Arts House Limited Appoints Gaurav Kripalani as Festival Director of Singapore International Festival of Arts 2018–2020
Singapore, 23 March 2017 – Gaurav Kripalani will be appointed the new Festival Director designate of the Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA) with effect from 1 May 2017. This will be for a tenure of three festivals from 2018 till 2020. The appointment was announced by the Arts House Limited (AHL), a company of the National Arts Council (NAC) which commissions the annual SIFA. Gaurav will take the helm from outgoing Festival Director Ong Keng Sen, who will see through the 2017 edition which begins in June.
Gaurav, currently the artistic director of Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT), has produced over 100 plays during his 21-year history with the company. Under Gaurav’s artistic direction, SRT was the first Singaporean theatre company on Broadway in 1998. This was for Golden Child, which went on to earn three Tony Award nominations. SRT has presented work by several renowned international artistes including Ninagawa, Complicite, Peter Brook, Yael Farber and the Royal Shakespeare Company to name a few. SRT was also a co-commissioning partner on the Bridge Project - a three-year, Sam Mendes-directed collaboration between The Old Vic in London and BAM in New York. Gaurav has commissioned and produced several original Singaporean plays and musicals, including the highly successful Forbidden City. Known for his bold artistic vision, Gaurav was one of the first to champion the use of outdoor spaces, and originated productions of Singapore's own Shakespeare in the Park - where local and international actors, producers and set designers come together annually to bring Shakespeare to life. Gaurav also recognises the importance of education with SRT being one of the biggest commissioners and producers of children’s theatre in Southeast Asia. He will continue as director of SRT during his three year tenure with SIFA.
Mrs Rosa Daniel, CEO of the National Arts Council, says, “Under Keng Sen, SIFA has become a truly international festival of a very high standard. SIFA has also reached out to the wider community in diverse ways for all to enjoy. It has achieved both excellence and inclusivity. NAC welcomes the appointment of Gaurav Kripalani as the next Festival Director for SIFA. Under Gaurav’s artistic direction and together with the leadership of Sarah Martin, CEO of Arts House Limited, I am confident that audiences in Singapore and beyond will have much to look forward to. The arts scene here will continue to benefit from SIFA’s programming. There will also be many opportunities for collaborations and enriching dialogue.”
Sarah Martin, CEO of Arts House Limited says, “I am delighted to have Gaurav on board, especially at this exciting juncture where Arts House Limited is poised to be one of the key arts intermediaries in Singapore with all our own changes. It is always good to see our Singaporean artistic directors rise to new challenges. Keng Sen through his vision has brought the festival to new dimensions and critical acclaim. We thank him for his process of creation and commitment to SIFA over the years. We look forward to an interesting time for the landscape locally and internationally as the Festival embarks on a new journey with Gaurav and AHL.”
Ong Keng Sen, SIFA Festival Director says, “I am very happy for Gaurav. My team and I are committed to give him the best possible Festival to continue. In these 4 years, we strived to initiate quality projects with Singapore residents connected to living, dreaming and creating here. Our audiences deserve visionary projects of how art transforms humanity and makes the world a better place. I wish Sarah and Gaurav the very best for an exciting journey ahead!”
With regard to the appointment, Gaurav Kripalani says, “It is an honour to be passed the baton to helm Singapore’s premier arts festival. Keng Sen has done a stellar job and I hope to reach the high expectations that have been set. I look forward to reaching out to artists, locally and internationally, in order to achieve the Festival’s goal of pushing the boundaries of perception in the multi-disciplines. I look forward to welcoming the world to Singapore and Singapore to the world.”
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