By Lindsay Wong
Singapore Dance Theatre (SDT)’s 2020 season is titled “Dare to Dance”, with 35 performances prepared this year across six seasons, which are: Romeo & Juliet, Peter & Blue’s Birthday Party (for children), Masterpiece in Motion, crowd-favourite Ballet Under the Stars, Passages (contemporary season) and the Christmas ballet, The Nutcracker.
SDT prides itself on three pillars: full length classical ballets (like Sleeping Beauty), international ballets, and world premieres. This year will feature new productions by international artists, particularly during Passages, which has been subtitled as Festival of New Works for the first time.
SDT recently held a preview for its 2020 season, with the dancers giving a short sample of their major performances, including:
Romeo and Juliet
Esplanade Theatre, March 5th – 8th
Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, one of the world’s most classic romances, will be performanced to Russian composer Prokofiev’s heart-rending music. There is a new character created by the Singaporean choreographer Choo-san Goh called Fate, who brings the couple together. It’s fascinating to see how this well-known love story has been adapted for the ballet – even though no words are said, the story is conveyed clearly to the audience via choreography and the dancers’ facial expressions.
Masterpiece in Motion: Organ Concerto
Esplanade Theatre, July 17th – 18th
Organ Concerto is one of three works that will be performed for Masterpiece in Motion, celebrating SDT’s 32nd anniversary as Singapore’s leading dance company.
The first section of Organ Concerto, choreographed by Nils Christe, showcases 12 couples in perfect synchronisation and involves lots of energetic sweeps, leaps, and jumps. This performance highlights the contrasting forces of dancers’ grace and strength and the choreography incorporates elements of suspense and excitement.
Celebration in Dance 2020: Fives
Esplanade Theatre, July 19th
Fives was choreographed by legendary Singaporean choreographer Choo-san Goh, who was the first and only Asian choreographer to be represented in international repertory. Goh described Fives as a “music ballet”, in which the movement comes from the music itself, making it a unique experience for the audience to witness on stage. Furthermore, Fives showcases every dancer’s talent, giving each a chance to shine.
Fives will be performed during Celebration in Dance 2020, marking the fifth year of collaboration between SDT and the Royal Academy of Dance. This one-night-only performance exhibits eight dance schools across Singapore and provides a privileged opportunity for students to dance on the prestigious Esplanade Theatre stage.
Ballet Under the Stars: Theme and Variations (Polonaise)
Fort Canning Green, September 25th – 27th & October 2nd – 4th
George Balanchine’s iconic work Theme and Variations will be featured at SDT’s annual Ballet Under the Stars over two consecutive weekends. Dancing to music by Tchaikovsky, the Polonaise is most often seen as a processional dance in ballets and aims to exude both drama and excitement.
At Ballet Under the Stars, the dancers will also perform Balanchine’s Serenade, the wedding scene from Don Quixote, Edmund Stripe’s Piano Concerto No. 2, Nils Christe’s Symphony in Three Movements, Natalie Weir’s Bittersweet, and Edward Liang’s Opus 25. In addition, this carnival has stalls where the audience can play games and stand to win attractive prizes. Audience members can also indulge in popcorn, candy floss and ice cream while watching the outdoor performances.