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Singapore International Festival of Arts Goes Virtual with SIFA v2.020

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Following the announcement that the National Arts Council (NAC) and Arts House Ltd (AHL) have invited Gaurav Kripalani to stay on for one more year as Festival Director of the Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) 2021, Kripalani and the SIFA team have revealed plans for a digital version of SIFA 2020.

Named SIFA v2.020, the online programmes features a series of curated virtual events including talks, workshops, performances and more from 25th May 2020 till the end of the year. Festival Director Gaurav Kripalani shares: “This is probably the most challenging time the arts have ever faced. When this pandemic is over and it is finally safe to go out, I believe audiences will crave the cathartic and communal bond of sharing in a live performance together. The world will be a different place, as will the way we engage with art. SIFA v2.020 aims to bridge that interval whilst asking how we do that in the new normal”.

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Gaurav Kripalani

The programming for SIFA v2.020 was designed with three aims in mind, namely: to create a space for artists to share their views through live streamed “In Conversation” sessions and panel discussions between artists from Singapore and abroad; to give arts practitioners mentorship, guidance, or inspiration to empower themselves creatively in this surreal new environment through talks and workshops; and as a platform to showcase online work specifically created for the digital sphere to engage audiences.

The four local arts groups commissioned to premiere new work at SIFA 2020 will also be working with the SIFA team to create online content from late May to December this year. Audiences can anticipate online talks, workshops and vodcasts regarding their productions – OIWA – The Ghost of Yotsuya by The Finger Players, Three Sisters by Nine Years Theatre, A Dream Under The Southern Bough: Existence by Toy Factory and The Year of No Return by The Necessary Stage. All four productions are set to be presented during SIFA 2021.

SIFA v2.020 officially begins on 25th May with a panel session between Gaurav Kripalani and the directors and producers of the four SIFA 2020 local commissions, discussing the impact of COVID-19 on the arts, and the new ways they will create and conceptualise art in the new normal. Over the course of the next few weeks, Kripalani and the SIFA team will also be reaching out to both local and international artists to explore ways in which they can be part of SIFA v2.020. Audiences are encouraged to subscribe to the SIFA e-newsletter or to follow SIFA’s various social media channels to receive updates on the artists who will be joining the line-up throughout the year.

Sarah Martin

AHL CEO Sarah Martin adds: “Art has the ability to inspire and uplift spirits; through good or bad times. In the last few months, I’ve witnessed an even stronger belief in creativity and coming together to collaborate. SIFA v2.020 embodies the fruit of collaboration between AHL, Festival Director Gaurav Kripalani and our panel of local performing artists and groups. This innovative platform will allow everyone in Singapore the chance to continue celebrating artistic excellence digitally. We will deliver the SIFA experience to everyone’s doorstep and keep audiences inspired to join us for SIFA 2021.”

Low Eng Teong, Deputy Chief Executive (Sector Development), National Arts Council, says: “Though SIFA cannot be presented as planned, it is important for SIFA to re-imagine innovative modes of presentation and connect festival lovers digitally through the power of the performing arts. The creative possibilities offered by SIFA v2.020 will allow our arts groups and practitioners to strengthen their digital capabilities and engage new and existing audiences, both at home and abroad. We hope that SIFA v2.020 will have Singaporeans and the world enjoy and experience our nation’s distinctive performing arts, anytime and anywhere.”

Subscribe to the SIFA newsletter and visit sifa.sg for weekly news and updates on SIFA v2.020.

The Singapore International Festival of the Arts 2020 was originally slated to run from 15th to 31st May 2020, but was cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It will return in 2021. 

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