Singapore Dance Theatre is an ambassador for dance and for Singapore – bridging any divides and differences to establish resonance for both practitioners and audiences through quality performances and engaging educational and outreach activities, thereby strengthening the appreciation and love of dance as an art form.
To be an internationally well-regarded professional dance company that is known for its unique ability to shine in classical, neo-classical and contemporary repertoire, with works that are timeless and inspiring.
SINGAPORE DANCE THEATRE
Singapore Dance Theatre (SDT) was founded in 1988 by Goh Soo Khim and Anthony Then. The Company has since developed into Singapore’s premier professional dance company comprising of 32 Company dancers plus apprentices. In 2002, SDT was honoured with the opportunity to grace the official opening of the Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay with the opening performance of Boi Sakti’s Reminiscing the Moon.
More than a decade on, SDT continues to have the privilege of performing a myriad of repertoires in a world-class performing arts venue for exhilarating audiences. In the course of each year, the Company performs six seasons annually. The highlights of the Company’s performance season each year include the widely popular outdoor dance event – Ballet Under the Stars at the Fort Canning Park, two full length classics at the Esplanade Theatre, and also Masterpiece in Motion which brings together three works of the finest international choreography, as well as Passages Contemporary Season.
The Company’s repertoire ranges from classical to contemporary ballet, from renowned choreographers like Choo-San Goh, George Balanchine, Stanton Welch, Ma Cong, Val Caniparoli, Graham Lustig, David Dawson, Jorma Elo, Edmund Stripe, Kinsun Chan, Edwaard Liang, Nils Christe, Toru Shimazaki, Christina Chan, Natalie Weir.
In 2008, Janek Schergen was appointed Artistic Director of SDT. Under his leadership, the Company has made new achievements in the international and Singapore dance arena. In the last eight years, the Company has added 25 world premieres and 16 company premieres to the repertoire, in addition to numerous revivals of the existing Company’s repertoire. Janek is also the Artistic Director of the Choo-San Goh & H. Robert Magee Foundation which oversees the licensing and production of Choo-San Goh’s ballets and the annual Choo-San Goh Awards for Choreography.
In 2013, SDT moved to a new premise in Bugis+ with four state-of-the-art studios. Additionally, the Company will be enhancing efforts in education and outreach, bringing the appreciation of dance to a wider audience in Singapore.
Singapore Dance Theatre has captivated audiences in Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Hong Kong, China, Australia, France, United States and London. The Company has taken part and has performed in numerous international festivals and events, such as Le Temps d’Aimer la Danse a Biarritz in France, Mexico’s Festival Internacional Cervantino, Chang Mu Arts Festival in Korea, Philippines Festival of Dance, and was part of the Victorian Arts Centre’s Made to Move subscription series. SDT tours Kuala Lumpur and Penang annually, and has seen a growth in its dedicated support to the company. Through the invitation of Sadlers Wells, SDT has also performed at London’s Singapore season at the Peacock Theatre. Seen to be a little Asiatic gem, “the Company’s strength lies in a seamless transition between strong classical technique and contemporary movement.” said Graham Watts of Ballet. Co magazine. Stephanie Burridge of Ballet Dance (UK) highlighted that “The Company is versatile, talented and disciplined…the breadth of the repertoire takes them internationally beyond Singapore’s shores but their sensibility is undeniably Asian; underpinned by a strong local foothold and empathy.”
ARTS EDUCATION PROGRAM AND OUTREACH
Singapore Dance Theatre is a recipient of the National Arts Council’s Major Grant (3 years). As a major grant recipient from the Singapore government and in keeping with SDT’s commitment to bring the finest in dance to the public audience, on-going Education and Outreach programmes such as Dance Appreciation Series (jointly presented with Esplanade Co.) and One @ the Ballet (a monthly in-studio presentation) are organised to provide people with the opportunity to appreciate dance. SDT has also created the Scholars Programme which is designed to be a pre-professional training programme or student dancers who are seriously interested in the pursuit of a professional dance career. SDT also offers special courses for non-dancers and adult students. These efforts aim to make dance more accessible to the masses. SDT hopes to spread the beauty, passion and discipline of dance to as many people as possible, and place Singapore in the minds of international dance aficionados.