SINGAPORE: With its jaw-dropping aerial and gentle spectacles, strange loved ones-welcoming performances, and convivial atmosphere, the yearly Singapore Night time Competition (SNF) is definitely 1 of the most really anticipated activities in the nearby calendar.
And according to competition director Angelita Teo, what definitely will make the competition tick isn’t the amazing issues visitors can see – but the visitors by themselves.
“It’s definitely the individuals who arrive back again time and once more. It normally takes energy to arrive to the center of town and say, ‘I will be a part of this thing’.”
In fact, the community has embraced the competition through the many years. From a group of all-around sixty,000 for the duration of its inaugural version in 2008, last year’s SNF drew additional than 500,000 individuals to the Nationwide Museum of Singapore (NMS) and its neighbours in the Bras Basah Bugis Precinct.
What commenced as a suggests of attracting additional audiences to NMS and building buzz all-around the location has progressed into something additional.
This 12 months, the competition celebrates its 10th version. Operating over two weekends, the initially 1 kicks off on Fri (Aug eighteen) and will characteristic its Night time Lights, an array of gentle installations. Commencing from Aug 24, there are also performances of all sorts.
“Back then, it was a steep learning curve for all of us. But we saw the probable to have a larger, additional mass charm, right from the beginning,” recalled Teo, who has been included with the competition from the beginning – initially, as a deputy director at NMS and, afterwards, as the museum’s director.
“The audience was easier to wow,” she recalled, with a laugh. “It was a incredibly new concept and individuals ended up seeing a great deal of issues for the initially time. Even for ourselves, we experienced in no way viewed the Nationwide Museum as a backdrop for an aerial performance. When (Italian group) Studio Festi commenced flying across the developing (in 2008), everyone was so silent.”
That wasn’t the only key big difference, she joked. “People weren’t searching through their telephones then! Then in 2012, I try to remember 1 performance in which all I could see ended up lights from handphones – a complete sea of handphone screens. It was completely unique!”
In accordance to Teo, this year’s version marks the end of a chapter. And though she’s keeping mum about SNF’s up coming period, she unveiled that the up coming editions will all be about “creativity and innovation”.
But the future of SNF can wait. As audiences prepare their excursions for this weekend and the up coming, here’s a cheat-sheet searching at some of the most unforgettable times from the last 10 editions.
1. THE Out of doors SPECTACLE
The Singapore Night time Competition wasn’t the initially to bring large spectacles outdoor – Chingay does it, and earlier editions of the Singapore Arts Competition did so, way too. What SNF did was make it more substantial and improved, and gave pedestrians a motive to wander all-around. Streets ended up closed off to targeted traffic (so substantially so that now you even have bicycle trails), glowing art installations ended up set up everywhere you go, thanks to Night time Lights, and when you’re not searching all-around you, you’re staring up at the sky. From 2008’s The Dancing Sky with its planets, ships and dancers, to last year’s weird monsters parading down the streets in Invasion, the competition has supplied us some certainly unforgettable illustrations or photos.
2. Fun WITH FACADES
These days, art projections on the facades of structures are everywhere you go – hello, Nationwide Gallery Singapore and Civic District Out of doors Competition – but it was SNF that manufactured it de rigueur. Suitable from the incredibly beginning, NMS and SAM’s facades grew to become a electronic canvas. They instructed stories, melted and morphed into unique designs, and generally mesmerised passers-by. And it has even gone past structures – even trees are not protected, these types of as 2014’s Divine Trees which saw haunting faces looming over absolutely everyone.
three. Professional-WRESTLERS AND BOXERS
Witnessing Angela Lee take to the ring in an MMA match out in the streets may possibly still be much-fetched, but that doesn’t signify there hasn’t been any action using position. In 2010, the competition launched boxing and muay thai practitioners, though Singaporean pro-wrestlers bodyslammed each and every other to the crowd’s delight three many years back. The latter will be back again up coming week, on Aug 24 and 25 at the SMU Campus Inexperienced.
