Everyone gets an arts adventure of their choice this Huayi – Chinese Festival of Arts. Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay invites you to the 17th edition of Huayi from 15 – 24 February 2019, in celebration of Chinese New Year with the community over the festive period.

Date: 15 to 24 February 2019
Time: Various Timings
Venue: Esplanade

huayi chinese festival of arts 2019

Said Delvin Lee, Producer, The Esplanade Co Ltd, “It is an innate desire for humans to constantly explore new places or gain new experiences. Doing so in the company of good friends makes it more enjoyable, and sometimes, we also get to make new friends in the process. At this year’s Huayi, we scale the heights of artistic vision and create new work together with friends we’ve built strong relationships with, and venture into new spaces with friends whom our audiences may not have met before. We hope that everyone will start the new year afresh and go on this exciting arts adventure with us at Esplanade!”

For the Thrill-seeking Frequent Flyers

childs play the story of banyan tree huayi 2019

Following the bumper crop of five new works commissioned for Huayi last year, we continue to work closely with our long-time collaborators in Singapore and partner prominent festivals in Asia to produce and create new works for the international stage. This includes:

  • The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark – a dynamic modern revival of Shakespeare’s Hamlet by Beijing Li Liuyi Theatre Studio (China), co-commissioned by Esplanade and Hong Kong Arts Festival.
  • Painted Skin – An Opera in Concert – a concert by Singapore Chinese Orchestra that fuses Western operatic style and Peking Opera elements, co-commissioned by Esplanade, China Shanghai International Arts Festival and the Singapore Chinese Orchestra.
  • That Which Cannot Be Divided – a contemporary dance performance by former members of Taiwan’s distinguished Cloud Gate Dance Theatre, Bulareyaung Pagarlava and Albert Tiong (Taiwan/Singapore) who will each be creating a new work in this double-bill, commissioned and produced by Esplanade.
  • Love Letters – a heartrending play that explores the love and loss shared between a pair of childhood friends, performed by real-life couples Rensen Chan and Jo Ngai (The Nonsensemakers, Hong Kong), and Nelson Chia and Mia Chee (Nine Years Theatre, Singapore), commissioned and produced by Esplanade.
  • FOUR FOUR EIGHT – a site-specific experimental work inspired by British playwright Sarah Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis and directed by Liu Xiaoyi (Emergency Stairs, Singapore), commissioned by Esplanade.
  • Child’s Play – The Story of the Banyan Tree – a new immersive and interactive children-only theatre production adapted from a classic local folklore, produced by Danny Yeo and 3Pumpkins (Singapore), commissioned by Esplanade.

For the Spontaneous Wanderers Esplanade’s Huayi team is always on the lookout for new arts experiences for audiences and artists / arts groups that will be performing at the festival for the first time includes:

  • Story Works (Taiwan) – a young theatre company that created the critically-acclaimed The Way of Zhuang Zi which has taken Taiwan by storm and presented overseas for the first time in Singapore.
  • M.O.V.E. Theatre (Taiwan) – a theatre company that is well-known for their interdisciplinary experimental projects will be presenting Dear John, an innovative production inspired by the philosophy of avant-garde American musician John Cage, involving dance, lighting effects, technology, audience participation, and sound.
  • Martin Feng (China) – ruan master who will be presenting new arrangements of familiar traditional Chinese tunes and his original compositions in Up & Down the Mountain – Martin Feng Ruan Recital.
  • Tiffany Poon (Hong Kong) – a 21-year-old accomplished pianist with over 14 million YouTube views and over 110,000 social media followers will make her debut solo concert at Esplanade.

huayi 2019 inmusic wonfu love songs

Every year, in::music showcases some of the most inspiring Chinese singer-songwriters and bands performing their original compositions. Indie music fans in Singapore get to enjoy music by the following artists in an intimate and casual setting at the Esplanade Annexe Studio:

  • Yoyo Sham (Hong Kong) – a deeply emotive songstress whose sweet and smooth vocals uniquely blends into the luscious music she creates.
  • Wonfu (Taiwan) – a quirky indie folk-rock band that injects a sense of humour and imagination in their music.
  • The Freshman (Singapore) – homegrown folk-pop duo who are back in town for their own concert after two years of performing as back-up vocalists in Heavenly King Jacky Cheung’s world tour concerts.
  • Julia Wu (Australia) – a former contestant on Australia’s The X Factor, the charismatic Berklee-trained singer-songwriter will be performing a collection of R&B-infused originals, including brand-new tracks from her upcoming album.

For the Star Chasers

Huayi’s star-studded festival line-up has never failed to disappoint awe-struck fans and this year, they can look forward to catching celebrities such as:

  • Hong Kong-based singer-songwriter and producer Khalil Fong
  • Chinese actor Hu Jun (best known for his roles in films such as Red Cliff and Lan Yu)
  • Chinese stage veteran Pu Cunxin (male lead in Beijing People’s Art Theatre’s classic Teahouse, presented at the Esplanade Theatre in 2015)
  • Popular Taiwanese actors Bobby Dou and Liu Liang-Tso
  • Renowned evergreen music songstress Yudi Yap from Malaysia

For the Family Vacationers

Singaporean theatre practitioner Danny Yeo and 3Pumpkins are back with another iteration of their children-only, immersive theatrical production of Child’s Play, this time based on a classic local folklore, The Story of the Banyan Tree. Parents can journey with their children and perhaps even become sound-makers themselves, in the experiential soundscape performance Dear John by M.O.V.E. Theatre. In addition, there will also be several Parent-Child Workshops that double as learning and bonding opportunities.

Complementing this diverse line-up of ticketed programmes is a spread of over 100 free performances and activities presented throughout the 10-day festival from 15 – 24 February 2019. From Chinese dance to instrumental concerts, puppetry performances to evergreen hits, there will be something for everyone to enjoy.

In conjunction with Huayi 2019, Esplanade will be inviting about 270 children, elderly and special needs individuals from various voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs) to learn more about Chinese festival drums through 12 drumming workshop sessions held in Dec 2018. Conducted by Singapore’s ZingO Festival Drum Group, participants will gain a better understanding and appreciation of this Chinese artform and also get to drum together as a group. Some of the workshop participants will also be invited to Esplanade to catch performances during the festival.

Huayi – Chinese Festival of Arts 2019 is made possible with the generous support from Principal Sponsor Knife Cooking Oil, as well as Supporting Sponsors Berries 百力果, Hong Leong Foundation and Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple.

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