I've been twice to Singapore; in this second visit last May (2007) I had the chance to meet one of the best musicians of the city-state, Mark Chan. Mark had the premiere of his new spectacle, Dreaming of Kuanyin Meeting Madonna, at the 2007 Singapore Arts Festival, which is a huge effort to support performing arts, from Singapore and the world. It was a very good reason to see several high quality dance, theatre and music groups and companies, to know about them and enjoy this amazing city.

Singapore is an expensive country, so I had to be very selective choosing the spectacles I wanted to see: first of all, Mark Chan's spectacle, of course; another concert-spectacle by the famous Singaporean string quartet T’ang; The Map and Paper Concerto, a surely amazing performance by Tan Dun, the orchestra director and postmodern Chinese composer; and one energetic group of street precussionists from South Korea, Noridan. I could even come across other street spectacles on my way to different places, like when going shopping, for example.

Without being part of the festival, but as part of the season’s festivities, Singapore commemorated the anniversary of Buddha's illumination (and death, of course), celebrating with a big parade-show of cultural manifestations from several Buddhist groups from all over Asia who live in the island: Malay, Indian and Chinese mainly. This year Singaporeans also celebrated the inauguration of a new Buddhist temple dedicated to a strange relic: a tooth from Buddha.


There were performances all over the city, inside amazing ultramodern cultural venues, always on time, and with many restrictions for us, uneducated spectators from the undeveloped world, restrictions such as “photography is not allowed inside the theatre”(even if the performance had not started yet, or was already over), or being forbidden to take photographs of the artists giving autographs, for example.

I'm writing a detailed post of every show, of course.

Well, Singapore with an average temperature of 35 degrees Celsius and a humidity of more than 70%, was full of warmth and life during those days, a lot of life I'd say.


This is a video with some nice moments of the festival: