02 Sep 2022 (Fri.) ~ 03 Sep 2022 (Sat.) / Goodman Arts Centre - Black Box

International Dance Day (IDD) Festival 2022

Event Details

A feisty Chinese woman fought wars disguised as a man; an Indian queen ruled by projecting a male persona in public.  

Historically, women have ingeniously pushed boundaries to achieve their goals, often for society’s greater good. Today’s women are no different – like the female heroes who stepped up during the worst of the Covid 19 pandemic and those who continue to soldier on.      

This 6th edition of the annual IDD Festival Singapore pays tribute to all of them: legendary women warriors – Hua Mulan of China and Queen Rudramma Devi of India; and, modern women of that ilk – mothers, teachers, healthcare workers and countless others who resolutely and resourcefully juggle demanding roles through Covid 19. 

Recognising Rani Rudramma Devi in an innovative soliloquy and dance-drama

Rani (Queen) Rudramma Devi’s father bequeathed his kingdom to her as he lacked a male heir. He had trained her sufficiently in government and warfare and she ruled until her death in 1289, with a legacy of successfully leading her troops into battle several times, as well as fortifying her people’s welfare. Famed Venetian explorer, Marco Polo, documented her achievements when he traversed India around the time of her death. 

Notably, Queen Rudramma was declared a boy at birth and dressed in male attire while fulfilling her duties. It speaks volumes of how society perceives a female persona and the obstacles the queen had to overcome in achieving her goals. We speak for her today in a soliloquy expressed in three modes – the Indian Kuchipudi dance form, the Indian martial form of Kalaripayattu, and its Malay counterpart, Silat. The three forms interweaving to narrate Queen Rudramma’s journey is a visual treat, indeed.  
Honouring Hua Mulan and her selfless service 

Desperate to protect her ailing father from the travails of war, Hua Mulan courageously replaced him by pretending to be his male offspring. For 12 years on the battlefield, she executed the combative skills taught by her warrior father with great flourish. The emperor was moved to offer her an esteemed government post, unaware of her true gender. Mulan refused and returned home to finally reveal her feminine self. 

Mulan’s extraordinary feats during China’s Northern Wei dynasty in the 5th century have become legendary. Her story is retold through classical Chinese dance and the Martial performance art of Wushu.
SPARKS: Shining the spotlight on modern women heroes  

IDD’s signature segment, SPARKS, was launched in 2020 as SRI’s Industry Development Initiative to nurture home-grown Singaporean artistes.  
2022’s instalment of SPARKS will pay tribute to the unstinting courage of today’s women who fought the Covid 19 pandemic on several fronts. Through dance, we express their varied experiences, emotions and moods in the vortex of the pandemic. This will play out with a dialogue between Malay and Indian dance disciplines – a venture that will push known boundaries and open new vistas. 

The Malay dancers hail from Era Dance Company while the Indian dancers are from Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society. 2021’s SPARKS was a collaboration between Chinese dancers from Sheng Hong Arts and Indian dancers. SRI’s Artistic Director, Ms Shantha Ratii, explains the collaborations for SPARKS, “We open this process of creation to many traditional dance forms as we believe that intertwined into our national identity is the colour, melody, rhythm and movements of our shared cultural legacy”.

SPARKS is SRI’s Mentorship Programme in which Ms Shantha hand-picks promising young dancers and guides them through a process of contemplation and soul searching for deeper understanding of their craft, towards achieving greater heights and finer quality in their performance. The mentor steers them through the process of selecting their piece, researching it, framing its outline, and choreography. SPARKS is intended to kick-start a meaningful performing arts career for the young artistes. According to Ms Shantha, “Artistic expression and culture manifest a nation’s spirit. Every year, International Dance Day seeks to ignite the next generation and create ripples across the arts fraternity. Through this we look to co-create and add to the dynamics and vibrancy of our art scene locally and internationally”.

Ms Shantha has almost 5 decades of experience and exposure across the globe in performance, choreography and teaching. She champions the cause of building audiences for the creative arts as a means of uniting society, saying, “We are looking to create new ways of communicating not only the aesthetics of dance but also its intrinsic values to a newer and wider audience. This will bring not only artists, but also people, together. To integrate, to respect, to accept, to grow, to inspire”.  
Covid 19 did not hamper efforts. When the pandemic began in 2020, IDD 2020 went digital and attracted over 40 thousand viewers. This leaped to 178,551 viewers for IDD 2021’s digital instalment. Ms Shantha notes, “Every year our concerted and conscious efforts towards creating new audiences for dance is slowly but surely showing positive results. It will serve to extend our reach not only locally but globally”.

IDD Festival 2022 will be recorded, edited and streamed on social media on 14th Oct 2022 on Facebook and SRI’s YouTube channel. 

In honouring women warriors, Ms Shantha says, “In every culture and community, difficult times in history need people with extraordinary courage, character and skills to give hope and lead people to safety. It is with that HOPE that we present IDD Festival 2022. After 2 years of COVID, we come out to celebrate! To celebrate humanity and oneness. To celebrate love and growth. To celebrate new beginnings and new horizons!”
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Ticket Pricing

CAT 1: $25

Child (6 – 12 years old): $15
Student (12 years old & above): $18
Senior Citizens: $18

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Admission Policy

Vaccination Requirement

  1. This is a Vaccination-Differentiated Safe Management Measures (VDS) event. You are required to show proof of vaccination before entering the venue.
  2. In line with Safe Management Measures for events exceeding 500 attendees, individuals who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection, medically ineligible for COVID-19 vaccination and children aged 12 and below are exempted from VDS. Refunds will not be granted to ticket-holders who do not meet these admission requirements.
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Safe Management Measures

  1. Patrons are advised to adhere to Safe Management Measures when visiting the venue:
    1. You are required to do SafeEntry check-in via TraceTogether App or Token to record entry and verify vaccination status.
    2. Mask must be worn at all times.
  2. Any change in policies will be updated in accordance with the Government guidelines as the announcements are made.

Admission Rules

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  2. Photography, videography, and social media live streaming are strictly prohibited.
  3. No food and beverage are allowed into the venue.
  4. There will be no admission for infants in arms and children below 6 years old. Individuals 6 years old and above will be required to purchase a ticket for admission.


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