Dark night rises in light installations

SINGAPORE - Stilt walkers, in colourful, glittering costumes, walked the streets. Light installations glowed in the night. Our museums became projection screens for videos featuring swirling bits of colour.

And music - both mystical tunes and indie fare from live bands - played. The Singapore Night Festival is here again. If you missed the shows on Friday and Saturday, fear not, they happen again next week.

The annual arts and culture festival, in its sixth year, has aerial performances, light installations, music and dance.

The performers this year included local acts like J C Sum and 'Magic Babe' Ning, as well as international acts from France and Spain among others.

At the National Museum of Singapore, two dancers flipped, turned and scaled its facade. Another three did a performance while suspended in midair, on a pyramid structure made of ropes.

Said American tourist Shirley Lenyoun, 65, a teacher: "They were very elegant and must have spent a lot of time practising.

"I'm impressed by their gymnastic ability and co-ordination. I didn't think there were such performances in Singapore."

Says housewife Grace Lee, 49: "I like how our buildings light up with beautiful images from the video projections. It makes them look magical, so full of life and character."

At Armenian Street, two jesters descended from a crescent moon and performed vignettes, accompanied by music.

In one of the alleys was a mixed media installation featuring words like "laugh" and "smile" cut from rectangular piece of wood. Says the artist behind it, Mrs Karen Mitchell, 39: "I've never had so many people look at my installation at one time before. I'm happy they are enjoying it and curious to learn about it."

This year, the festival grounds have expanded, stretching from Plaza Singapura to Raffles City. Festival director Angelita Teo calls it "an international event in its own right - a fun, entertaining and show-stopping cultural display (we) can be truly proud of".

Adds Mr Noor Effendy Ibrahim, artistic director of The Substation, one of the festival's partners: "With the closure of Armenian Street... we hope that the outdoor music performances... will bring a little of The Substation's indie spirit to the streets."

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