River Nights 2016: Dreaming Through Lights and Sound

River Nights 2016

The banks of Singapore River are alive with music and light as the sounds and sights of River Nights 2016 returns.

The River Nights festival by Asian Civilisations Museum is back for the third year with the theme “Phantasmagoria”. Encounter a dreamscape of sound and lights through traditional and contemporary art forms, where the old and new are woven together through technology.

From an innovative surround-sound performance that integrates several artists across three stages, to ancient Japanese Noh theatre with a 3D scenographic backdrop, street-roving drums, dancers, and light installations – River Nights 2016 makes the arts come alive for both the young and old.

Here’s a preview of what you can expect from the River Nights 2016 festival, which takes place from Oct 21 to 29.

Innovative Performances at River Nights 2016

Soundscape: The River

Three different stages, bound together by the same art performance. If you stand in the middle of the sprawling field in front of Victoria Concert Hall, you’ll find yourself enveloped by three large stages.

River Nights 2016

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Disparate art forms, cultures, and music styles merge into a single soundscape – including contemporary music, Chinese strings, didgeridoo, poetry, spoken words, dance, Peking opera, drum beats. We love the “live” surround-sound and immersive experience.

21 & 22 Oct, 9.30 pm
28 & 29 Oct, 10.30 pm
Empress Lawn

Yugen: The Hidden Beauty of Japan

Combining tech with art, Yugen is an original theatre concept that blends Noh, an ancient Japanese theatre form, with next-gen 3D scenography. Actors interact with each other with a interactive 3D backdrop, performing the lions’ dance Shakkyo and the celestial maiden’s dance Hagoromo.

What’s cool is that the audience gets to wear special 3D glasses mounted on Omote Noh masks, which will no doubt make the kids go ooh and ahh.

In celebration of 50 years of diplomatic relations between Singapore and Japan, this cutting-edge art performance at River Nights 2016 marks Yugen’s world premiere. Locals will be one of the first to catch it, ahead of it staging as a pre-event performance for Tokyo Olympics 2020.

28 & 29 Oct
8 pm, 9.30 pm
ACM Green

Silences We Are Familiar With

River Nights 2016

An evocative dance that explores the ceaseless need for humans to love and be loved, the performance is intense and slow-burning. This work by Kuik Swee Boon presents a fresh take on his Esplanade da:ns Festival 2012 commission, weaving dance, sound, poetry – and of course, deafening silence.

21 & 22 Oct
8.30 pm
Empress Lawn

All Things Percussion

River Nights 2016

The kids will love the dynamic beats of All Things Percussion, a cross-cultural performance blending Chinese and Indian instruments together. It will make the little feet go tappity-tap!



River Nights 2016

The parol is a tall lantern, based on the Filipino Christmas tradition of hanging star-shaped lanterns in windows from September to December. Parols are traditionally made of bamboo and other materials, but this modern rendition is made of fibreglass.

Till 29 Oct
7 pm to 11 pm
River Promenade

Umbrella Project

Hundreds of participants light up the night sky with colour-changing umbrella via hand controls fabricated by MIT. Shown with a bird’s-eye-view projection, Umbrella promises to be a riveting sight.

River Nights 2016
The bamboo structures of Wonder Wander Lights are taking shape on the lawn in front of Asian Civilisations Museum.

Wonder Wander Lights

Forming an overhead arch leading to the entrance of Asian Civilisations Museum, the 15-metre-long light installation made of bamboo and LED lights takes you through a dreamy stroll.

Till 29 Oct
7 pm to 11 pm
ACM Green

The Elephant

This elephant with twinkling LED lights puts a modern twist to an important motif in Asian art. Of course, it’s so pretty to look at and a great spot to take photos!

River Nights 2016

Till 29 Oct
7 pm to 11 pm
ACM Green

For other fringe activities and other information, visit the Asian Civilsations Museum website.

Asian Civilisations Musuem

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