4. POLE DANCERS
Pole dancing could be a normal hobby these times, but when it initially commenced, it took a though prior to it caught on with the mainstream. The competition introduced performances by lovers from Bobbi’s Pole Studio in 2014 and it returns once more over the up coming few of weekends at The Brass Barre.
5. Prompt POETRY
The Proletariat Poetry Manufacturing facility is known for whipping up fast poems at several activities, these types of as the Singapore Writers Competition. In 2015, they set up camp at Centre forty two and, with their outdated-school typewriters, wrote verses for audiences who manufactured the detour for their 1-of-a-form memento of the evening. They’ll be back again once more up coming weekend, at Centre 42’s Late-Night time Texting celebration, which will also contain thirty performances by teams these types of as Dim Make a difference Theatrics and Major Tulis Group.
6. CIRCUS Functions
Global acrobats, jugglers, contortionists and the like are nearly normal performers at the competition. But the 3rd version, concocted by Singaporean director Ong Keng Sen, experienced something way unique – an real circus troupe from our part of the entire world. Cambodia’s Phare Ponleu Selpak highlighted thirteen youthful circus artists who juggled, balanced, and contorted to the delight of audiences. And that was just 1 factor of a Southeast Asian-flavoured version, which also saw acts from the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. Singapore was represented by Vertical Submarine’s cheeky “Abusement Park”. That version also saw something particular: A performance of the historic Malay theatre kind Mak Yong from practitioners in the neighbouring Riau Islands. Circus performances would afterwards pop up, these types of as for the duration of the 2012 version, courtesy of the homegrown Circus Swingapore, the country’s only school of circus acts.
seven. DRAG QUEENS
That exact same circus-themed 12 months also saw a performance that entirely glammed it up – New Zealand’s The Island Divas carried out their model of drag artistry-satisfies-conventional island dancing. And performers experienced names these types of as Tess Tickle, Buckwheat Von Duckfee and Shanene. 5 many years afterwards, in 2015, Singapore’s have drag powerhouses took to the stage: Comedy icon Kumar introduced House Of Glamour though the feisty-enjoyment Becca D’Bus introduced his rebellious show Riot! to a more substantial mainstream audience (albeit only at 1am).
eight. Manual SMS PRE-SOCIAL MEDIA
The previous couple many years have viewed the Singapore Night time Competition arrive into its have as an Instagrammer’s paradise. But once more, in 2010, an set up predicted all of this social media insanity – in a way of speaking. Thai artist Wit Pimkanchanapong’s tongue-in-cheek World’s Slowest SMS Billboard comprised a large board on which people’s messages ended up manually posted for all the entire world to see – a throwback to the times when individuals weren’t so caught up in their cellular phone screens and truly stopped to love the sights in front of them.
nine. MAGIC BABE NING AND JC SUM
As a result of the many years, the festival’s emphasize acts have largely been aerial spectacles by intercontinental artists. That transformed in 2013, when Magic Babe Ning Cai and JC Sum, the homegrown duo of illusionists, ended up supplied a chance to glow as the closing acts. In front of the Nationwide Museum, the couole grew to become the initially tandem to do a straitjacket escape superior up in the air, though Cai also attempted an underwater escape. “People still try to remember equally so I’m deeply honoured,” recalled Cai. “The group was about sixteen,000, additional than the twelve,000 I experienced for a preceding community performance in which I teleported cross-place with a motor vehicle. It was fantastic that the organisers required nearby artistes as their closing emphasize.”
10. PUNK ROCKERS
The yearly competition is possibly the most mainstream of all of Singapore’s innumerable festivals, but that doesn’t signify there’s no room for nearby subcultures. Though the key venues frequently open up to nearby musical acts, together with alternative bands, The Substation has gamely delivered punks and performance artists, among the many others, with room for their innovative expressions with activities these types of as the Tribal Accumulating Of Jaw Benders, which highlighted the likes of The Observatory, Distrust, The Psalms, and additional. In 2015, punk tradition was set in the highlight in Armenian Street. This 12 months, The Substation is also keeping a “post-punk” showcase for the duration of the 2nd weekend.