5 reasons to catch the da:ns festival, even if you’re a newbie

[Sponsored] Singapore’s largest dance showcase is known for its diverse range of stellar international, local and regional productions. Whether you love classical, contemporary or experimental dance, or just want to boogie the night away, here are five reasons why you should mark this annual festival on your calendars.

, 5 reasons to catch the da:ns festival, even if you’re a newbie

Tango Legends

1. Dramatic dance sequences and passionate music will get your heart racing

Critically-acclaimed crowd-pleasers, Tango Legends from Argentina, are setting the stage on fire with a sensual and passionate performance by leads Mariela Maldonado and Pablo Sosa. Resuscitating the dance form, which was named an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of UNESCO in 2009, they’ve already garnered praises from reviews by The New York Times and Sunday Herald Sun. The glamorous duo is making their debut at the Esplanade backed by 14 award-winning Tango dancers and live music, so there’s drama all around.

When: Oct 9-10, 7.30pm

Where: Esplanade Concert Hall

How much: $20-120


, 5 reasons to catch the da:ns festival, even if you’re a newbie


2. You’ll be blown away by a duet between masters of kathak and flamenco; Akram Khan and Israel Galvan

Fans of passionate and energetic dances shouldn’t miss TOROBAKA, featuring kathak, a traditional Northern Indian classical dance, and the Spanish flamenco. Starring Akram Khan from the UK and Israel Galvan of Spain, the duo will perform a testosterone-charged duet with traditional and contemporary impulses. Expect fast and furious foot-thumping set against live music by Spanish and Indian musicians.

When: Oct 16-17, 8:00pm

Where: Esplanade Theatre

How much: $20-100


, 5 reasons to catch the da:ns festival, even if you’re a newbie

Life in Progress

3. It’s legendary ballerina Sylvie Guillem’s final world tour

Dance superstar Sylvie Guillem, Paris Opera Ballet’s youngest top-ranking dancer in 1984, has carved out an illustrious 35-year career leading various iconic productions by prolific choreographers such as Kenneth MacMillan, Maurice Bejart and William Forsythe. She is performing her final tour Life in Progress, featuring two new works comprising a solo with live musicians and a duet with Italian dancer Emanuela Montanari. Another highlight of the program is Bye, an emotional set created for her by famous Swedish choreographer and stage director Mat Eks—bring lots of tissues.

When: Oct 13-14, 8:00pm

Where: Esplanade Theatre

How much: $40-120


, 5 reasons to catch the da:ns festival, even if you’re a newbie


4. There are contemporary works to expand your mind

SoftMachine by Choy Ka Fai explores the personal working lives of choreographers and negotiates the ever-changing terrain of contemporary dance in Asia. The Singaporean artist has interviewed 88 such personalities across the region and this two-part dance/film showcase features traditional Indonesian dancer Rianto and improvisational performer Yuya Tsukahara from Japan, among others. Expect live performances set against documentary films which transport you into the daily lives of the choreographers in their cities. 

When: Oct 17-18, 3:00pm (Sat) and 8:00pm (Sun), Part A with Surjit Nongmeikapam (India) and Rianto (Indonesia); and Oct 17-18, 8:00pm (Sat) and 3:00pm (Sun), Part B with Xiao Ke x Zi Han (China) and Yuya Tsukahara (Japan)

Where: Esplanade Theatre Studio

How much: $30 per session


, 5 reasons to catch the da:ns festival, even if you’re a newbie

What’s Your Move

5. There are free after-dark mass dance sessions

Inspired by all that action on stage? Dance your way to What’s Your Move, a series of three themed events (Friday I’m in Love, Saturday Night Fever and Sunday Funday), all held along the Esplanade Waterfront. Don’t be shy if you have two left feet—there are professional instructors guiding newbies with fun beginner routines ranging from Salsa to K-Pop. End your night at Tango + Milonga on Oct 9, an epic tango dance party happening at the Esplanade Waterfront .

Friday I’m in Love

When: Oct 9, 8:00-9:00pm (Waltz by DanceSport Academy) and 9:30 till late (Tango by Tango Del Sur and Milonga); Oct 16, 8:00-9:00pm (Lindy Hop by Jazz Inc) and 9:30-10:30pm (Charleston by Jazz Inc)

Saturday Night Fever

When: Oct 11, 8:00-9:00pm (Salsa by ACTFA) and 9:30-10:30pm (Bachata by ACTFA); Oct 17, 8:00-9:00pm (Hip Hop by Danz People) and 9:30-10:30pm (K-Pop by Caius Coalition)

Sunday Funday

When:  Oct 11, 8:00-9:00pm (Jive by The DanceSport Academy) and 9:30-10:30pm (Flamenco by Flamenco Sin Fronteras); Oct 18, 8:00-9:00pm (Street Dance by Jazz Inc, Hip Hop Kids by Danz People) and 9:30-10:30pm (Bollywood by Bollybeatz)


The da:ns festival is from Oct 9-18 at the Esplanade –Theatres on the Bay. For more information, please visit their website or Facebook Page.

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, 5 reasons to catch the da:ns festival, even if you’re a newbie