MADONNA COULD PERFORM IN SINGAPORE FOR FIRST TIME

IMG_0297-0Queen of pop Madonna, who was banned from performing her controversial Girlie Show World Tour here in 1993, seems set to strut her stuff in Singapore for the very first time.

Home-grown concert promoter IMC Live told The Sunday Times it is in talks to bring the 57-year-old American star’s ongoing Rebel Heart tour here for a one-night concert for 30,000 at the National Stadium.

The expected date is Feb 28, with tickets likely to go on sale in the middle of next month. “We are in the preliminary stage of working out details with the National Stadium,” said an IMC Live spokesman.

Singapore Sports Hub spokesman Jose Raymond also confirmed that it is in talks with Madonna’s management and a local event organiser “for an engagement” in February.

Responding to The Sunday Times’ queries, the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) said it has received an application for an arts entertainment licence to stage Madonna’s concert in February.

It said: “MDA is still in the process of assessing the application, and will inform the concert organisers once it has reached a decision.”

If confirmed, Singapore will be the seventh and last stop in the tour’s Asian leg, which includes Japan, Hong Kong, Taipei, Macau, Bangkok and Manila. Most shows are sold out.

Madonna was banned from performing here in 1993, when police said her performances in the Girlie Show “border on the obscene… (and are) known to be objectionable to many on moral and religious grounds”.

For the Singapore gig to be given the go-ahead this time, The Sunday Times understands some songs may have to be dropped from the setlist.

The Rebel Heart tour, which has played to 300,000 fans in the United States and is now making its way around Europe, has reportedly grossed more than US$46 million (S$65 million) so far.

The show comes after Madonna released her 13th studio album Rebel Heart earlier this year.

But fans of Madonna – rated as the top touring female artist ever, with her concerts grossing over a billion dollars – can still expect the megastar to perform classics such as True Blue, Like A Virgin, Material Girl and Into The Groove. They will also be treated to an array of costume changes, as she dresses up as a 1920s cabaret coquette and a sexy matador, among other personas.

IMC Live, which has staged concerts in the region for the likes of Jay Chou, Faye Wong and Bon Jovi, is believed to have paid about $12 million to bring the Rebel Heart show here.

But its spokesman gave the assurance that ticket prices here “will be kept in the same range as pricing categories in the other Asian stops of the tour”. Tickets for the Bangkok show start at $78 and go up to $630 while VIP tickets for the Taipei show cost $1,200.

Madonna fans like financial consultant Benjamin Soh are hoping to score front-row seats here. “It’s already such a joy to watch her performances on YouTube and DVD, but to see her in the flesh is going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said the 38-year-old.

Source : AsiaOne

MADONNA : 10 OF THE BEST

1. Borderline
Madonna’s first great song isn’t one of her greatest performances. It feels odd saying that, given that choosing 10 of her best songs is, if you like her, almost impossible. She’s been so many different Madonnas, after all. There’s the sculpted dominatrix, glossy in monochrome, with music to match. The Marilyn Monroe mole above the lip. The ambitious pop blonde. The wild-haired, bindi-wearing hippy, trailing the soft edges of trip-hop, the Che Guevara-loving politico mining the edges of electroclash, the mum in pink neon Lycra exploring her disco roots … and the scrappy punk drying her armpits at the hand-dryer in the ladies’ loo – the Madonna I first fell in love with. We lost my first scrappy pop-punk Madonna by her third album, True Blue, in 1986. After that, Madonna became the Icon, the Brand, the Untouchable Being. Her music generally became better after this, but her earlier songs had moments, too: the jerky, awkward peppiness of Everybody, the electronic fizz of Lucky Star, the Nile Rodgers-assisted career-breaker Like a Virgin, the perennially lemonade-fresh Holiday. Borderline, however, was something else. Written by the producer of her first album – and ex-Miles Davis Electric Band session player – Reggie Lucas, it introduced a new quality to the Madonna catalogue: an iridescent melancholy that would feed her greatest music. A boy is playing with her heart, holding her in his arms, and then driving her away, and we had to just “try to understand” that she’s “given all” she can. Madonna’s vocals aren’t as emotionally charged as they could have been here, and they’re on the squeaky side. Still, they have a powerfully steely defiance – a quality that would serve her well for years to come.

