even finding him a friend from the audience. However, when the little puppet wants to fly away on his own wings, he can only do so by cutting the string that ties him to his ‘parent’. It is only when he kills him that he can freely live.
The Hood. By La Passionata Svironi (Israel/Singapore)
What I felt: An interesting concept, albeit the long waiting time. It was nice to see the happy faces of the children after they watch a story enacted in an enclosed miniature house by the artistes. In the end, I did not catch the miniature performance itself as it was too crowded, and chances should best be given to the hopeful kids. On the beautiful side, we can see children engage in the wonders of art, creativity and imagination. On the uglier side, we see disgruntled parents whose children did not get a chance, and some certain foreigners from certain countries who try to push their kids in and resort to all means and persuasion to get their kids in line for a peek inside those miniatures. It was disappointing in a sense, but I guess stuff like these can’t be helped at times. I also wish the organizers or the people in charge there would have given more opportunities and attention to our locals, and their kids, as I felt that perhaps one group was more privileged over the other. Overall, I must say it was a unique experience.
What it actually is: Winner of the Bat-Yam Street Festival, Israel 09, La Passionata Svironi has created a new genre of miniature and interactive theatre. Small groups of audiences are invited to put their heads inside seven miniature houses created by Svironi Michal and her team. Not only is the audience part of the scene but they also put in the music for it. Playing along with Singaporean performers, audience members interact with the comedians and puppets for an experience that goes well beyond any pre-written text.
Check out my Flickr photostream for images from the Singapore Arts Festival 2010 till date. Visit the Singapore Arts Festival website for more upcoming events as well. http://www.singaporeartsfest.com/