The True Colours Festival celebrates artists whose talents are unstoppable
Yes we get our fair share of festivals and concerts in Singapore – enough to keep us more than busy trying to keep on top of them all. But this is one event we need to shout about. The True Colours Festival coming up on 23-25 March celebrates exceptional performing artists with disabilities – we’ve had a sneak preview of just some of the talents on board for the festival’s indoor concert, and this is one show of diversity, creativity and skill that will blow your mind.
As festival director Audrey Perera points out, “This is no pity party.” The 20 or so solo performers and troupes are world-class talents who are already making waves in the performing arts scene or were hand-picked after an intensive process. Audrey, along with the festival’s artistic director Hossan Leong and musical director Sydney Tan, spent hours and hours watching YouTube videos and footage of artists from Asia and beyond to bring together the concert lineup.
True Colours is the first festival of its kind in Asia, and it means more than we can imagine.
Theatrical and street dance crews, solo artists and musicians from across Asia, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Canada define the power of human potential at this concert. The lineup includes the likes of:
Adrian Anantawan, Canada
Adrian is a violinist and educator who has performed at the White House and for the likes of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Born without his right hand and keen to learn an instrument as a child, it was an episode of Sesame Street that featured violinist Itzhak Perlman, a violinist with polio, that got him fired up to try the instrument. I asked Adrian how he knew the violin was ‘the one’ – the lightbulb moment, he revealed, was when he realised he could play it better than his own dad, who used to play the violin.
Aliénette Coldfire, Philippines
Aliénette’s determination, amazing ear for the French language and moving voice took her all the way to France to win 3rd place in France’s Got Talent. She was born blind. Full disclosure: Aliénette sang live via Skype at the press conference for True Colours, and I had to stop myself from ugly crying in a room full of journalists.
Dr Azariah Tan, Singapore
Award-winning classical pianist Dr Tan was diagnosed with hearing loss as a child just as he was displaying an affinity for the piano, but is now hailed as one of Singapore’s brightest young musicians. With only 10% of his hearing, Dr Tan is determined to keep his emotional connection to his music and continue to inspire.
We’re bowing down to this breakdance crew with members from around the world from Canada to Chile, South Korea and the Netherlands. Mad skills and mesmerising power right here.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Get a taste of what’s coming up at the festival below:
Check out the Festival Village
Head to the Festival Village – the outdoor element of the True Colours Festival – running from 23-25 March. Expect theatre performances, Paralympic Sports tryouts, short film screenings and an art market alongside food and drinks. Admission is free.
Seeing ability before disability
The goals behind the True Colours Festival and Concert? To allow everyone in the community to learn a little more about the lives of people living with a disability, and embrace that our lives are richer because of diversity. We say it’s one of the most meaningful events you’ll experience this year.
Tickets to the True Colours Festival are $30 and can be booked online at www.sportshub.com.sg/truecolours2018.
True Colours; 23 to 25 March, Singapore Indoor Stadium and OCBC Square.
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