ABOUT NATALIE HENNEDIGE, FESTIVAL DIRECTOR, SIFA 2022 - 2024
Appointed as the Festival Director for SIFA 2022-2024, Natalie Hennedige is the Artistic Director of Cake, a contemporary performance company presenting progressive works at the intersection of theatre and a range of disciplines. As a performance director, Hennedige explores contemporary issues through highly constructed heightened worlds with collaborators from diverse artistic disciplines and cultural backgrounds. Hennedige is a recipient of the National Arts Council’s Young Artist Award (2007) and the JCCI Singapore Foundation Culture Award (2010).
Photo by Tuckys Photography
Helming the direction for SIFA 2022-2024, Natalie has defined a three-year arc intended to bring focus to performance & creation in the physical and online space, around the recurring title of The Anatomy of Performance.
OVERALL FESTIVAL THEME
SIFA 2022-2024 will be unified by the guiding title of The Anatomy of Performance - this will be the recurring theme of the three-year arc to bring focus on what ‘performance’ in an international performing arts festival can encompass, through both physical and virtual spaces. Over the next three years, SIFA will be programming works from artists and artist collectives that push and expand the possibilities of performance.
The Anatomy of Performance will be accompanied by a subtitle that changes each year to guide and focus each edition’s curatorial stance - further unpacking ‘performance’, encouraging audiences to see the relevance of performance articulation in the midst of contemporary complexities when created by artists and artist collectives, with strong and unique perspectives in the poly-dynamic and universal language of art. SIFA 2022 is titled The Anatomy of Performance - Ritual.
Upcoming editions of SIFA will also see a combination of varied performance locations to provide viewers with a unique and holistic festival experience.
SIFA 2022: THE ANATOMY OF PERFORMANCE - RITUAL
Each and every performance embodies a Ritual, as an evolving entity that relates to one’s shifting perspectives, personal beliefs and life philosophies. The rituals that define our common experience abide by the anthropological conditions of time (duration), artefact (symbolic objects & clothing) and gesture (significant actions).
SIFA 2022: The Anatomy of Performance - Ritual is an invitation to consider the very conditions imbued in the anatomy, or structural inner-workings of each performance to communicate potent narratives in the universal language of art.
Curatorial Programming - An Overview
SIFA 2022 is organised on the basis of three key tracks that are intermingling, and which serve to appeal to the various demographics of audiences that the festival intends to connect with, both in Singapore and overseas:
Creation - Enabling the creation of contemporary works that can be enduring for years to come
Life Profusion - Discovering and leveraging a new virtual venue for artistic expression
SIFA X - Providing wilder performance offerings
SIFA 2022 is characterised by a dominance of original works where Singapore bred practitioners are taking key artistic positions on an international platform. With Singapore’s own creatives steering new works, SIFA 2022 serves to highlight the very city that cradles the festival – Singapore and her inherent characteristics. Held across various physical venues, SIFA 2022 commissions will treat audiences to the experience of an unusual “excursion”, where the destination holds as much charm and creative vitality as the actual performance.
For SIFA 2022 and beyond, the festival also intends to draw attention to the virtual landscape as a vital, rather than alternative, platform to artmaking. In partnership with System Sovereign, this new virtual space will be introduced as an independent entity that brings SIFA to the digital domain, and to reach a wider audience across various disciplines and varied industries. This virtual platform aims to reflect the multiplicity and agency that a contemporary international arts festival is capable of encapsulating, encouraging online commissions, dialogue and exchange of ideas. The content categories (+DREAM, +EAT, +DISCUSS, +GROW, +READ) will be related to the thematic frames of the festival and artists programmed.
Wilder, multidisciplinary offerings that are to be presented alongside the Creation and Life Profusion tracks, adding another layer to SIFA 2022 and unifying the festival under its title and associated subtitle.
About Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA)
As Singapore’s annual pinnacle performing arts festival, the Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) presents captivating and diverse works across theatre, music, dance, film and visual arts. First launched as the Singapore Festival of Arts in 1977, the festival has gone through several evolutions and inspired generations of arts lovers and practitioners. Today, the highly anticipated festival is a high point on Singapore’s arts and cultural calendar. SIFA continues its festival mission to champion the creation and presentation of Singaporean and international works.