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Preview: Esplanade’s Moonfest 2018

Screen Shot 2018-07-18 at 9.26.21 AM

The mid-autumn festival returns once again this September, ushering in an entire month of mooncakes, lanterns, and the Esplanade’s annual weekend celebration – Moonfest!

Taking place from 21st – 23rd September, the 14th edition of Moonfest will feature traditional Chinese arts as they showcase and shine a spotlight on legendary figures such as Ji Gong the Living Buddha, and stories like Romance of the Three Kingdoms, The Creation of Gods and Journey to the West. Over 60 programmes will be available for both the young and young at heart, ranging from storytelling at PIP’s PLAYBox, to traditional street opera performances at the Moonfest Chinese Opera Stage along the waterfront, to  contemporary performances at the Moonfest Tea Room!

You may know your Marvel characters, but did you know that there are countless characters in Chinese literature who are just as epic and powerful? Taiwan’s most-established Hokkien Opera troupe Ming Hwa Yuan Arts & Cultural Group will be coming down to the Esplanade Theatre to present their award-winning signature work Ji Gong, the Living Buddha: The Legend of the Snow Fox, performed by veteran artists such as Sun Cui Feng, Chen Sheng Zai and Zheng Ya Sheng.

Another highlight to look forward to would be Pipa Virtuoso Wu Man & Huayin Shadow Puppet Band Concert as they take over the Esplanade Concert Hall for a one night only performance. The concert will feature a repertoire of instrumental folk music and stories from classic Chinese novels including Romance of the Three Kingdoms, The Creation of Gods, and more, performed by pipa virtuoso Wu Man (who played as principal in Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble) and The Huayin Shadow Puppet Band who brings these golds and heroes to life with rugged shadow puppetry with over 2,000 years of history.

If you think the kids will be daunted by these long performances, then send them over to the Esplanade Theatre Studio for Esplanade commissioned The True Monkey King by Paper Monkey Theatre, as this puppetry performance recounts an excerpt from the Chinese classic Journey to the West. Kids can even take part in Parent-Child Workshops where they can learn more about Wing Chun martial arts and Chinese drums, or learn to make their own lanterns.

Besides these ticketed events, there’ll be plenty of free programmes happening all around the Esplanade during Moonfest, from Chinese dance to crosstalk, lantern riddles to the ever popular Lantern Walkabout on 22 September, as members of the public are given free lanterns and celebrate the Mid-Autumn festival together. Says Esplanade programmer Desmond Chew: “At Moonfest this year, we hope to create an occasion for everyone to come celebrate the mid-autumn season with us, and be inspired by stories of legendary figures, and find out more about the rich heritage and traditions of Chinese arts and culture.”

Come to Moonfest this September with a lantern in hand and a mooncake in mouth as they welcome anyone and everyone from all walks of life to come together and celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival in true Esplanade style!

Moonfest runs at the Esplanade from 21st – 23rd September 2018. Full programme and tickets available here

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