As a theatre festival, Southernmost is conceptualised as Emergency Stairs’ answer to the question, “How do you create an arts festival for the future?”
Presented by Emergency Stairs and Zuni Icosahedron, the third edition of Southernmost features the best traditional and contemporary artists in Asia in a series of dialogues and workshops culminating in a new creation and public presentation: Journey to a Dream.
Embark on an intimate journey of cultural dialogue between yesterday and tomorrow, traditional and contemporary, in a dream of searching for the festival for the future.
Presented and Produced by
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“What should an arts festival for the future look like?”
As a critique of existing festivals that often emphasise productions and audiences and are framed from a Western perspective, Southernmost proposes a festival format that is process-driven, artist-centric and Asia-based. Audiences are invited to immerse themselves in a week of artistic experimentation and dialogue across art forms, cultures, time and space, as part of an ongoing exploration of how the arts festival model can be a platform for cultural exchange.
One Table and Many Chairs
Southernmost is the Singapore stop for the international cultural exchange circuit which happens throughout the year, which begun with the One Table Two Chairs movement pioneered by Danny Yung.
The concept of "One Table Two Chairs" originates in Chinese opera, where it once was a standardized form of set design. Different arrangements of the furniture onstage would represent different settings, scenes and characters.
(click for an enlarged view)
Southernmost 2018 & 2017 Reviews
“the seven featured artists of the festival… embarked on a performance research project, the main thrust of the festival, where they’ve had dramatic encounters and intense conversations with each other. All of them come from performance lineages that we might describe as the “traditional”, but which I’ve come to realise is a reductive and monolithic term for performance forms that are ever-evolving, whose practitioners are experimental, irreverent, slippery, sinuous and
-Corrie Tan, review of Southernmost 2018
Through the crossing-over of cultures, processes and products, the traversing of the past and the present, on stage and off stage, Southernmost is an attempt to develop a long-term platform and vision for exchange and to bring forth change...
"Crossing Over as Strategy" by Emergency Stairs' Artistic Director Liu Xiaoyi
(This essay will be part of a book titled "'Asian City Crossings: Pathways of Performance through Hong Kong and Singapore' by Dr Rosella Ferrarri and Dr Ashley Thorpe from London University)
“Southernmost”: The Politics of Nowhereness
By Felipe Cervera
“Often lost and without direction as individuals, knowing neither about ourselves nor the future, Journey to Nowhere becomes a call to action for artists to collaborate and chart bold new paths together, its own form a demonstration of the possibilities intercultural exchange offers to imbue the arts scene with new dynamism and ideas.”
Bakchormeeboy, review of Southernmost Production 2018, Journey to Nowhere
Review: Southernmost – One Table Two Chairs Project Triple Bill presented by Emergency Stairs by Bakchormeeboy
Injecting dance into One Table Two Chairs by Akshita Nanda
A young independent company presenting an experimental arts programme like Southernmost every year, against all odds, is daunting. Yet we persist because a programme like this, and an arts company like Emergency Stairs is urgently needed, and important in our current local scene.
Emergency Stairs and Southernmost is onto is third year now, in no small part due to the support and generosity of various organizations and individuals.
Your support and belief in Southernmost, and its presenting company Emergency Stairs, is integral to our dream.
Presented and Produced by
Zuni Icosahedron is financially supported by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Patravadi School (Hua Hin)
Shanghai Kunqu Opera Troupe
Special Thanks to
All board members of Emergency Stairs
All Shelter members of Emergency Stairs
Chong Woon Yong
NUS Centre for the Arts