Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep: Esplanade


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Photo: Pia Johnson

Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep will be presented at Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay 21 – 22 October at the new Singtel Waterfront Theatre as part of the In New Light Festival.

It is great to have Margaret Leng Tan return to Singapore to perform this work that combines spoken and recorded text, projected images and original music for prepared piano, toy piano, toys and percussion by Tan’s long-term collaborator Erik Griswold. The rest of the creative team includes director Tamara Saulwick, video designer Nick Roux, and dramaturg Kok Heng Leun.

The world premiere season was presented in February 2020 as part of Asia TOPA at Arts Centre Melbourne and the work was awarded Work of the Year (Dramatic) in the APRA AMCOS Art Music Awards. Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep was also presented in 2021 at Esplanade Theatres on the Bay, Singapore.

★★★★★ ‘Fragments of memory and avant garde performance come together for a singular work that could only be performed by Singapore’s most famous toy pianist. Ultimately, what makes Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep so fascinating is its very structure. As a whole, the work comprises of a series of fragments, each piece a concentrated, fully-formed and presented memory that contains visual aid, verbal explanation, and musical accompaniment. But what makes it so special is how it doesn’t matter if these pieces are out of chronological order; what matters is how they all come together to complete our impression of her, and work much like any composition played by Margaret – to evoke an abstract but undeniably powerful resonance in audience members, through the act of presenting something so genuine, personal, and artistically crafted.’ BAKCHORMEEBOY

Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep is a Chamber Made and CultureLink Singapore co-production and is co-commissioned by Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay. This activity received grant funding from the Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grants Program of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and is supported by Creative Victoria, Australia Council for the Arts, National Arts Council (Singapore), The SUBSTATION, Playking Foundation, Asia TOPA, Sidney Myer Fund and the Robert Salzer Foundation.