read in The New Paper yesterday that the Kim Eng Teochew Opera troupe is to disband after next February, due to dwindling crowds.
Kim Eng (or Golden Eagle) was one of Singapore's most established troupes and commanded crowds of thousands during its heyday in the '80s (not that i remembered, i was too young )
at the time of the report, the attendance was only....four! Poor attendance for traditional Chinese performances like Teochew opera and wayang prompted Dr Chua Soo Pong, director of the Chinese Opera Institute, to comment sadly that "young people go to events like Womad (World of Music, Arts and Dance) which features performers from distant lands, but few have ever seen a wayang." such heritage gone to waste, on our own home ground no less, such irony!
however, the next bit probably will interests the photographer in us =P
Dr Chua commented, for wayang troupes to survive, they must "learn how to market themselves to compete with other art forms". For example, wayang troupes in Taiwan have "brochures with slick photography"
that sparked a thought in me. can we contribute a part in promoting interest in our traditional art forms? start by boosting audience attendance with our photographers so as to create awareness and appreciation? =P