Established in 1994 by Ong Keng Sen, Artistic Director of TheatreWorks Singapore, The Flying Circus Project (FCP) is a major programme exploring expression in the 21st Century. This multi-disciplinary, long-term research and the development programme in theatre, dance, music, visual arts, film and ritual has continued for ten years, with laboratories consisting of classes, improvisation workshops and seminars. The focal points are on cultural negotiation and process in art practice. It looks at the different creative strategies of individual artists, both traditional and contemporary, through the recognition of differences between cultures. The development of artists in external form, internal landscape, intellectual muscularity and politicization are major pillars of FCP.
FCP’s previous labs have different focuses and content. They were :
LAB FOUR (2003)
TheatreWorks decided for 2003 to move the Flying Circus Project away from Singapore to Luang Prabang, Laos, in an experiment of the global and the local.
Over a period of 10 months, artists from various Southeast Asian countries
were provided with opportunities to identify interface sites with the town,
working with the people to create shared experiences. Conversely, through
a series of workshops, local youths gained knowledge of a world outside
Luang Prabang, other modes of thinking and expression, and ultimately access
to other contemporary and traditional Asian cultures. This is juxtaposed
with parallel narratives in Laotian people’s culture.
LAB THREE (2000)
Involving 20 Tibetan monks and other Asian artist including China, Taiwan and Japan to name a few.
Three themes were focused on. First is the interface of Asian religious rituals and the urban artist from contemporary Asia. With the participation of ethnic minority artist, the next theme was on the indigenous peoples’ struggles. Lastly, came the Indochina project which introduced artists from the developing region to the rest of Asia.
LAB TWO (1998)
This is the second laboratory involved artist from South Asia and their counterparts from East Asia and South East Asia. The inclusion of visual artists allowed for an expanded dialogue vis-à-vis the traditional performing arts. the traditional performing arts. The focus was the interplay between tradition and contemporary with a very strong push from the contemporary artists.
LAB ONE (1996)
The focus was learning the traditional performing arts even though there were equal participants from both spheres of traditional and contemporary practice.