Sunday, 1 October 2023

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Singapore Dance Theatre’s new premises at Bugis+

By Terry Xu

Singapore Dance Theatre (SDT) have shifted from where it was housed for 21 years old premises in Fort Canning to its new 20,500 sq ft premises on the 7th floor of the shopping mall Bugis+ with the support of Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and National Arts Council (NAC), under the Community/Sports Facilities Scheme (CSFS)

Fourty percent of the premises will be used for daily operations including rehearsals and administration while the other sixty percent will be used for the purpose of community activities that would benefit the general public by means of engagement and participation. Features for public include  a dance gallery exhibiting costume displays, a dance rehearsal studio for adult dance classes and SDT Library with records and books on ballet and dance.

The dance company has come a long way since its pioneer batch of 7 dancers in 1988 to its present day strength of 37 dancers. Looking at where SDT has come today, Janek Schergen, Swede artistic director of the SDT would say its was no easy feat. The company had started with 2-3 main performance seasons a year and forwarding to today, SDT performs 6 main seasons a year with more than 40 performances including international touring.

This year, SDT will be traveling overseas to perform in Malaysia and China. Janek Schergen commented that he hopes that there will be no trouble for this year’s trip to Malaysia, referencing to the earlier incident which the ballet company had when its performance in Kuala Lumpur was re-scheduled from April to September.

Looking at the new premises of SDT, Janek Schergen highlighted the stark contrast between the old premises which SDT was located in. Recalling back to the initial days when the dance company was just founded, the restaurant beneath the modestly sized studio could hear their practice in session whenever they jumped above on the second floor, a far cry from the state of the art dance studios where the dancers now rehearse in. The main dance studio of the new premises with the reinstated name “Founders’ Studio” span an area of 2,600 sq ft, is made to be the same size of the stage at Esplanade.

Apart from the press meeting on the new premises of SDT, short extracts from dance pieces were presented for the performances in Coppélia (14-17 March) and their Gala performance for the 25th Anniversary on (31 May & 1 June).


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