Spring is the time of new beginnings, to take stock of what is meaningful in our lives and how we can further invigorate our day to day. The Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is the perfect time to do just that. For many, the festive season is a time for feasting and family bonding. More than that, it is also time to get your fill of Chinese culture.
This Year of the Rooster, the annual Huayi – Chinese Festival of Art returns, from February 3 to 12, at the Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, with a rousing line-up of theatre, dance, music, visual arts, and more, by local and international artistes.
(Related: Your Year of the Rooster Wardrobe, Sorted)
Here are seven highlights you don’t want to miss.
We last saw Anthony Wong in the Cantonese adaptation of French playwright Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnage by Dionysus Contemporary Theatre at last year’s edition of Huayi. The Hong Kong thespian returns to headline the festival once again this year as fairy king Oberon in William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, starring opposite veteran actress Candice Yu.
Image: Kit Chan/KC Creative
Ten years since its Singapore debut at Huayi 2007, Performance Workshop’s Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land, said to be the masterpiece of contemporary Chinese theatre by acclaimed Taiwanese playwright and theatre director Stan Lai, returns for another run. What happens when two theatre groups are mistakenly booked into the same rehearsal space? Chaos and hilarity ensue, of course.
Making its festival debut is The Necessary Stage with Actor, Forty by director Alvin Tan and playwright Haresh Sharma. The new original monologue features Golden Horse Award-winner Yeo Yann Yann and examines the identities that we take on and cast off in life.
Image: The Pond Photography
Having made a name for itself showcasing talented young dancers in original works by innovative young choreographers, Cloud Gate 2, the sister company of Taiwanese contemporary dance group Cloud Gate, makes its long-awaited Singapore debut with three riveting works by choreographers Cheng Tsung-lung and Huang Yi.
Image: Lee Chia-yeh
Jazz quintet China Music House presents an impressive crossover experience by marrying modern jazz with pingtan, an ancient form of Chinese storytelling. Joining them are pingtan performers Gao Bowen (pictured) and Lu Jinhua.
The Singapore Chinese Orchestra, under the baton of Tsung Yeh, together with Cantonese singer Johnny Yip, takes you back to the world of wuxia or traditional martial arts, performing theme songs from films and television series such as The Legend of the Condor Heroes and Swordsman.
Mongolia may be on your travel bucket list, but before you make that trip, get a feel of the land and the country’s nomadic nature through the music of the Haya Band. The iconic band takes you on a captivating journey through the region’s profound musical heritage, fused with a blend of modern music.