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Articles

The SISTIC Insider Programme

Join the Insider Programme to be the first to try out new content, features and updates. You will get to participate in user reviews, polls and tests that earns you exclusive perks and benefits. By becoming an Insider, you get the opportunity to send feedback directly to SISTIC, connect with the community, and innovate with us. Your voice will be heard. We would love to hear your thoughts about what works, what does not, and what we can do to enhance our products and services. Your real-world use cases will drive our product validation, offering you a seamless experience with upgrade and new feature roll-out. What are you waiting for? Sign up now! ​

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Articles

International headliners to grace Asia's first music and lifestyle mega festival

Singapore, January 14, 2020 — IMC Live Global is stoked to present the inaugural music and lifestyle festival, One Love Asia Festival, in two vibrant Asian metropolises - Singapore and Osaka in 2020. A first in Asia, this festival brings together a stellar lineup of Asian and international acts, plus interactive experiences to provide festival goers a mind-blowing experience. The two-day festival in Singapore showcases 15 international and regional pop icons, state-of-the-art production, sound and lighting. “For the first time ever, we have an amazing lineup of big acts gracing one stage and entertaining fans with full-set (30 to 45 minutes each) performances,” says IMC Captasia Group Chief Operating Officer Romell Song. The mega lineup includes Stefanie Sun, Jolin Tsai, BoA, Joker Xue, Hebe Tien, Show Lo, Tanya Chua, indie band EggPlantEgg, Goo Goo Dolls, Greyson Chance, pop-rock band Potato, KLEAR, and singer-songwriter Naoto Inti Raymi, lending One Love Asia Festival its international and regional slant. Festival goers rooting for homegrown acts will be feted with high-octane shows by homegrown hip hop artists ShiGGa Shay and THELIONCITYBOY. Flecked with local lingos and references, the artistes’ works inject peppy Singapore flavours into the festival. Music extravaganza aside, the festival’s Curated Village will offer an array of activities and gastronomic delights. Accessible, Instagram worthy and strategically located, Bayfront Event Space Singapore is the choice venue for One Love Asia Festival. The two-day fete is slated for November 7 & 8, 2020 with tickets priced at S$88/day or S$158 for a 2-day standing pass (General Admission) and S$128/day or S$218 for a 2-day standing pass (Premium Admission). The two-day passes have limited quantities available. Smacked in the city centre, Bayfront Event Space has ample parking space and is connected with the MRT and public buses. With a postcard perfect view of Singapore skyline, the venue is also a stone’s throw from Marina Bay Sands, Singapore’s iconic hotel and landmark. The two-day event is expected to draw 25,000 to 30,000 festival goers. IMC Live Global plans to position One Love Asia Festival as the mega music and lifestyle festival on the mainstream festival circuit, and bring the brand to more cities in Asia from 2021. Get your tickets for One Love Asia Festival Singapore 2020 here.

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Articles

To Foster True Multiculturalism, We Need To Rethink What Having A “Dialogue” Means

