Arts Singapore

Esplanade Launches Open Call for its First Artistic Research Residency

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Singapore’s national performing arts centre, Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, invites artists, curators, programmers, writers, researchers and practitioners across all disciplines in the performing arts to apply for its inaugural Contemporary Performing Arts Research Residency. Supported by the National Arts Council, Singapore, this new artistic research development programme takes place in Singapore between April and June 2022.

The fully-funded residency aims to support creative research in contemporary performing arts by providing its residents the time and space for artistic inquiry, experimentation, development, research activities and opportunities for interdisciplinary and transcultural dialogues. The residency welcomes various manners and methodologies of enquiry, embracing a pluralistic approach towards research that unfolds not only through the written word, but also includes forms of experimentation with the body, performed moments, and other non-traditional systems of knowledge.

“Since our inception, Esplanade has been supporting artists in the creation of new work, especially through commissions or co-productions.”

Faith Tan, Head, Dance & International Development, Programming, The Esplanade Co Ltd said: “Since our inception, Esplanade has been supporting artists in the creation of new work, especially through commissions or co-productions. This is typically tied to a production process that results in a presentation within our festivals or series. Therefore we saw a need for a new dedicated programme which offers practitioners a concentrated period of time and resources to focus solely on research and experimentation. This marks the first time we are creating an open call research residency that is open to both Singapore and international applicants, and which also includes support for non-artists such as programmers or producers. In addition to Residents having access to rehearsal studios in Esplanade, they will also share a working space, and it is our intent that this will facilitate dynamic exchange between practitioners from different artistic communities.”

There is no commitment for residents to create a production during or after the residency. Instead, residents will be asked to present at least one public programme of their choosing, developed in conversation with the Esplanade Team.

The residency offers two types of support: Artist-in-Residence and Researcher-inResidence.

The residency offers two types of support: Artist-in-Residence and Researcher-inResidence. Artists-in-Residence can apply for a residency period of one to three months, while Researchers-in-Residence can apply for a residency period of two to four weeks. All residents will receive either a stipend (for artists) or an allowance (for researchers), a shared working space, studios when required, as well as accommodation and international travel to and from Singapore, if from abroad.

In 2022, the residency proposes the thematic focus Potential Territorialities: Body, Space and Identity in Performance.

There will be annual open calls held for applications to the residency and each cycle will revolve around a thematic focus conceived to respond to current critical issues in our society. In 2022, the residency proposes the thematic focus Potential Territorialities: Body, Space and Identity in Performance. To explain the theme, territoriality as a term is associated with evolutionary processes between animal behaviour and the spaces that they lay claim to for survival. In society today, this behaviour has commonly been enforced within physical, mental or virtual spaces through institutions of power. Traversing entities, territoriality can also be actively constituted in the dynamic of relations and practices. The relational aspect of territoriality conjures multiple real and abstract associations pertaining to interconnected transformations in communities, territorial boundaries and the environment.

By embracing the adaptive aspects of the term, the thematic focus endeavours to uncover the potentials of realignment between relations within a territory (geographic, political, social, cultural or artistic) during a time of planetary change. As a subject in artistic research, potential territorialities may prompt enquiries towards new interpretations of our historical past, reflections on our present moment in flux, or creative imaginings of futures. By questioning the ways bodies—whether as material object or virtual, corporeal or imagined—negotiate the limitations and possibilities of its boundaries and disciplines, how are spaces and systems permeated, rejected or transformed? Between interweaving visible and invisible lines and edges, what paradoxes and potentialities emerge when cultural, national, social, or individual identities coexist, relate and evolve? The residency seeks to develop collective and diverse perspectives on body, space and identity within performance research and expand habits in performance making. 

Artists and Researchers-in-Residence are chosen through a Selection Panel comprising leading international curators, programmers, artists and managers. They have been appointed based on their thought-provoking practices, dynamic networks with practitioners from a wide variety of disciplines and their invaluable knowledge of the performing arts across Singapore, Asia and beyond. The Selection Panel will also serve as interlocutors in the programme’s development and be available as consultants for all residents.

The Selection Panel of the 2022 Contemporary Performing Arts Research Residency are:
• Melati Suryodarmo, Artist and Director of Studio Plesungan, Surakata, Indonesia
• Tang Fu Kuen, Artistic Director of Taipei Arts Festival, Taiwan, Independent Dramaturg and Producer
• Anna Wagner, Dramaturg and Program Curator, Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, Frankfurt, Germany
• Faith Tan, Head, Dance and International Development, Programming, Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Singapore
• Jia Jia Hoon, Deputy Director, Sector Development (Traditional Arts), National Arts Council, Singapore

The residency invites individuals working and researching within any discipline(s) in the performing arts in Singapore and across the world to submit proposals that complement the conceptual lines set by the thematic focus alongside their artistic practice.

The Open Call’s application period is from 1st Apr 2021 to 31st May 2021, Mon, 11.59pm (GMT +8). For more information, visit their website here

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