News Performing Arts

Performing arts pitch session PitchPad ASEAN back for second year, opens up to international applicants

HEARD of these performing arts success stories yet? Aida Redza‘s Moved by PADI was picked up by George Town Festival (GTF), Australia’s Darwin Festival took on Sipat Lawin‘s interactive Gobyerno, while Singapore’s Esplanade brought over dance performance Bordal Serei from Cambodia’s Amrita Performing Arts.

These are only a few examples of what was achieved through last year’s PitchPad ASEAN, a platform for Southeast Asian performing arts to score international opportunities.

How did it all happen?

At Borak Arts Series 2015, ten creative professionals from the ASEAN region pitched their works to a room full of venue programmers, artists and funders.

The rules were simple: just pitch something you’re hoping to premiere within the next two years or bring on tour overseas. But given a mere seven minutes to present, some rose to the challenge while others showed strain under pressure.

And who could fault the latter group? For in the audience sat many of the world’s brightest names in performing arts; from Arts Centre Melbourne‘s Kate Ben Tovim to celebrated movement artist Pichet Klunchun, this particular meeting room at the St. Giles Wembley was packed with charisma and talent.


Local entities presenting their wares back then include HANDS Percussion, Rhythm in Bronze, Loh Kok ManJoseph Gonzales, and Sharifah Aleysha on behalf of Kee Thuan Chye. But it was Aida Redza which scored the coveted George Town Festival slot, available for just one participant in the session.

Overall, results from that first PitchPad ASEAN was encouraging and they continue to manifest up till today.

What’s changed this year?

Some tweaks have been made to PitchPad ASEAN so come 28 August 2016, expect a whole new level of competition.

For its second year, PitchPad ASEAN will no longer be restricted to ASEAN artistes and companies. Non-ASEAN applicants will also be welcomed into the session, which means the competition is real.

Furthermore, instead of taking place over a solid two hours, this year’s edition will be divided into two parts, with lunch, a special performance — confirmed to feature award-winning musician Ng Chor Guan — and a country update scheduled in between both segments.


Many of those festival directors and venue programmers who dropped by last year will once again be back to see what else ASEAN has to offer — confirmed to return are Joe Sidek of GTF and Butterworth Fringe Festival, Andrew Ross of Darwin Festival, and Joseph Mitchell of OzAsia Festival (which will be bringing over TerryandTheCuz‘s SK!N to Australia next year).

But new additions in the room include Joanna Sherman from American company Bond Street Theatre as well as Hisashi Shimoyama of Japan’s world-famous Ricca Ricca Festa!

Tempted to give it a shot? Brave souls need only fill out the application form which can be obtained from MyPAA, and attach along an administration fee of RM58 to compete for a slot at this year’s session.

You can check out more details in the official e-flyer attached above, but take note that you have from today until the end of next month to get your entries in. And if you’re one of the performing arts companies we’ve been covering in the past year, we really hope to see you at this year’s event!


But if you have an idea that might not necessarily abide by PitchPad ASEAN’s guidelines, drop by anyway. TerryandTheCuz and Cambodian performing troupe Phare did not pitch but both scored international opportunities from being at Borak Arts Series and meeting the right people.

We’ll tell you more in due time, but until then make sure to check out the conference’s impressive schedule.

Find out more about PitchPad ASEAN from Borak Arts Series and MyPAA! This year’s PitchPad ASEAN will take place on Sunday, 28 August 2016 at the St. Giles Wembley, George Town as part of Borak Arts Series. Featured image is of Aida Reza trudging through a paddy field currently being grown in the middle of George Town for her winning entry from last year’s PitchPad ASEAN.

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