Usher in the New Year with Huayi
Posted on 27 January, 2012
Most of the shows are already sold out – but if you can beg, borrow, or steal tickets – you should definitely head down to Huayi Festival of Arts this weekend & next. Some of the biggest names in the Chinese performing arts world will be staging masterpieces at this year’s festival: apart from Huayi favourites like American/Taiwanese theatre director Stan Lai, Hong Kong experimental artist Danny Yung, and Taiwanese choreographer Lin Hwai-Min, the line-up also includes the acclaimed composer Tan Dun, who will be leading the Singapore Festival Orchestra in the much-anticipated concert of his wuxia film scores. There are barely tickets left to this blockbuster show – boohoo for procrastinators like us.
“When we first proposed the idea of Huayi Festival of Arts, of a Chinese-themed festival during the Lunar New Year, everyone told us it was doomed to fail. That no one was going to come during Chinese New Year, and that no one wanted to perform,” said JP Nathan, Director of Programming at Esplanade.
The sold-out shows speak for themselves.
Fans of the talented Stan Lai, who is also a regular in Huayi, will be staging his latest installment of his xiangshen series. Titled Crosstalk Travellers, the piece, about two travellers stranded on an island, is done in the traditional comedy style, cross talk.
“In Crosstalk Travellers, you’ll find it less xiangshen, and more a life dialogue between travellers. It’s also probably the only one of my plays that has my own experiences in it,” says Lai, who marks his sixth performance at Huayi with this witty comedy.
One of our favourite artists who works with the traditional art of Chinese opera – and reinvents it – Hong Kong director Danny Yung of performance troupe Zuni Icosahedron teams up with homegrown theatre group Drama Box in this physical theatre piece inspired by the Nobel-winning novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. One Hundred Years of Solitude 10.0 – Cultural Revolution delves into the impact and effects of cultural revolutions and social uprisings over multiple generations.
Last, but not least, the inimitable Lin Hwai-Min leads his troupe Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan in Water Stains on The Wall, a dance piece inspired by the movements made of free-flowing ink. Lin’s works are marked by striking aesthetics and poetic visuals, and the exquisite-sounding Water Stains promises to be nothing less than gorgeous.