神秘内容 Loading...
Why do local acts go off at Arts Fests?
韩咏红 By Han Yong Hong

Officials at the National Arts Council should be overjoyed. In spite of competition from the World Cup and the economic downturn, this year’s Singapore Arts Festival was a hugh success - 80.2% of tickets for its core programmes were snapped up, an increase of 5 percentage points over the previous year. Besides, audience for its non-core and free programmes also saw a 50% surge.

  What’s more, reviewers had also given the overall programming and publicity efforts the thumbs-up. The seven overseas productions by master artists also received more praise than criticism. If there is any major disappointment, it is that local works paled in comparison with international productions.

  Over the years, local arts and artists have made a deeper impression in the international arenas and gained rapid recognition. Unfortunately, the confidence that we have developed gradually in our arts often suffers serious setbacks in the annual Arts Festival.

  An assessment of performances by local theatre over the last three to four years will make one realise this strange phenomenon: arts houses which have usually done fairly well will go haywire when they perform during the Arts Festivals. And this happens frequently even to larger and much more experienced setups.

  A few years back, director Ong Keng Sen’cross-cultural experiment Lear was not invited to the Arts Festival. Yet it won critical acclaim when it was staged here. Many felt aggrieved for Ong and rapped the Arts Festival for not recognising a gem of a performance. Two years after the event, Ong’s second cross-cultural work Desdemona was made the curtain-raiser of the Arts Festival. But it was severely criticised. (来源:英语学习门户 http://www.EnglishCN.com)

  Last year, a collaboration entitled One Hundred Years In Waiting by The Necessary Stage and Theatre Practice, both big names in arts circles here, was a letdown. Imagine Forest, a joint effort by Arts Fission Company and the T’ang Quartet, showed clearly that the preparations were inadequate.

  Except for the two national orchestras, namely, Singapore Symphony Orchestra and the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, few arts groups here can maintain their standards during the Arts Festivals.

  There are of course many reasons why some local arts groups have not been able to keep up their good performance during the Arts Festival. I believe the attitude of treating the Arts Festival as a “special event” is one of the reasons why some groups just cannot get their act together.

  The Singapore Arts Festival is the premier arts event here. Any group that has been invited to be part of it will be able to get a higher-than-usual sponsorship and will endeavour to do its best. The irony is that in order to impress with the highest standards of local arts at the festival, artists will do everything possible to innovate, for instance, collaboration of different arts forms, multi-media, new themes, unprecedented ways of creation and untried methods. In other words, local arts groups often engage in artistic pursuits that they are not used to during the Arts Festivals.

  To take this further, the phenomenon is probably intertwined with the eagerness of some artists for quick success and instant benefits, the demands of the audience, and the guiding principles of the Arts Festival.

  A few years ago, the Arts Festival announced a new emphasis on cutting-edge works. It also affirmed its mission of promoting the arts here. Should the two objectives be in any disharmony with each other, I think there is no need to put them together and ask all local arts houses performing at the Arts Festival to attempt to be “bold and innovative”.

  Local productions in the Arts Festivals should provide the audience with what they are best at. Yes, creativity in the arts should be encouraged. But artists should not expect overnight success. The National Arts Council and artists themselves should both have a reasonable understanding of what is achievable. Setting ambitious plans without the ability to execute them will only result in performances that are unsatisfactory.

(The writer is Lianhe Zaobao’s art journalist. Translated by Yap Gee Poh.)






  几年前,王景生导演的跨文化《李尔》,没有被邀请参加艺术节,该作品后来在本地上演,观众一片喝采声,大家愤愤不平地替王景生不值,抨击艺术节“走宝”。两年后,王景生的第二个跨文化作品 《苔丝德蒙娜》,荣列艺术开幕节目。不料,演出饱受炮轰。









神秘内容 Loading...


·贪污是全球性的弊病吗? [英文]
·[网友作品]The Essence Of The Eccentric

下一篇:Cool Tips for Your Summer Workout
[返回顶部] [打印本页] [关闭窗口]