Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Night is ALIVE!!!

Camera, lights, ACTION! The night is alive for 2 weekends in celebration of the annual Singapore Night Festival 2013.  What that means is more activities for the night owls and art appreciation for all.  For the 2 weekends of 23, 24 and 30, 31 August, there will be a slew of activities along the museum areas, stretching all the way to Plaza Singapore.  More information on Singapore Night Festival.
Projections on the facade of NMS

This year, I went!  I've decided to take more chances with activities, events and attractions in my home town, starting slowly now.  Time to get to know Singapore ya?!?! It is times when friends come to visit that I truly make the effort and time to explore the hidden gems of my hometown.  Places I've never been to - Singapore Flyer, Newton Food Center, Museums, Ku De Ta etc.  These are places I wasn't all that interested to visit, but I gave them a try when friends come.  To show them around Singapore as best as I could, and also to show myself my hometown that I don't really know.  Yes, truth be told, I am like a tourist back home.  Every excursion is like a new discovery for me.  Sad to say, I don't know Singapore as well as I should be. I know Shanghai better than Singapore! Blame it on the fact that I travel too much, blame it on the fact that I get downright LAZY when I'm back home, preferring to stone at home than to explore, losing that energy and adventurous spirit when I'm back home.  Afterall, this is my home and it's not going anywhere, so why bother to hit every spot there is?  I have time!  

But anyway, back to the point - Singapore Night Festival.  It was here last year, and I have no idea what I was doing last year to miss this.  Glad I went this year.  With Mei Mei, we headed to National Museum last Saturday for the performances and roamed the streets of Armenian.

Wow, the crowd that gathered!! I guess when you combine FREE and PERFORMANCES, you attract people.  But this is the event you should really go for if you have time and are in town.  For the 2 weekends, the museums like National museum, Peranakan museum and Art museum are opened till late night, free for everyone (that includes non-Singaporeans).  And there are street performances, stalls, lightings etc along the vicinity.  For the 1st weekend, that is when most performances were staged.  We went for the 3 highlights at the National Museum - Vertical Extraction, Pyramid of Void and Starlight Alchemy.

815pm was the start of the first performance, and the NMS facade was packed! We had to squeeze our way through to get a good spot to actually see the performers.  Unlucky for us, the 2 performances were staged on one side of the NMS facade and we were parked on the opposite side.  So we had to make our way through and stood uncomfortably for 30mins for the 2 performances.  

Vertical Extraction

Pyramid of Void
Vertical Extraction was by 2 performers, with bungy ropes strapped around their waists while they danced and jumped about the walls of NMS.  Then followed by Pyramid of Void, where 3 performers strapped to elevated wires performed Cirque Du Soleil style acrobatics around the wired pyramid.

I would say the highlight was Starlight Alchemy.  We were perfectly positioned, albeit the backside of the stage, to have a good view of the show.  It was a show of FIRE!  Yes, like the nightly fireshows you get when you go to a beach vacation, but a more professional one.  Dancers played with fire and grace to end the performances on a high!

After that, we went into NMS, hoping to catch a glimpse of some exhibition.  Well well, what do you know!  Ever seen a museum crowded with people that they had to close of the top level to fight congestion?  That was exactly what we saw.  Pretty amusing though.  We gave up trying to fight our way through and went for the Absolut Vodka exhibit.  There was a Q too, but fast moving one.  We marvelled at the different designs and bottles for Absolut, me thinking - drink drink drink all the time!  

Our night ended with a walk along Armenian street and towards City Hall station.  We were slightly disappointed by the Hawker food alley at Armenian street.  We had hoped for more stalls showcasing our hawker culture, but sadly there was only a Putu Pirang stall (what we call TuTu cake) and a Cow van that sells not hawker food.  Also, I would have liked there to be more street performers along Armenian Street.  We only saw like a few walking performers and some stalls.  A little disappointed.  Hope they have more the coming weekend.

All in all, a nice experience.  We didn't hit all the spots - there were Plaza Singapore, Fort Canning, SMU etc, but we got a feel of the festival.  Culturalized!  Next year, I would be most interested to see what they will come up with!

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