For three weeks in June every year, the Singapore Arts Festival - which aspires to be an international arts event with a distinctly Asian identity - brings together great local and overseas works and artists who seek to inspire, challenge, surprise and entertain.
The fun kicks off with traditional village performances, where tribal and folk music, as well as dance from all over the world are complemented by the glorious colours and tastes of ethnic crafts and cuisine. With a programme of some 80 performances by over 30 foreign and local groups, the Festival sets standards by introducing world and Asian premieres to the Singapore arts scene.
Talented individuals and groups like Robert Wilson, Robert LePage, Trisha Brown Company, National Ballet of China, Taipei Dance Circle, Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera Atelier, just to name a few, have graced the stage during the Festival. Without ever forgetting tradition, a strong emphasis is placed on showcasing contemporary arts as we move into the new millennium.
Key components of the Festival include Arts On the Move, which brings free events to public parks, town centres and shopping districts, the Late Night Series, with its cutting edge performances by young debutantes from Singapore's very own arts community, and Kidsfest, organised specially for the young and young at heart.
All this helps to create the mood of festivity around the island, culminating in the climax of an outdoor arts spectacle. During each Festival, an aggregate total of over 300 activities are staged by some 2000 Singaporean and foreign artists, reaching an audience of about 218,000.