[Listing] Winter Wonderland by Singapore Lyric Opera’s Children’s Choir

Winter Wonderland

With a bit of sparkly tinsel and a sprinkling of snow, the beautiful merry voices of the children from SLO, proudly present- Winter Wonderland! Under the baton of choral conductor Ms Rose Loh, and accompanied by pianist Aloysius Foong, this year the SLO Children’s Choir together with Project W, a Singaporean musical ensemble of 20 musicians, are all set to entertain you with an eclectic mix of songs.

What is a Winter Wonderland concert without tunes from the famous “Frozen” phenomenon, popularised by Disney? Highlights of our programme include the enchanting Frozen theme song, Eatnemen Vuelie by Norwegian musician Frode Fjellheim and not forgetting, the global musical epidemic, “Let It Go”. The children will also be singing traditional favourites that reflect the wonders and emotions of the winter season, both sacred and secular. These include Italian carol Dormi Dormi, Mary Where Is Your Baby, composed by Dan Edwards and This Little Babe a movement from Benjamin Britten’s, A Ceremony of Carols. In support of our local talent, SLOCC will also be presenting two Singaporean compositions.

So do join us for a fantastical paradise as the children spread festive cheer and herald the good tidings of Christmas!

Programme List

A Cuckoo Flew Out of the Woods              arr. B Wayne Bisbee

Dormi Dormi                                                       arr. Mary Goetze

Rise Up, Shepherd and Follow                     arr. Mark Hahn

Mid-Winter                                                          Bob Chilcott

This Little Babe                                                   Benjamin Britten

O Great Mystery                                                 Nancy Telfer

All Things Bright and Beautiful                    Phillip Silvey

Land of Joy                                                            Zechariah Goh

Little Tree                                                               Daniel Drewbaker

Gonna Catch That Santa                                Andy Beck

For the Beauty of the Earth                           John Rutter

INTERVAL

Special Item by Project W Sin Jin How

When All the World Is Full of Snow          David V Montoya

Hanget Soi (Singing Snow)                            arr. AuvoSamanto

Let It Go                                                                  arr. MacHuff

Frozen (Choral Suite)                                        adapted by Roger Emerson

In Summer                                                             arr. Alan Billingsley

Christmas Is (Sing-along)                                arr. MacHuff

 

Catch Winter Wonderland on 5 December 2015 at SOTA Concert Hall. For more ticketing information, visit Sistic.

[Listing] Singapore Lyric Opera’s 25th Anniversary Gala Concert

SLO 25

This November, Singapore Lyric Opera (SLO) is excited to celebrate its 25th anniversary in the Esplanade Concert Hall with its greatest Gala Concert yet.

In celebration of this momentous occasion, multi-award winning local conductor, Joshua Kangming Tan, will lead the orchestra and singers in a night to remember with highlights and excerpts from over 20 operas staged by SLO in the last quarter century from the great composers – Mozart, Puccini, Lehar, Verdi, and including Singapore’s own, Leong Yoon Pin.

After 25 successful years of presenting some of the best western operas, SLO celebrates its silver jubilee with a sumptuous programme put together by Nancy Yuen, SLO’s first Honorary Artistic Director, reprising her role as the lead soprano for this year’s concert.

Joining Nancy Yuen on the stage will be some of the region’s best opera singers including, internationally acclaimed South Korean tenor, Lee Jae Wook and veteran Singaporean mezzo-soprano, Anna Koor. The line-up will also include two baritones extraordinaire, South Korean Song Kee Chang and our very own, Martin Ng.

Some of the excerpts and highlights include:

Hai già vinta la causa from Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro

E lucevan le stele from Puccini’s Tosca

Votre toast from Bizet’s Carmen

Les voici from Bizet’s Carmen

Che gelida manina from Puccini’s La Bohème

O soave fanciulla from Puccini’s La Bohème

Vogliatemi bene from Puccini’s Madama Butterfly

Nessun dorma from Puccini’s Turandot

Catch SLO’s 25th Anniversary Gala Concert on 13 November 2015 at Esplanade Concert Hall. For more ticketing information, visit Sistic.

[Dance Review] A Parley of Traditions

torobaka

Photo: Jean -Louis Fernandez

Torobaka

Akram Khan & Israel Galván

16 October 2015

Esplanade Theatre

16–17 October 2015

There is something uncomfortable about Torobaka. How is it possible for two dancers to collaborate on a show with the bull as its main metaphor when one of them comes from a culture which reveres the animal, while the other slays it?

“Anarchy” says the programme notes. The only solution is to go against tradition and come together as two dancing bodies.

The result: Two phenomenal dancers in a bullring that duel, complement, and play with each other.

One of the main impetuses of this performance is a response to a problem in most intercultural collaborations. Rather than digging deep by investigating the vocabularies and limits of both traditions, most performances are often a sophisticated version of dance school recitals. Both traditions are placed alongside each other and the audience is asked to draw up a list of similarities and differences between them.

Torobaka is definitely not one of them. In this work, we see Khan and Galván rolling up their sleeves, giving all that their traditions offer, and summarily tossing them out as well. In many ways, the dances are respecting their traditions in their truthful assessment of what they can offer.

