OVERALL FESTIVAL THEME
SIFA 2022-2024 will be unified by the guiding title of The Anatomy of Performance - this will be the recurring theme of the three-year arc to bring focus on what ‘performance’ in an international performing arts festival can encompass, through both physical and virtual spaces.
The Anatomy of Performance will be accompanied by a subtitle that changes each year to guide and focus each edition’s curatorial stance - further unpacking ‘performance’, encouraging audiences to see the relevance of performance articulation in the midst of contemporary complexities when created by artists and artist collectives, with strong and unique perspectives in the poly-dynamic and universal language of art. SIFA 2023 is titled The Anatomy of Performance – Some People, capturing how our experience of the world differs based on varying circumstances.
SIFA 2023: THE ANATOMY OF PERFORMANCE - SOME PEOPLE
This year's title engages with the idea that the human experience exists on a spectrum. We are the sum of all the narratives that chapter and alter our lives; each trial and transformation, what our ancestors and communities have had to struggle through, our experiences as children and adults, things inherited and circumstances imposed on our lives shape how we move through life and experience the world.
When we encounter performance, we witness perspectives we can relate to, or that differ from our own, maybe even challenge our held beliefs, yet when we agree to remain in the performance space together, our personal worldview expands as we take in another’s.
Each SIFA edition features three tracks of curated offerings: CREATION, Life Profusion and SIFA X.
CREATION is a platform for SIFA’s prime offerings encompassing new commissions, fresh iterations of works and the presentation of outstanding works from around the world to capture the imagination and inspire.
This year, CREATION brings together diverse works from international artists, while celebrating the unique artistry of Singaporean creative talents. A range of insightful Festival Commissions and exciting Invitations are set to dazzle, move, and provoke audiences at various venues in the city. As the world opens back up, SIFA 2023 presents works that compel you to rediscover what it means to be people today, embrace the joys and sorrows of being human, and contemplate questions of identity, belonging, and connection, as you soak in the exciting line-up of programmes at SIFA 2023.
Life Profusion is SIFA’s virtual platform, a portal for creation and discovery. This year, Life Profusion presents PRIVACY curated by Mojoko, a series of digital works from local and international artists exploring notions of surveillance and the treatment of personal data; and prompt: Play curated by Hong Xinyi, which gathers creative responses from diverse contributors in response to SIFA 2023’s live and digital performance offerings.
SIFA X marks the spot for alternative and experimental expression. LOVE DIVINE at iconic night spot CÉ LA VI encompasses the bold artistic practices of SUKKI (formerly Sukki Singapora) and Daniel Kok & Luke George with burlesque, vaudeville and performance installation. Centre 42 presents THERE IS NO FUTURE IN NOSTALGIA, a suite of new performances galvanising playwrights and new writing in Singapore, and a co-production between (BIPAM) Bangkok International Performing Arts Meeting, Georgetown Festival and SIFA brings forth INTERMISSION by Thai artists Champa Saenprom and Vidura Amranand blending traditional Thai music with contemporary dance vocabulary to examine the tensions in-between.
This edition’s title SIFA 2023 The Anatomy of Performance: Some People engages with the idea that the human experience exists on a spectrum. We are the sum of all the narratives that chapter and alter our lives; each trial and transformation, what our ancestors and communities have had to struggle through, our experiences as children and adults, things inherited and circumstances imposed on our lives shape how we move through life and experience the world.
The works featured in SIFA 2023 reflect the human experience in its spectrum of hues. ANGEL ISLAND lays its foundations in the history of detained immigrants. LOLLING & ROLLING explores linguistic imperialism. In £¥€$ (LIES) we enter the domain of those dominating the global economy. CUCKOO deals with isolation felt within an entire society. Teenage girls replace 19th century prestigious male portraits in WE WILL SLAM YOU WITH OUR WINGS. BLKDOG powers through the sorrow of adult and childhood wounds. A DAY, 2023 defines spaces for us to observe and find intrigue in the daily. MATERIA is designed for us to project our own narratives on what we witness on stage. We reckon with mortality in POMPEII, inevitable change in NEW-ILLUSION, transformation in REALM OF SILK and the all-consuming proportions of grief in ABYSS. THE SCHOOL offers edification like nothing else. ME, YOU, THEN, NOW tracks a marathon of an artistic life and HUMANS 2.0 is proof of the mettle that the human frame is capable of.
Life Profusion SIFA’s digital platform features PRIVACY curated by artist MOJOKO featuring a series of digital artworks and prompt:PLAY curated by writer Hong Xinyi gathers contributors creatively responding to SIFA 2023’s offerings.
SIFA X in 2023 co-produces INTERMISSION with Bangkok International Performing Arts Meeting and Georgetown Festival, and with Centre 42 presents THERE IS NO FUTURE IN NOSTALGIA, a multilayered project galvanising playwrights and new writing in Singapore. LOVE DIVINE at iconic night spot CÉ LA VI encompasses the bold artistic practices of SUKKI and Daniel Kok & Luke George with burlesque, vaudeville and performance installation.
Those who grieve, transform, remember, dominate, disappear, feel, prevail, linger, shimmer, observe, reclaim, endure, dare & transcend.
When we encounter performance, we witness perspectives we can relate to, or that differ from our own, maybe even challenging our held beliefs or personal tastes, yet when we agree to remain in the performance space together, our personal worldview expands as we take in another’s.
My utmost thanks to the entire team at AHL who cradle SIFA so passionately and to the brilliant engine powering this festival - SIFA Producers Lisa Lip, Mervyn Quek, Fezhah Maznan, Christie Chua and Ye Junmin.
We welcome you to SIFA 2023!
ABOUT NATALIE HENNEDIGE, FESTIVAL DIRECTOR, SIFA 2022 - 2024
Appointed as the Festival Director for SIFA 2022-2024, Natalie Hennedige is the Artistic Director of Cake, a contemporary performance company presenting progressive works at the intersection of theatre and a range of disciplines. As a performance director, Hennedige explores contemporary issues through highly constructed heightened worlds with collaborators from diverse artistic disciplines and cultural backgrounds. Hennedige is a recipient of the National Arts Council’s Young Artist Award (2007) and the JCCI Singapore Foundation Culture Award (2010).
Photo by Tuckys Photography
Helming the direction for SIFA 2022-2024, Natalie has defined a three-year arc intended to bring focus to performance & creation in the physical and online space, around the recurring title of The Anatomy of Performance.
As Singapore's annual pinnacle performing arts festival, the Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) presents captivating and diverse works across theatre, music, dance, film and visual arts. First launched as the Singapore Festival of Arts in 1977, the festival has gone through several evolutions and inspired generations of arts lovers and practitioners. Today, the highly anticipated festival is a high point on Singapore's arts and cultural calendar. SIFA continues its festival mission to champion the creation and presentation of Singaporean and international works.
Zulkifli bin Mohamed Amin
Yasmin Hannah Ramle
Eugene Lim Yingjie