Singapore Festival of Arts 1998

28 May 1998 – 28 June 1998


Now celebrating its 12th birthday, Singapore's biennial Festival of Arts (FOA), organised by the National Arts Council, has established itself as one of the most comprehensive arts festivals in Asia.

The keyword in the FOA since its inception in 1977 has been the eclecticism which has become a hallmark of the Singaporean worldview: a balance between the old and the new, the traditional and the contemporary and the tried and tested evergreen. In the FOA, you get to see everything: from musicians who make music from plastic tubes, theatre pieces in which actors do not talk and dance pieces that verge on natural movement, to the well-known ensembles in classical music, established theatre acts and top dance troupes.

For FOA 1998 the catch phrase is “innovation. Some of the most exciting acts of over 30 groups (in 95 performances over 26 days) are the cutting-edge productions from Asia. They will challenge and push our perceptions of what is possible in the arts.

Established Singaporean theatre groups (such as TheatreWorks, The Necessary Stage and The Theatre Practice), whose works are characterised by slick production values, rawn energy and philosophical subtexts, are guaranteed to deliever some of the most thought-proviking moments in the festival. The legendary Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan, which presents its breath-taking Nine Songs, is also set to be a high point in the Festival.

The revolutionary opera of Shanghai Beijing Opera Theatre highlights the changes of a traditional Asian art form that uniquely blends the traditional and the contemporary.

Japan’s Theatre Uzura and Buto-Sha Tenkei are two groups whose unique insights into the essence of aesthetics and life are bound to change your perception of the everyday.

At the other end of the spectrum, the presence for two top symphony orchestras in the international scene today, together with a young and rising orchestra from Southeast Asia, will serve as a reminder that tradition will always have a place in our lives.

With such a line-up, the Singapore Festival of Arts promises to be the arts festival for arts lovers to experience the new Asia in a Singapore which is witnessing an exciting development of Asian arts with a new found Asian spirit and a New Asian sensibility.

(Source: National Arts Council Programme)

productions & stagings

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Liu Thai Ker
National Arts Council Chairman


Singapore Festival of Arts (1998), Programme
Programme for Singapore Festival of Arts (1998). 
National Arts Council
Recorded: 28 May 1998