Points of View: Critical Frames for Performance Writing and Making

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New initiative by Asian Dramaturgs’ Network, a programme of Singapore International Festival of Arts, exposes young performing arts practitioners to different approaches to performance writing and making

Points of View (POV) is a new initiative by Centre 42’s Asian Dramaturgs’ Network (ADN) that will be taking place from 4 th to 12th May 2018, as one of the engagement programmes at Singapore International Festival of Arts 2018 (SIFA2018).

The focus for this year’s edition of POV is Critical Frames for Performance Writing and Making. The programme is designed for young performing arts makers and writers between the age of 18 and 30 to gain deeper insight and understanding of their craft and practice, and explore various ways of viewing and approaching works. The nine-day programme is divided into two tracks and will be helmed by the co-directors of ADN, Dr. Charlene Rajendran (for the performance making track) and Dr. Lim How Ngean (for the performance writing track).

Says Rajendran: “We hope to give young practitioners the opportunity to spend time watching and talking about performance, because we don’t often allocate a dedicated space for that. The hope is that it builds their interests and capacities in terms of reading, accessing, and sensing what performances are about. We also hope that they will find value in talking to each other, and hopefully deepen their own connection with kindred spirits.”

Selected participants will take part in an intensive programme of activities, which includes watching SIFA performances, meeting festival artists, members of the SIFA team, and other industry experts. They will be given readings and assignments to complete, and are required to take part in a public forum to share their learnings and experience at the end of their journey.

Says Lim: “Participants will get to take a behind-the-scenes look at how performances are made, because as audience members they usually just get to see the final product on stage. This programme is a chance for young people who are already interested in participating in these worlds to see the different elements that make up the final show.”

With POV, ADN hopes to broaden its reach and scope beyond its current symposium-type discourse among experienced practitioners in the Asia-Pacific region, to a more tailored programme exposing young people involved in the local art-making scene to dramaturgical thinking and frames.

Says Gaurav Kripalani, Festival Director of the Singapore International Festival of Arts 2018 – 2020: “One of SIFA’s key objectives is to collaborate not only with artists, but with industry partners as well, who are a vital part of developing our arts ecosystem. This initiative developed with Asian Dramaturgs’ Network and Centre 42 sets the stage for young practitioners to engage in discourse and reflection about the role of the arts in today’s society as well as their own craft and practice. This is an important dimension that SIFA should continue to enable as a pinnacle performing arts festival in Singapore with a long tradition of having inspired generations of arts practitioners.”

Says Rajendran: “The partnership with SIFA2018 allows the Asian Dramaturgs’ Network to develop this exposure programme that offers participants a range of frameworks through which they can read the festival and its performances as audience members and as thinkers and writers about the arts in Singapore.”

An open call for Points of View: Critical Frames for Performance Writing and Making will be launched on Monday, 26 February 2018. Interested participants should be confident in both written and spoken English, be actively involved in performance theory/studies/practice, and possess a keen interest in performance writing or performance making. More information and the application form will be available on: www.asiandramaturgs.com.

About Centre 42

Centre 42 is a non-profit theatre development space that is committed to the creation, documentation and promotion of texts and writings for the Singapore stage. The Centre incubates original writing for production development; provide space for artists and new work creation; and develop a functional archive documenting the histories and processes of Singapore theatre. More info at: www.centre42.sg

About Asian Dramaturgs’ Network

The Asian Dramaturgs’ Network (ADN) is formed with the intent of mapping and networking the region’s dramaturgical experience and knowledge. ADN is collaboratively conceptualised with Centre 42 and held its inaugural ADN Symposium in Singapore in 2016. Since then, various gatherings of dramaturgs, performance makers and arts educators from around the Asia-Pacific region have taken place in Japan and Australia. Centre 42 is the principal organising partner for ADN. More info at: www.asiandramaturgs.com.

About Singapore International Festival of Arts

Into its 41st year, Singapore International Festival of Arts 2018 presents diverse and distinctive work from Singapore and around the world that ignites the imagination, inspires myriad audiences, and provokes reflection and dialogue. Get ready for a plethora of theatre, music, dance, literary and visual arts at the pinnacle arts festival that will happen over three weeks from 26 April to 12 May, and across over ten performance spaces, including the Festival House, located at The Arts House. More info at: www.sifa.sg.

About Lim How Ngean

Lim How Ngean is a performance-maker, dramaturg and dance researcher who has been actively involved in the performing arts for over 20 years. He is also the founding director of the Asian Dramaturgs’ Network. In recent years, How Ngean has served as dramaturg for dance performances at the Singapore Arts Festival and Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay. He was conferred his PhD in 2014 from the National University of Singapore for his research on contemporary dance choreography in Southeast Asia.