This article originally appeared on RICE Media. Written by Yeo Boon Ping All photographs by Zachary Tang. In Singapore, we like to crow about how multicultural and multiracial our society is. But how much of it is reality and how much of it is empty boasting? If we take recent events as a barometer, it seems that our talk is mostly hot air. Just think of the e-pay brownface fiasco, the subsequent Preetipls video, the influencer who complained about two Sikh men’s turbans blocking her view at a concert, the artist who hurled vile slurs in an Instagram story at two Indian ladies … I could go on, but you get the idea—and man, it’s depressing enough listing these episodes. In other words, our multiracialism and multiculturalism seem characterised more by ignorance and tolerance—or even intolerance—than harmony and understanding. Clearly, to foster genuine interracial relations, we need more than talks, initiatives like “harmony games”, and festivals. But what else can we do? Neil Chua, 38, and Artistic Director and Founder of RuanAtWorkz Musical Arts, has a radical proposal: he wants to forgo everyday conversation. In its place, Neil thinks a new type of collaborative, non-hierarchical dialogue would serve better to heal our fractured society. From left: Bala Saravanan Loganathan, Neil Chua, and Aw Wei Zheng. Neil is one-third of the trio behind Night Walker, a theatrical production that fuses together Ruan music (a traditional Chinese string instrument), Bharatanatyam (a classical Indian dance), and modern electronic music. Clearly, Night Walker is a multicultural work. That in itself is important: despite all our claims of societal integration, we are still stuck in our respective racial bubbles, rarely venturing out to experience something different. “Chinese people don’t usually watch Indian dances. Indian people don’t go to Chinese orchestra shows,” Neil points out. (Ouch. Guilty as charged.) Night Walker attempts to remedy this deficiency by “showing how [different cultural forms can] assimilate and integrate with each other—and not just tolerate each other”. Admittedly, none of that is anything new. It’s the ethos underpinning all multicultural works—of which Singapore does not lack. But Night Walker differs by telling us something without saying anything at all. It’s a theatrical work with no dialogue—no one in the show speaks a word to each other. The team—Neil, Bala Saravanan Loganathan, the 23-year-old Bharatanatyam dancer, and Aw Wei Zheng, who, at 27, is their sound designer—believes that such an approach is, paradoxically, more effective in fostering interracial relations than all the words you can say to one another. As Bala says, “Words are not the most important thing for a conversation.The most important thing is the two parties can understand each other.” The word “dialogue”, Bala thinks, can be a bit of a misnomer in Singapore society. It denotes a discussion between two or more people or groups, but dialogue sessions here, more often than not, play out like this: one party—usually the person in power—“is the only one talking … [and we go there] just to absorb like a sponge, and leave”. Worse, the point of our questions can get questioned, or requests for information sidestepped. In Singapore, dialogues become monologues. This is why Neil, Bala, and Wei Zheng have intentionally avoided incorporating verbal dialogue into Night Walker. As the Preetipls video illustrates, even when the sentiment behind an expression is legitimate (in this case, outrage over the offensiveness of brownface and what we, as a society, can do better), the tone or choice of words might inadvertently incite the very thing—i.e., racial insensitivity—it was calling out. Dialogue, when not properly done, can be claustrophobic and ironically close off avenues for communication. That is not to say the stage of Night Walker will be starkly barren, silent, and still. Or that it presents indecipherable avant-garde movements set to atonal music. All three of them stress that there is still dialogue in the show—just that the dialogue is not verbal. “The dialogue is between the music and the movement,” Bala explains. He means it literally: each night, Neil and Bala will be responding to each other’s music and movement on the spot, so no two performances of Night Walker will be the same. But can two such different artforms really integrate so organically and spontaneously? Is this a symptom of the utopian pipe dream of racial harmony to which Singapore is in thrall? I am immediately corrected by Neil. “Indian dance and Chinese music mesh well together,” he says. “Rhythm plays a fundamental role in both Chinese music and traditional Indian dance.” Neil then launches into a mini-lecture about rhythm cycles (of 3, 5, 7 …) in Chinese music and Indian dance, completely losing me because the only time I listen to classical music is when movies use it to announce something dramatic is going to happen. What I do understand is that Night Walker borrows heavily from different cultures even as it innovates on them. This, too, is a form of dialogue. As Bala says, “Even though I’m taking a few things from your culture, I’m also embracing it as part of mine. It’s about relying on each other’s strengths and abilities.” “I think that’s very important. You have to take from each other’s cultures. You have to move society together as one.” And in Bala’s dance and Neil’s music, Night Walker literally embodies this in-tandem movement of society. “You can see there’s something happening between these two characters,” Bala concludes. “They’re communicating without realising it. That’s the idea of a dialogue.” The second dialogue that happens in Night Walker occurs between the show and the audience. Aside from the lack of verbal dialogue, Night Walker demolishes the traditional boundary between performance and audience in another way—to avoid spoiling the experience, I won’t say how, but it really thrust the play into my face. This staging decision, in combination with the absence of words in the play, “gives the audience a lot of freedom to interpret the action”, Neil says. Without any grand narrative voice and everyday dialogue, audiences are compelled to fill in the background with their personal experiences. And it is only when we have the space to draw from our own life and form our own thoughts—instead of being told what to feel or think from a didactic source—when a genuine dialogue happens, and real connections can be forged. If not genuine connections, then at least genuine questions. The team is aware that some of the more technical aspects of the show—like the symbolism of the hand gestures in Bharatanatyam or the classical compositions of the Ruan—will be lost on people unfamiliar with either (or both) cultures. But having questions is also a dialogue, and one of the best ways to combat ignorance and intolerance. “It shows that people want to understand. Which I think is important in today’s context,” Bala says. Will being in the same space and participating in a shared experience help us develop a more genuine and organic sense of multiculturalism? My sense is yes, but I hesitate to make any far-reaching statement. All I know is that the racist episodes by which Singapore has been gripped clearly show that talking is not enough. In fact, talking can be more incendiary than instructive. The best dialogue, then, is one that we carry out rather than say. In the words of Bala: “Dialogue is not verbal. It is something that has to be experienced.” And yes, I’m aware of the irony here if I end my article with words. But anyway I’ll be watching Night Walker for that full-fledged multicultural experience, so I think I can be pardoned. This article is brought to you by Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre. Night Walker runs from 2 April to 5 April. Click here to buy your tickets. Update (19/3/20): Night Walker will now run in June 2021 in light of the evolving health situation caused by Covid-19. The article To Foster True Multiculturalism, We Need To Rethink What Having A “Dialogue” Means appeared first on RICE Media. Note: All views are author's and not SISTIC’s.

