Ballet Under the Stars is back for its 23rd edition! Established by Singapore Dance Theatre in 1995 as Singapore’s most loved and iconic outdoor dance event at the Fort Canning Green, we will be presenting a weekend of neo-classical works from 31 August – 2 September, and another weekend dedicated to masterpieces by Singapore Choreographer Choo-San Goh from 7 – 9 September.

“Ballet Under the Stars has become such an annual tradition, after 23 years, that many people who have become acquainted with Singapore Dance Theatre see us first in the park performances. For this reason alone, it is imperative that we present the absolute best of our repertoire suitable to the environment of the park’s performance situation.”

“Our first weekend begins with one of George Balanchine’s masterpieces, The Four Temperaments, followed by a ballet made especially for us by Edwaard Liang with his brilliant 13th Heaven. The evening concludes with François Klaus’ Midnight Waltzes, a ballet meant to evoke the grandeur of the theatre. Our second weekend is a tribute to the Singaporean choreographer Choo-San Goh.”

“We present some of his most iconic works with Schubert Symphony, Unknown Territory and Fives. Each of these three ballets represents a different aspect of Choo-San’s remarkable ability as a choreographer. Having Choo-San’s extraordinary ballets as one of the backbones of our performance repertoire is a part of heritage and history that cannot be measured.” says Artistic Director Janek Schergen.

31 August – 2 September 2018

With pure symmetry and captivating elegance, the first weekend of Ballet Under the Stars brings to you three rousing and
powerful creations – George Balanchine’s The Four Temperaments, Edwaard Liang’s 13th Heaven and François Klaus’
Midnight Waltzes.

The Four Temperaments
Choreography George Balanchine© The George Balanchine Trust
Staging Elyse Borne
Music Paul Hindermith

As explained in Mr. Balanchine’s text, “Great Ballets,” this work is “an expression in dance and music of the ancient notion that the human organism is made up of four different humors, or temperaments. Each one of us possesses these four humors, but in different degrees, and it is from the dominance of one of them that the four physical and psychological types – melancholic, sanguinic, phlegmatic and choleric – were derived. Greek medicine associated the four humors and temperaments with the four elements – earth, water, fire, and air – which to them composed the human body as well as the world.”

However, this notion is not treated literally in the ballet – more as a point of departure. Premiered in 1946 by Ballet Society (predecessor of the New York City Ballet), The Four Temperaments represents another area of the Balanchine spectrum. Along with Concerto Baracco and Symphony in C, The Four Temperaments is another essay in pure Balanchine classicism, but a distillation of it which seems influenced by modern dance, or more possibly modern sculpture – only classical dancers could acceptably perform The Four Temperaments.

The choreographer’s tendencies here seem to crystallize later in Agon and Movements. Exotic costumes for the original production of The Four Temperaments were discarded by the choreographer in 1951 in favor of practice clothes.

The performance of The Four Temperaments, a Balanchine® Ballet, is presented by arrangement with The George Balanchine Trust and has been produced in accordance with the Balanchine Style® and Balanchine Technique® Service standards established and provided by the Trust.

The Four Temperaments was first performed by SDT in 2017.

In celebration of SDT’s 30th Anniversary, the second weekend will be dedicated to the renowned Singaporean choreographer and dance prodigy, Choo-San Goh, who was one of the inspirations for the formation of the company. We will be presenting three of his most exquisite works – Unknown Territory, Schubert Symphony, and Fives.

Unknown Territory

Choreography Choo-San Goh
Staging Janek Schergen
Music Jim Jacobsen (commissioned for the ballet)

The ballet depicts the traditional custom of a marriage ceremony in a fictional place – Unknown Territory. Among the most significant of the customs is the departure of the groom upon his betrothal to prove his manhood and worthiness toward his
beloved before returning to her in their marriage.

Unknown Territory was first performed by SDT in 1997. Presented by arrangements with the Choo-San Goh & H Robert Magee Foundation.

Schubert Symphony

Choreography Choo-San Goh
Staging Janek Schergen
Music Franz Schubert (Symphony No.2 in B Flat)

The hallmarks which distinguish the best of Choo-San Goh’s creations are well known: an inimitable sense of propulsion and timing, keen eye for line, extraordinary sensitivity to the music and the intelligent sculpting of dance gestures from Asian and Western classical traditions within a modern sensibility and language.

There was no doubt that Goh was an artist well in tune with the demands and needs of his time. Yet, given his penchant to experiment with his Asian heritage and Western training, he was capable of surprises set to Franz Schubert’s symphony No. 2. Goh’s ballet is conceived as a purely classical work. After its premiere it was stated that Schubert Symphony was “a major triumph… An eagerly awaited world premiere…” By the prevailing standard of ballet choreography, Schubert Symphony is unquestionably a fine work. It demonstrates, beyond a shadow of doubt, that Goh can manipulate a stripped down neoclassical idiom skilfully.

Schubert Symphony was first performed by SDT in 1998 and was first created for The Washington Ballet. Presented by arrangements with the Choo-San Goh & H Robert Magee Foundation.


Choreography Choo-San Goh
Staging Janek Schergen
Music Ernest Bloch (Concerto Grosso No. 1)

Energetic and vibrant, the piece shows off many of Choo-San Goh’s trademarks: a brilliant management of ensemble patterns and space; line and unexpected gestures. Goh described this ballet as ‘music ballet’, that is one in which the movement comes from the music itself and the audience in fact ‘sees’ as well as ‘hears’ the music. Created for 10 women and 5 men, Fives is an exciting work full of energy and sculptural pictures in dance.

Fives was first performed by SDT in 2000. Presented by arrangements with the Choo-San Goh & H Robert Magee Foundation.

Members of the public who are interested to watch the show, can find the details below:

Title: Ballet Under the Stars
Date: 31 August – 2 September & 7 – 9 September 2018 (Friday – Sunday)
Venue: Fort Canning Green
Time: 7.30pm
Ticket prices: $35 (SISTIC fees apply)
20% concessions for children aged 12 and below/Students/NSF/Senior Citizens
Ticket Sales Date: General Sales: 1 June – 9 Sept 2018

Tickets are available at all authorised SISTIC outlets and SDT Office. Email [email protected] or call 6338 0611 for ticket enquires.

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