The show starts off with both dancers performing moves inspired by both traditions but expressed in their own way. While Galván’s angular flamenco lines and Khan’s fluid lines are still somewhat discernible, the audience will be hard-pressed to tease out which moves belong to which tradition. And that is the point.

The performance then progresses to a series of solos where both dancers openly defy both traditions. If “purists” were seething at both dancers before, they will go into cardiac arrest this time.

Think Khan dancing with hands in flamenco boots or silencing the jaleos (shouts of encouragement) by the Spanish palmero (rhythm clapper), Bobote.

Aside from his usual fare of breaking the lines expected of a flamenco dancer, Galván’s ferocious and primal solos were ornamented with playful squawks and gestures. At one point, I gasped as he stomps on Khan’s ghungaroos (ankle bells) and performs a series of footwork. However, with the jingling of the bells to accompany his footwork, it feels as if he is performing a duet with Khan.

In other solos, it is clear that both men are going back to the roots as if to remind the audience of where they came from. The show ends with the dancers coming full circle by locking horns and combating each other in the only way that they know how.

If the choreography is complex, the music that accompanies it tops that. It is a wondrous amalgamation of classical kathak and flamenco rhythms that are lyrically guided by songs from western classical and folk traditions.

Percussion enthusiasts would revel in B. C. Manjunath alternating between vocalising kathak rhythms and counting in Spanish while playing the pakhawaj (percussive drum comprising two kettle drums tied together) or duffali (hand drum).

Vocal and choral lovers will enjoy the interweaving of David Azurza’s counter-tenor vocals with Christine Leboutte’s lower range. Add Bobote’s clapping into the mix and we get music that is profoundly meditative, dramatic, and playful at various times.

Torobaka puts creativity, energy, and passion back into dance as it excavates the dynamics of human interaction as well as forming new movement vocabularies. In essence, Khan and Galván show us how anarchy and tradition can co-exist within the realm of human expression.

Other Reviews

“da:ns Fest 2015: Akram Khan, Israel Galvan go mano a mano” by Mayo Martin, Today

“Duality in Harmony” by Germaine Cheng, The Straits Times Life! 

“Torobaka Review” by Five Lines

[Dance Review] A Dazzling Constellation of Bodies

NDT2

An Evening of Five Works

Nederlands Dans Theater 2

9 October 2015

Esplanade Theatre

9–10 October 2015

The youth wing of Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT) graces the Esplanade stage again with five fresh works which premiered within the last five years.

The programme opens with Schubert and Some Other Time by Sol León and Paul Lightfoot. In Schubert, the choreographic duo mirrors the motifs of the music by creating motifs of angular and flowing actions that extend throughout the pas de deux. While it is an exploration of love, it refuses to fall into extremities. What unfolds is a meditative rumination of love that is enhanced by the beautiful lines and perfect control of the dancers.

Despite the monochromatic set design of Some Other Time, León and Lightfoot colour their dance with various movement vocabularies such as mime, contemporary, and ballet. The dancers are tasked to embody the feelings of oppression and breaking free set against screens being pushed around the stage which adds another layer of movement. The dancers showed superb versatility and flexibility as they coalesce into a constellation of bodies. At times, it is hard to pick out which represents oppression and which freedom because—apart from being too transfixed by the dancers—what constitutes either sometimes depend on one’s perspective.

Sharon Eyal’s and Gai Behar’s Sara opened the second segment as several dancers appear in nude tights while pulsating to trippy music. The set up consists of one girl mouthing the words of a song while the others forming a series of pseudo-tableaus but each dancer repeats a particular action like a cog in a machine. This is interspersed with synchronised movement sequences.  It is surprisingly wonderful that Eyal mentions that “[i]t springs from the subconscious, but is very humane at the same time” because there is a primal quality that emanates from the piece. Sara eludes any intellectual interpretation but there is a sense of it coming from a deep place in oneself that is seldom the focus of introspection.

To be able to seek and achieve mutual comfort requires a great deal of interaction. Edward Clug’s Mutual Comfort is like a physics experiment of how one body reacts when it comes into contact with another. The dancers handle the technical demands with aplomb and the crispness of their lines is something to behold. This piece presents the facets of human interaction at its most beautiful.

NDT 2 pulled out all the stops to ensure that the show ends with a bang. Cue dazzling lights, sixteen dancers, synchronised movement sequences, and baroque music at its most dramatic. These elements come together to form an extravagant presentation of…

Cacti.

An earlier review of this piece says that Alexander Ekman’s ability to be genuinely funny through the medium of dance is an achievement. Unfortunately, that sentiment is myopic. Ekman’s genius lies in the ability to satirise one’s art form and yet the audience will still takes what he is doing seriously after having a good laugh. Cacti is a riot of fun which showcases not only the physical abilities of the dancers, but their creativity as well. The voiceovers which include a monologue expounding on a supposedly profound fact and the running commentary of the silliness of the dance moves show how the production elements can really enhance the dance. More importantly, it also boasts of the dancers’ non-kinetic talents.

Rather than just being a showcase of five recent works, NDT 2 offers an exposition of the potentials of contemporary dance and the human body. One can only hope they formulate their next exposition as soon as possible.