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Articles

A Tour to Devdas – The Musical 2020

~A Spectacular & Breathtaking Theatrical Experience~ ~ the ‘Classic100 year old story, in all its Glory!’ ~ ~ paying tribute to 100 years of Saratchandra Chattopadhyay’s Devdas ~ ​ Inspired by Saratchandra Chattopadhyay’s novella, AGP World along with Arte Compass and Zee TV APAC brings to you the biggest theatrical incarnation Ashvin Gidwani’s Devdas – The Musical for the World Premiere in Singapore. There will be 1 show at 8:00pm on Friday, 14th August 2020, 2 shows at 3:00 & 7:00 pm on Sat, 15th August 2020 (in Hindi with English surtitles) and one show at 7:00 pm on 16th August 2020 (in English with Mandarin surtitles) at Esplanade Theatre, Singapore. This 100 minutes multi-starrer is the classic story of love in its purest form where AGP World endeavours to solve the mysteries of what happens to Chandramukhi & Paro after Devdas. The novel, published over 100 years ago, is probably one of the most famous love sagas in Indian Classical Literature. In this theatrical rendition, the storyline which has a universal appeal, is narrated by Chandramukhi, a courtesan and principal character in the play. An opportunity to delight hearts with eternal music and dance to continue the rich legacy, Devdas is adapted & directed for stage with original content, that connects with the audience through original music, enriching dialogue, dance & theatrics woven with seamless production values is revered in Indian Theatre. This multifaceted play is enriched by new melodies expressing undying, unachievable, unwanted, coveted yet unrequited love sung by some of the most prominent Bollywood singers like Shaan, Kailash Kher, Alka Yagnik, Suresh Wadkar, Shail Hada, Bhoomi Trivedi & Antara Mitra. In addition to the songs, the play boasts of an elaborate and mesmerizing stage design by the National Award-winning art and cinematic director Omung Kumar of Mary Kom, Bhoomi, Sarbjith and Saawariya fame. The highlight of the production are the classic and contemporary fusion dance performances choreographed by Shampa Sonthalia (daughter of acclaimed kathak maestro Padmashri Gopi Krishna) and Bertwin Ravi Dsouza which give life to the musical score of Devdas. About the Play: Set in Calcutta in the 1900s, this visual and musical extravaganza, recreating the period in all its glory; the opulent Haveli’s in rural India and the gas-lit busy streets of Calcutta come experience the stunning artistry, evocative lighting, detailed costumes, unforgettable music and the exhilarating choreography of this play the most gorgeous, gasp-inducing production brought to life on stage in India. Speaking about the play, Ashvin Gidwani, Producer & MD, AGP World express, “I am thoroughly excited to bring this classic on stage and showcase the first World Premiere in Singapore. Devdas has witnessed several renditions in the Indian cinema, yet there is something about the epic that connects with the audience. A saga of love presented by multiple onstage and offstage talents, Devdas promises to be a production never seen before on Indian Stage. Speaking about the play, Akila Iyengar, Managing Director, Arte Compass express, “The original work of Devdas has captivated Literature and Cinema lovers alike for over a hundred years. We are proud to bring the epic to the stage for the first time ever in Singapore, produced in 2 languages. The production is all set to thrill diverse audiences with a highly talented cast, extravagant sets, aerial dance choreography and the original classical as well as contemporary music scores.” Speaking about the play, Tripta Singh, EVP- APAC, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. express, “Zee in Singapore has been known to support and co-produce high quality productions. We are extremely proud and excited to be associated with Devdas, one of the most highly awaited shows of 2020! A great start to the year!”​ Click here for more event details.

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Festivals/Seasons

Singapore Symphony Orchestra

Since its founding in 1979, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) has been Singapore’s flagship orchestra, touching lives through music and providing the heartbeat of our cultural scene. Bridging the musical traditions of East and West, the orchestra has a versatile repertoire which spans all-time favourites and orchestral masterpieces to cutting-edge premieres. The orchestra makes its performing home at the 1,800-seat Esplanade Concert Hall. More intimate works and community performances take place at the 673-seat Victoria Concert Hall, the home of the SSO. The SSO also manages the Singapore Symphony Choruses, the chamber music series VCHpresents, the Singapore International Piano Festival, the Singapore National Youth Orchestra and the National Piano & Violin Competition.

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