2. Papa Don’t Preach
Cue the strings. As well as having a Warholesque cover image, True Blue launched itself into the stratosphere with a full baroque orchestra in its opening seconds, a surefire sign of an album aiming to take its star to higher places. Then a family drama began: “Papa, I know you’re going to be upset …”. Madonna’s epic tale of a young girl getting pregnant underlined that she was a fine provocateur, but it also harked back to girl-group ideas of young women being in difficult situations. That concept now came with a twist: this was a girl fully in charge. That’s not to say she hadn’t experienced vulnerability (“I’m in trouble deep … I’ve been losing sleep … my friends keep telling me to give it up”), but she’d made up her mind: she was keeping her baby. It was an attitude that struck people then, including those much younger I was. The video for the song is fantastic, painting an everyday New York City story of a girl and her father, while hinting at the motherless life the young Madonna had (her mother, who bore the same name as her, died when she was five, as she would go on to remind us on many songs).

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THE QUEEN OF POP IN BARCELONA

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The euphoria was already there, crouched in the courtyard of the Palau Sant Jordi and feeding those who took hours standing guard in search of a privileged place.
But it was when the lights went out and the screens began pumping images of Material Girl waddling behind a fence when the shouting became flesh and Barcelona hosted Madonna for what she really is: a mass phenomenon that still shooing her retirement blow of muscular hits, hectic choreography and stage full of mobile screens, retractable stairs and lights to illuminate half the city.

In fact, every time Madonna sets foot on stage the result is usually more or less the same: an endless stream of euphoria, a cascade of praise and the realization that, in fact, the singer has been and is part instrumental in the transformation of the pop of the last quarter century.

Thus the stages of half the world has become her playground and her tours are still the yardstick to which they have to face the rest of aspiring pop stardom. Tours like this “Rebel Heart Tour” that landed Tuesday in Barcelona, turned in excellent excuse to celebrate the music, life and, finally, the highly hedonistic spirit of pop. For if there were doubts about the recreational qualities of their actions, the very Madonna’s cleared with her hand as she appeared locked in a cage singing “Iconic”. Beside her, an army of dancers with futuristic-samurai helmet and spears crosswise opened a fashion that would soon add a few geishas in “Bitch, I’m Madonna” and a handful of nuns in lingerie a ‘Holy Water’ with references to The Last Supper. The great circus of pop, vindicating before an audience who patiently endured queues, records access and even the inexplicable delay of more than an hour with which she began the concert.

Once on stage, Madonna’s return to Barcelona three years after her last visit was a mask made in the image and likeness of her previous tours; a costume ball high technology with which the singer continues to enrich the sex imaginary , religion and less provocative provocation that remains true for more than two decades. There was, however, an evening for the great successes and vacuum packaged nostalgia, but a new anthology of high and low passions, carnality to spirituality through pure debauchery orchestrated around the recent and something warm “Rebel Heart ‘.

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INTO THE GROOVE : HOW WE TAUGHT MADONNA TO KRUMP AND THRUST

booklet (4)_edited.jpgIn the late 70s, Madonna Ciccone was a young dancer just arrived in New York, living on popcorn and self-belief between classes at the legendary Martha Graham’s dance school, and clubbing the night away at Danceteria.

Thirty-five years on, and the queen of pop’s life might be unrecognisable, but her instincts aren’t so different. Dance, from serious art to club trends, is still at the heart of Madonna’s live shows – her latest, Rebel Heart, arrives in the UK in December. Over the years she has incorporated everything from flamenco to Basque folk dance, tango, pole dance and parkour.

She’s known for reinventing her music, recruiting fashionable producers to update her sound, but she does the same – arguably more successfully – with dance, seeking out street and club trends and bringing them into mainstream pop culture. It started with 1990’s Vogue, but more recently there’s been krump (in her videos Sorry and Hung Up), Chicago footwork (Sticky & Sweet tour) and the arm-twisting, extra-bendy Brooklyn dance style bonebreaking (MDNA tour). You don’t get that from Katy Perry.

“The thing that separates her from everyone else is that she started off as a dancer. She has that dance itch,” says choreographer Richmond Talauega, who with his brother Anthony (AKA Rich+Tone) has worked extensively with Madonna. “She has taste, and she has that eye that knows what’s good out there.”

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