Mark your calendars. Come Jun 10-27, Singapore’s beloved performing arts centre Esplanade is once again hosting the annual Nusantara event, Pesta Raya. Celebrating the rich culture and heritage of the Indonesia Archipelago, this year’s event will be the festival’s 20th edition, so expect a whole slew of exciting online and physical events. Below, we list some highlights you won’t want to miss.
On the house
Pucuk Rebung: Reflection on Rituals
When Pesta Raya 2021 kicks off, be sure to pay Pucuk Rebung: Reflection on Rituals a visit. Apart from the fact that admission is free of charge, the exhibition is actually a good place to begin immersing yourself in Indonesian culture and heritage through batik materials.
Visual artist and art educator Fajrina Razak spearheads this showcase, with help from members of the youth community whom Razak worked with to co-create various parts of the exhibition.
Continue your journey with contemporary dance performance Rumahku. Within thirty minutes at the open-air Esplanade Outdoor Theatre, the Azipirasi dance crew will take you through the meaning of home, and how it contributes to our identity.
Malay dance talent Azmi Juhari founded Azpirasi in 2000, and has since had various works showcased in People’s Association’s local project Gentarasa, WorldDance Expo in Japan as well as Contemporary Dance Festival in Indonesia.
Get your tickets
When we take our wallets out, it should be for something that’s worth it. And Teater Ekamatra’s critically-acclaimed series, Projek Suitcase, is. Now revived as an Esplanade Commission, Pulang Balik is a double bill production which will feature the two most popular works from the theatre troupe’s archives to explore loss and longing.
Keep the groove going with Garap Garage as the energetic dance crew helms a music and dance performance very much like Japan’s taiko drum performance, but tuned with everyday items and matched with contemporary dance moves. This is where you’ll be amazed by how simple objects can add vibrance to everyday life.
Pesta Raya also offers noteworthy highlights for festival-goers to enjoy from the comforts of home, so all it takes to attend is some solid wifi. For starters, check out Pang Tung!, a workshop that families and friends can join to understand the rhythms of Nusantara music. What’s interesting is that anyone can recreate the same beat without any musical knowledge or instrument.
If you’d much rather sit back and relax, then head to Gambus Electronica. ‘Cause as musicians Safuan Johari and Azrin Abdullah fuse electronic and string sounds by a modern mixer and a classic oud, what audiences will get is one seamless music piece. It’ll take you through the past and present, so don’t miss this performance when it happens online.
More information available here.