21 June 2006

Photo/Video Essay: Singapore Arts Festival @ Woodlands

Out of curiosity, I went to the free Arts Festival performances at Woodlands on Sunday (180606) evening. Yao could not make it, so I went alone. There were three performances that night: Ben Zuddhist, Krinkl Theatre and Fireflys.

Ben Zuddhist is a solo performance by a person from UK.

Meet Versilli, a befuddled ‘Ukrainian’ clown, and his troupe of talented toy animal pals. For side-splitting fun, join this mini circus and enjoy wacky acrobatics, off-beat humour and magical moments.

The performer engaged the audience very frequently, asking for children to participate in some of his "games" as well as the audience to applaud. Although this was not stated, I believe this performance was more suited for children, though adults would probably enjoy it as well.

He had quite a few good jokes and tricks up his sleeves that would tickle the audience. However, the response from the audience didn't seem too enthusiastic. Perhaps it's because there weren't many around to begin with. I must say, too, that this isn't really the fault of the performer; the stage was rather small, actually.

Poor him... he had to be speaking and performing for about 45 minutes, and the weather's hot that day.

Krinkl Theatre is a performance from Australia.

This multi-award winning group will delight you with Tightrope, an innovative puppet performance that uses everyday objects to create a uniquely magical experience. Kids and adults will fall in love with this charming performance put together by their wild imagination and clever use of newspapers.

They started off with some simple but creative performances using newspaper, such as crushing and folding them into a bird, and animating it with their hands.

There were also some comical moments that got the audience laughing. This one saw them first merrily rolling, in elaborate actions, newspapers into sticks with each other's help, and then whacking each other once they're done.

This is the highlight of their performance - the newspaper-and-tape puppet. Although the puppet is rather simple, the performers apparently did put in lots of efforts in animating it. I was totally blown off by the liveliness of the puppet, behaving as if it were a real person.

The puppet performance took up more than half the performance period, and there was very little repetition of the actions.

Of all the three, this one is my favourite.

I'll put up a short video clip of the puppet in action, once Google Video finish verifying it.

Fireflys is a performance by a local team. Entitled Heroes of the La-La Land, it is a performance involving flames and dances.

Inspired by Japanese animation, this avant-garde production paints a vibrant musical landscape, featuring bizarre characters, animated movements and an exhilarating fire twirling performance.

Most of the photos taken were not good, mainly because it was dark (which demands a high exposure and low shutter speed), and the movement was fast (which demands a high shutter speed). All except this photo used a shutter speed of two seconds. This resulted in the fire trailing like a long piece of cloth, where it is in fact just a pole with fire on it.

Although the performance wasn't impressive to me, a few of the photos turned out pretty well and with a nice visual twist. This one is my favourite. It looks like some fire spells from fantasy games.

This Fireflys performance attracted the most people. In fact, when I came back from my toilet break, the place was so filled that I had to stand at the side of the stage.

I believe there is a storyline behind the performance, but I cannot catch it. But it was still a rather not bad performance.

I really wished I had time to go for other performances, but because of ICT and then the Physics Open House, many of the performances were finished by the time I'm free. In addition, many of the street performances were not close to the area I live in.

Maybe next year I'll have better luck.

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