Festival Heart: Into The Wild.

banner_festival_1Held at the wonderfully versatile space 72-13, Festival Heart:Into The Wild is the very last show I caught as part of the Singapore International Festival of Art.

Since the first show I caught was Disabled Theater, I liked that I am closing the festival events I attended with this showcase. To be more inclusive, open and accessible to a wider audience, Festival Heart: Into The Wild is a showcase done through collaborations between Theater HORA, Association for Persons with Special Needs (APSN) Centre for Adults, Down Syndrome Association, The Y-Stars and Singapore practitioners.

The participants went through a two-week intensive knowledge transfer workshop prior to the showcase, and that is to help them explore their potential as well as their artistic abilities. It also bonded them together and friendships were formed, I am sure. Personally, it was so heartwarming to watch them all work together because they are incredibly accepting of one another. No judgments or grudges, just compromise and forgiveness.

My favourite part was when participants started singing together with the live instruments playing while other participants were performing on the stage – entering and participating in a way they deemed fit. At the beginning, it may be curious as to how the musicality and the action of the story actually fit but after a while, everything just seems to fall into place. And something in my head just goes ‘click’ and I thought to myself, “Yes, this is incredible and I understand it all.”

Occasionally, I will catch myself smiling while watching the performance because my cheek muscles will ache after a while but I kept on smiling anyway. It is just a natural reaction when I am really enjoying myself and was willingly entering the different worlds created by the participants.

They were creating magic on an entirely bare stage.

I truly love how everything is spontaneous, organic and it exists only in the moment. They listen to their instincts as well as what is happening around them, before reacting and committing to actions on stage that they really feel for and just let things play out. They work together and try to establish the story that they want right there and then. They play. They laugh. They do.

And I really admire them for that.

There is indeed much to learn from these individuals that have come together for this unique showcase, and I hope to treasure this experience I am grateful to have. This festival has made me seen wonders I never thought I ever would in my life. Thank you so much.

I am so excited for the next one.

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