On Sunday, I swung by Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall, which re-opened to the public after a four-year refurbishment. Much of the original architecture, erected between 1902 and 1905 in honor of Queen Victoria, has been preserved, but the building’s facilities have been modernized to better serve as a mid-size venue for Singapore’s performing arts community.
This weekend’s open house featured guided tours and free performances by more than ten Singapore-based arts group, including Apsaras Arts’ excerpt of “Angkor: An Untold Story.” “Angkor” was one of the headline acts of the 2013 edition of Kalaa Utsavam, the Esplanade’s annual festival of Indian arts. Seeing “Angkor,” a dance-drama incorporating both Indian and Cambodian dance traditions, was quite a treat. Principle dancer Mohanapriyan Thavarajah, as Lord Shiva performing the Cosmic Dance of creation and destruction, was brilliant; his energy and stamina were inspiring.
Nearly 25,000 visitors thronged Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall this weekend, and while I wanted to catch more performances (especially those by Bhaskar’s Arts Academy, Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society, and Temple of Fine Arts), the queues were mad long!
The 675-seater Concert Hall is truly magnificent and the Theatre is intimate and inviting. (Remember, I moved to Singapore in 2010; this was my first look ever at Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall.) I can’t wait to attend more performances in this space.