Futuristic concept for NDP 2016

Futuristic concept for NDP 2016

This year's National Day Parade is set to dazzle with a slew of firsts - from drones and 3D projections to indoor fireworks, large props and performers suspended in the air.

The National Stadium, which last hosted the parade a decade ago, has a 82.5m-tall roof that provides the vertical space for these midair stunts.

The nation's 51st birthday bash will carry the theme, Building Our Singapore of Tomorrow.

Announcing this yesterday, the parade's executive committee chairman Kenneth Liow said his team wanted a "futuristic" concept to mark the first chapter after Singapore's Golden Jubilee.

"NDP 2016 will be forward-looking as we celebrate the first of the next 50 years of our Singapore story," said Brigadier-General Liow, who is also chief armour officer.

Close to 10,000 participants will be singing, dancing and marching in this year's parade, organised by the army's armour formation. The dome-shaped, 55,000-seat stadium at the Sports Hub will let about 275,000 people catch the spectacle.

Apart from the Aug 9 parade, there will be two preview shows and two National Education rehearsal shows for primary school pupils.

In all, the number of spectators will be more than twice that of previous years. Tickets for the parade and preview shows will be allocated by ballot.

BG Liow, 46, said the show is partly inspired by the SEA Games ceremonies staged at the stadium last year, which featured performers and props suspended from the roof "to produce a 3D show".

While the performance area, spanning about 120m by 80m, is similar to that at the Padang, BG Liow said his team will be exploiting the vertical dimension that the National Stadium provides.

Theatre veteran Beatrice Chia- Richmond, who helmed last year's SEA Games ceremonies, will provide the show's creative direction. She was also the creative director for the 2011 NDP.

The centrepiece of this year's official NDP logo designed by Singapore Polytechnic student Chelsea Lim Xin, 19, is a geometric heart with four shades of red. "The heart, with its four shades, represents the diversity of Singapore and our various races and religions living together in harmony," she said.

Her design was shortlisted from about 250 submissions and eventually chosen by a public vote. The third-year visual communications and media design student spent 10 days during her examination period last year coming up with the logo.

This year's parade is expected to cost $39.4 million, with a chunk of it going towards renting the venue. This makes it the second most costly NDP after last year's edition, which cost $40.5 million.

While this year's show has new elements, it will also exclude several perennial crowd favourites.

The Red Lions will not be parachuting into the stadium, for safety reasons. Aerial displays and the mobile column of a convoy of military vehicles will also be absent.

But BG Liow stressed that other popular segments will remain, citing items such as the military tattoo display, the state flag flypast and the fighter aircraft aerial salute.

Returning to the stadium after a 10-year hiatus is "an opportunity to try something new", said BG Liow. "We'll see whether the public takes to (it)."


This article was first published on March 10, 2016.
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