Arts Singapore Theatre

Preview: Carnival of the Animals by Base Entertainment Asia

Internationally acclaimed contemporary circus company Circa from Brisbane, Australia and the leading presenter of live entertainment in Asia Pacific Base Entertainment Asia present Carnival of the Animals at Sands Theatre, a blend of circus, multimedia and music.

This family-friendly show magically reinvents the classic music suite by French romantic composer Camille Saint-Saëns. Depicting creatures from land, sea and sky, Circa’s performers take children and their adults on a safari through the lives of the tortoise, the elephant, the kangaroo, the swan, the life aquatic and many other beasts of fur, feathers and fin. It is an exuberant celebration of all of earth’s creatures and the power of our bodies to express who we really are.

Created by circus visionary and Circa artistic director Yaron Lifschitz, and the Circa ensemble, Carnival of the Animals brings the joy of the animal kingdom to the stage in a sophisticated and visually stunning physical theatre extravaganza for children big and small. Circa is world-renowned for pushing artistic boundaries and creating powerful works of circus art that thrill, challenge and captivate as they constantly reimagine circus as an artform.

The Circa Carnival comes to town with a whimsical new tale of creatures that tumble, fly, leap, and spin their way through the animal kingdom: zebras juggle, kangaroos somersault, and elephants dance with street cred. And even the dinosaur bones shake, clatter and roll to the music.

Written in 1886, Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals has been adored by children and adults for many generations.It is a playful and magical work of music imbued with Victorian eccentricity whose fourteen movements eachexplore a specific or group of animals. For this production Australian composer Quincy Grant artfully reworked and extended the original suites. On stage Circa performers are accompanied by and interact with sumptuously detailed animation created by UK-based Australian video designer Michaela French.

The initial ideas for Carnival of the Animals came out of a week-long development process with Director YaronLifschitz and Associate Director and Costume Designer Libby McDonnell in Berlin in December 2013. Michaela French, Video Designer, said “I wanted to re-create the feeling I had as a child when I had read a book and there was the sense that it might just be possible to slip into that imagined world and discover that it was real almost as though one slipped into an alternate reality where elephants can dance, frogs ride unicycles, gravity is defied, where the magic of the circus is the most important part of life and the entire world can be carried in a small suitcase.”

French said, “I wanted the animation to have a quality of moving through the pages of a children’s book but it became much more than that. When the banners unfurl from their suitcases, the stage is set and an adventure begins. There is a whole world of wonder to discover and explore, with journeys from the bottom of the ocean to outer space and a parade of animals who entertain, terrify and delight audiences of all ages.”

Carnival of the Animals runs from 14th to 17th April 2022 at Sands Theatre. Tickets available from SISTIC

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