Life

Trace a dancer’s personal journey through a Family Reunion

There is a party going on in the rehearsal studio of the Singapore Dance Theatre (SDT). Dancers are grooving to the strains of 1950s jazz singer Dinah Washington’s Such A Night, taking turns in the centre as if in a dance-off at a club. “Make it wild,” calls Australian choreographer Lucas Jervies as they fling […]

Life

Turning trash into literary gold

When Chinese science-fiction writer Stanley Chen Qiufan was growing up in Guangdong province, there was a town near where he lived that existed solely on trash. The town of Guiyu was the world’s dumping ground for electronic waste. An army of workers, mostly poor migrants from other parts of China, stripped computers, circuit boards and […]

Life

Pushing boundaries in a world run by children

FICTION SUPERNOVA ERA By Liu Cixin Translated by Joel Martinsen Tor Books/ Paperback/ 348 pages/$29.95/ Books Kinokuniya 3.5 stars In a flash of blinding light, a supernova showers the planet with radiation that deals irreversible damage to all human beings. Only children, whose chromosomes still retain the ability to repair themselves, will survive the event. […]

Life

Malaysia’s ‘Stephen King’ is scared of poodles

He has conjured demons and dark fates in his creepy tales, but Malaysian horror writer Tunku Halim is scared of dogs. “I’m not talking just about big dogs which might bite, but cute little poodles too,” says the self-avowed cynophobe in an e-mail interview. The 55-year-old, who has been described as “the Stephen King of […]

Life

A superhero story about slavery

FICTION THE WATER DANCER By Ta-Nehisi Coates One World/Paperback/406 pages/ $29.96/Books Kinokuniya 4 stars There has been a lot of debate of late over whether Marvel movies count as cinema. Now, American writer Ta-Nehisi Coates has produced a novel that combines the slave narrative with the superhero genre – and the result is unquestionably spectacular […]

Life

Great epics, contemporary twists

1 MARABU – THE FIRST RIPPLE Dance and theatre come together in Marabu – The First Ripple, the first part of a trilogy by Bhaskar’s Arts Academy. The production is set during the height of the Srivijayan empire and traces the passage of the Indian community from India to the Malay peninsula. Veteran artist Santha […]

Life

JJ Lin’s ‘drip bag’ offered for sale

NANJING • There have been reports of chopsticks and wet wipes supposedly used by celebrities that were later put up for sale. Now, even a drip bag – said to be used by Singapore singer JJ Lin – has been offered for sale online. Lin, 38, who was in Zhenjiang city in China’s Jiangsu province […]

Life

Frozen fun, art and science

Disney’s highly anticipated animated film Frozen II will be released only on Nov 22. But fans can get a sneak peek at its concept art and animation drawings at Disney: Magic Of Animation. Some 15 never-before-seen works are among more than 500 archival artefacts on display here at the ArtScience Museum till March 29 next […]

Life

Bridging space for reconciliation

Loneliness is as wide as space and as small and close as the human heart in The Far Side Of The Moon. The dream-like play by Canadian auteur Robert Lepage makes its Singapore premiere on Friday at the Esplanade Theatre. Amid its many technical marvels – a moving mirror as wide as the stage, a […]

Life

Thrilled by horror films that make one think

I’m not a big fan of horror movies. I admit I’m a bit of a wimp – you won’t find me riding on a roller coaster or going bungee jumping either. Blood and chainsaws turn me off and I can’t bring myself to sit through South-east Asian tales of vengeful spirits and pontianak – vampiric […]

Life

Jam-packed tour of Singapore history

If Merdeka were an essay, I would give it an A+ for diligence and smarts. As a play, I would grade it a qualified B, as there are gaps in characterisation, which is sometimes given up in favour of information dumping. The dumping is deftly packaged as entertainment. For newcomers to the lesser known aspects […]

Life

Chinese immigrant music given a fresh take

What do immigrants from China do when they transplant themselves thousands of miles from their homeland to settle in South-east Asia? They bring along their musical cultures, mostly through oral tradition, create their own instruments and pass these down to succeeding generations. That is how musical heritage survives or risks being forgotten altogether. Over the […]

Life

Nancy Drew grows up

Some young readers of the classic Nancy Drew mysteries may find themselves banned by their parents from watching the new television version. It is darker and more adult than the wholesome books – and the scrappy girl detective has sex. “The show’s not necessarily designed for 12-year-olds,” says executive producer Stephanie Savage, who developed the […]

Life

De Niro channelled a crab as cabbie in Taxi Driver

LONDON • Legendary Hollywood actor Robert De Niro revealed he had occasionally used the so-called “animal exercise” in which actors channel an animal to play a character. In a wide-ranging question-and-answer event at the London Film Festival last Friday, he was bombarded with queries from several budding actors looking for tips on his fabled performances. […]

Life

Oh-so-relatable narrative for 20-somethings

Find a good job, get married and have kids. The typical Singapore narrative is challenged in Permanence, Gina Chew’s tragicomic exploration of love, sex and domesticity which has been restaged after its premiere two years ago. Under Mitchell Fang’s judicious direction, past and present collide in a sort of theatrical tango between two pairs of […]

Life

Fancy buying chopsticks used by Kris Wu?

