Preview: Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre’s Cultural Extravaganza 2019
The Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre’s annual Cultural Extravaganza is back for its 3rd edition this May! Celebrating all facets of Chinese culture over 3 weeks, come witness the centre come alive with an immersive line-up of programmes, inviting all to rediscover cultural influences intertwined in our everyday life.
This year’s programme is set to be a treat for all the senses, with heart-stopping action to insightful exhibitions, along with plenty of musical tunes, gastronomic delights and hands-on opportunities to get a full taste of all the Chinese culture has to offer. The extravaganza kicks off with SCCC commission Memoirs of Nanyang on 25th May, by the Singapore Chinese Cultural Contribution Award’s first recipient Siong Leng Musical Association. A musical performance, the production tells an epic cross-generational tale of an immigrant in Nanyang who grapples with his constant longing for home, and features a bold fusion of traditional Nanyin music with more contemporary Malay and pop tunes.
Meanwhile, Singapore’s early entertainment scene and history will be presented in the form of circus acts and street wayang. as seen by Bornfire circus’s Circus by the People (不马虎，不儿戏) – a visual spectacle of juggling acts, diabolo spinning, and aerial performances. Local theatre company Ground Z-0 will re-present their street theatre storytelling/game show performance ISland TaleS – A Multi-lingual Street Wayang (岛屿传奇), where audiences will get to know some of the lesser known legends and myths of Singapore.
Enrich your life with how Singapore Chinese Culture has influenced our lives in unexpected ways, with a chance to learn more about it through comics at the Creative Market and purchase craft products by local independent brands at the Sing Life Collective Market. Take a step back into the past and visit a special exhibition which traces how Chinese wedding traditions of the different dialect groups have evolved over the years and reflect about how different it is then and now.
Meanwhile, plenty of workshops are also available for a hands-on experience at creating and crafting their own piece of culture and history to take home. Breakfast is served at the Nanyang Coffee Exhibition and Workshop, as participants learn how Singapore’s quintessential breakfast foods – kopi, kaya toast, and teh came to be through a series of interactive experiences by Kossip (口加口非). Other workshops give participants a glimpse into Peranakan culture with a beading workshop and a tile colouring workshop, while others let you create miniature clay art pieces of local biscuits, or even become a percussionist for a day with Drum Feng.
On the music side, get ready for a medley of concerts throughout the extravaganza, with plenty of original compositions across musical genres, ranging from popular tunes performed by the Singapore National Youth Chinese Orchestra at Reverberance of Youth II and youth ensemble Reverberance at Evolution of Chinese Wind Percussion, to swing tunes at Jazz It Up! – A Jazzy Celebration of Chinese Songs, featuring local jazz legend Jeremy Monteiro and the Jazz Association Singapore Orchestra, alongside jazz songbirds Joanna Dong, Jasmine Chen and Melissa Tham and more. Chinese chorale music will be curated by Singapore Chinese Cultural Contribution Award 2018 recipient Mr Lee Yuk Chuan in Our Home, while Peranakan culture once again comes to the forefront with Peranakan Sayang’s concert promising plenty of laughs and good cheer, especially with their new song parody “Come and Play Mahjong”.
The festival will conclude with the grand return of the crowd-favourite Sing.Lang Concert, so big it will be held at the Singapore Sports Hub, and will be headlined by local music celebrities such as veteran singer Kit Chan, A-do, Sing! China finalist Nathan Hartono and indie darling Gentle Bones. These A-listers will perform alongside both stalwarts of our local music scene and next generation singers, making waves across international music markets and promising a night of catchy tunes. Distinguished music producer for many of Asia’s top stars Ruth Ling will return to helm the concert as the executive producer and creative director, while accomplished homegrown music maestro Jimmy Ye will once again take up the mantle of co-creative director.
Says Mr Low Sze Wee, CEO of the Cultural Centre: “Culture is all around us. Through Cultural Extravaganza 2019, we hope to cast a spotlight on the many ways in which our evolving local Chinese culture has influenced our social practices, language, music and other art forms. We are delighted to partner many local talents to present our culture in enjoyable ways through a diverse line-up of programmes. We hope that the Festival will kickstart everyone’s journey in discovering more about our distinctive culture, and inspire them to appreciate the strong connections that bind us.”
Cultural Extravaganza 2019 runs from 24th May to 15th June 2019 at the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre. For full programme and details, visit their website here