Dance Patrons Come Together For Singapore Dance Theatre’s Virtual Fundraiser 2020
Charity galas may be put on hold indefinitely but that didn’t stop the Singapore Dance Theatre (SDT) from gathering over 200 patrons of the dance community for its first-ever virtual fundraiser on the Hari Raya Haji public holiday.
Dressed in red and white, with champers and chocolates on hand (which were delivered to guests beforehand), everyone stood in solidarity with the dance company as chairperson Laura Hwang spoke of how SDT has swiftly adapted to the challenging times. For one, its dancers have taken to social media to conduct beginners classes or share their dance and workout routines.
Newly appointed sustainability and environment minister Grace Fu was the evening’s guest of honour, the last appointment she said she was glad to keep before handing over the culture, community and youth portfolio to newly promoted minister Edwin Tong; while SDT patron Dr Tony Tan made a special appearance via a video message.
Despite it being their first performance after coming back from the circuit breaker period, the SDT dancers showed guests that they have been hard at work with an energetic performance of excerpts from Val Caniparoli’s Swipe.
Homegrown violinist Lynnette Seah, who recently retired as concertmaster of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, took to the online stage with a soothing rendition of Jules Massenet’s Méditation (Thaïs), accompanied by messages of support from SDT board members as well as collaborators from the global dance community at large.
The highlight of the evening was the world premiere of Celebration, which was choreographed by SDT artistic director Janek Schergen, using three selections from Alexander Glazunov’s Raymonda to reflect this moment in SDT’s 32-year history.
The short but sweet affair wrapped up with a toast led by emcee Hossan Leong but guests lingered on just a bit longer, perhaps reminiscing the time spent in each other’s company and how long before everyone can come together again to enjoy another live performance by Singapore’s premier dance company. But before then, the dance patrons have continued to show strong support as SDT has raised about $240,000 from the virtual fundraiser, with more donations still coming in at the time of writing.
- Images Jacky Ho/Singapore Dance Theatre