BEIJING • Would you buy a pair of chopsticks used by singer Kris Wu, a drinking glass used by singer Will Pan or wet wipes used by actress Angelababy? These items were offered for auction online last week after the trio dined last Wednesday at a hotpot restaurant in Tokyo’s Harajuku district, HK01 news website […]

Life

Tough-guy actor dies of brain cancer

NEW YORK • Robert Forster, whose role as a bail bondsman in Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown (1997) earned him an Oscar nomination and who was acclaimed for his tough-guy appearances in Breaking Bad (2008 to 2013), died last Friday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 78. The cause was brain cancer, said Ms […]

Life

I was worried my baby was hungry

The first thing financial analyst Evelyn Koh Ai-Ping learnt when she started breastfeeding her first son seven months ago was that it was not as easy as she had thought. She had prepared for it by signing up for an antenatal class conducted by well-known lactation consultant Wong Boh Boi. Please subscribe or log in […]

Life

Getting mums started on breastfeeding

More hospitals have joined a global breastfeeding scheme and want to help new mothers get started as soon as possible. Such early support is crucial as breastfeeding can be hard at first and the challenges that mothers may face in the first few days or weeks can discourage them. Please subscribe or log in to […]

Life

Trainer helps women get fit

I believe in holistic well-being. There really is no shortcut to looking fabulous. You have to listen to your body, work hard at keeping fit, rest well and take care of your skin and hair. Please subscribe or log in to continue reading the full article. Learn more about ST PREMIUM. Enjoy unlimited access to […]

Life

When wisdom tooth removal goes wrong

A botched wisdom tooth removal is not commonly heard of, but it can kill taste, sensation in the mouth and even affect speech, say experts. Last week, a former head chef whose taste buds were compromised following a botched wisdom tooth extraction was awarded $105,000 for job loss, pain and suffering. Please subscribe or log […]

Life

Doc Talk: What sparks joy in your life?

I may be at risk of revealing my age, but it did not seem too long ago that Singaporeans aspired to have the five Cs. For the benefit of the slightly younger generation, the five Cs refer to having ready cash, a condominium, a credit card, a car and a country club membership. These were […]

Life

He started his career as a crab

Former Mediacorp actor Jeff Wang may have left the local entertainment scene close to 10 years ago, but the 42-year-old is still popular. On a recent trip back to Singapore from Taiwan, Wang, who is Taiwanese, told The Straits Times with a laugh: “A lot of people tell me they watched me growing up. I […]

Life

More women get to throw tomatoes as movie-review website diversifies

LOS ANGELES • Ms Shannon McGrew admits she has had it a little easier than other women establishing her chops as an online film critic. Unlike some of her contemporaries, she said, “I have not received death threats.” But during her nearly five years as a critic of horror movies on her own website, Nightmarish […]

Life

Virtuosic playing lacks some drama

Japanese conductor-composer-harpsichordist-organist Masato Suzuki was last heard with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) in Poulenc’s Organ Concerto, conducted by his father, Masaaki Suzuki. Last Friday, the younger Suzuki led the SSO in a programme with music linked to Leipzig, the early capital of Western classical music. Singapore-based pianist Albert Tiu joined them in two showpieces […]

Life

Play with ducks and mini-pigs at Chinese cafe

CHENGDU • Crowds in a Chinese eatery ignore their drinks to gather adoringly around four fluffy white ducks, phones poised ready for pictures, at the latest addition to China’s growing list of popular animal cafes. Hey! We Go, a cafe in the centre of the south-western city of Chengdu, is proving perfect fodder for the […]

Life

A maestro’s retrospective

Singapore artist Goh Beng Kwan may be 82 years old, but he says he feels more in tune with colours and pigments than ever. The Cultural Medallion recipient, who is known for his abstract painting-collages, shows little sign of slowing down and has released a book which catalogues his work and charts the highlights of […]

Life

Geriatric dentists are here to help

In the seven years since Singapore welcomed its first geriatric and special needs dentist, more has been done to cater to the oral care needs of the frail elderly, though there is a clear need for even more dentists with such training as the population ages. Today, there are five dentists who are trained in […]

Life

Don’t brush your teeth too hard

If you think brushing your teeth hard helps keep them clean, think again. Brushing teeth too aggressively over a prolonged period can cause gums to recede. It is one of the changes in the mouth that can accompany ageing. Please subscribe or log in to continue reading the full article. Learn more about ST PREMIUM. […]

Life

Ivan Heng in his element as Emily

A performer cannot hide on Wild Rice’s new thrust stage at Funan mall. He is surrounded on three sides by audience members who can literally reach out and touch him. But then, by the same token, audience members too cannot hide in the usual dark anonymity of a proscenium arch theatre. And therein lies the […]