Saturday 23 November 2013

The celestial Apsaras descend upon Singapore’s Esplanade - Dr Sunil Kothari

Esplanade on Bay at Singapore wore a festive look for ten days from 15th November with Kalaa Utsav, Indian Festival of Arts as a part of various festivals Esplanade organizes for celebrating New Year of various communities, to strengthen the community harmony among the multicultural population. Now in its 10th year, Kalaa Utsav has grown in its dimension ranging from classical dance performances, vocal and instrumental music, theatre and three day fest to ten days bonanza of multiple arts and several venues embracing literary, visual, performing arts and popular arts including free outdoor performances at concourse and outdoor auditorium, some events with free admission, drawing a continuous stream of visitors, aficionados, artists, musicians, literary figures, authors, writers, workshops, exhibitions of photographs, textile installations, discussion on Ayurveda, the science of life and what have you. Like its counterparts in USA, London, Avignon, Perth and Adelaide, Esplanade on the Bay in Singapore consists of venues right from the Grand Theatre to Library esplanade, including Concert Hall, Recital Studio, Theatre Studio, Rehearsal Studio, Outdoor Theatre and Concourse.  Mind boggling events are scheduled bringing international artistes from near and far with a clever mix of local talent.
The most fascinating event that I witnessed was a collaborative work sponsored by Esplanade as a co-production ‘Angkor: An Untold Story,’ a dance-drama, with Apsaras Arts, a Singapore based reputed institute offering training in classical Bharatanatyam and allied arts, under the supervision and direction of Neila Sathyalingam, Founder, Artistic Director and mentor. She and her late husband S Sathyalingam have lived and taught dance and arts at Apsaras Arts since 1975.  Neila reiterates the fact that Singapore’s relentless pursuit of excellence in all aspects keeps focus on National Arts Council’s (NAC) aim of nurturing artists, musicians, dancers, painters and sculptors.   

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