Indian arts thriving in Singapore because of our pioneers: Meenakshy Bhaskar

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Singapore’s premier Indian arts festival, Kalaa Utsavam, is poised to be a huge success in the post-COVID world. Karaa Utsavam Over the past two decades, it has grown to become an icon of Indian art in Singapore.

Bhaskar’s Arts Academy’s latest creation pays homage to the late pioneer artist Santha Bhaskar.Photo credit: Esplanade – Theaters on the Bay

Baskers Arts AcademyOne of Singapore’s most prestigious Indian performing arts institutions, presents its final edition. marabou trilogytitled “Footprints of Marabu Artists”.

‘ following the presentation ofMalabu – First Ripple‘ and ‘Marabu – The Forgotten Sentinels’, the latest works from the Basker Academy of Arts, pay tribute to the late pioneering artist Santa Basker. ‘Artist’s Footsteps’ follows her journey from her humble origins in Kerala, India, to blossoming career as a dancer and choreographer in Singapore.

Santha Bhaskar’s daughter, Meenakshy Bhaskar, is in charge of directing and choreographing this dance biopic featuring music by BV Balasai, script and dramaturgy by Alfian Sa’at.

The show runs November 18-20 at 8:00 PM Friday and 3:00 PM and 8:00 PM Saturday and Sunday at the Esplanade Theater Studios.Show tickets are available online.

“Marabu – In the Footsteps of the Artists was intended to cover more recent immigrants. We wanted to cover how music and dance artists entered the region. When presented, their team felt that the best person to embody the story would be Mrs. Basker, who came in as a young dancer after marriage and laid down roots here.

The performance features various passages from Santa Basker’s life that shaped her artistic sensibility. From arranged marriages to dancing her Doyen KP Bhaskar, to encountering cultural purists who channeled the spirit of rule-breaking innovation, to her exposure to other cultural dances in Singapore. .

According to Thava Rani, company manager of Bhaskar’s Arts Academy, the Marabu trilogy was created to raise awareness of wealthy Indian ancestry, as all three chapters trace the passage and legacy of Indian communities in the Southeast Asian region. it was done.

“The first episode Marabu – The First Ripples tells the story of artisans and craftsmen who came to Malaya on the orders of the Chola King to build temples and establish an Indian community in the area. Forgotten Sentinels gave audiences a glimpse into the lives of the Sepoy Indians who came to the region, how they formed relationships with the locals and continued to raise their families. focuses on the past 70-80 years of Singapore’s history of artists coming to seek a living, staying in the country and growing with the country,” she added.

The performance features various passages from Santa Basker's life that have forged her artistic sensibilities.

The performance features various passages from Santa Basker’s life that have forged her artistic sensibilities.Photo credit: Esplanade – Theaters on the Bay

Bhaskar’s Arts Academy has been a regular performer at Kalaa Utsavam over the years, and the event has grown to become a mainstay on Singapore’s cultural calendar, bringing together local and international artists to showcase the Indian heritage. and art.

“Indian art arrived in Singapore decades ago and is now thriving and alive thanks to the foundation laid by our pioneers,” Meenakshi said.

This year’s Esplanade Festival welcomes international artists such as sitarist Anushka Shankar, as well as new collaborations from Apsaras Arts, Baskar’s Arts Academy and playwright A Yajna. Taking place November 18-27, 2022, the festival builds on long-standing relationships with artists and art groups to introduce audiences to new and exciting artists and art forms.

“We have been honored and grateful to have been part of this project over the past few years. With a fantastic line-up each year, so many local artists have had the opportunity to participate in the event. has grown to include independent artists and provides a platform for upcoming young artists to present their work, which is amazing and should be applauded,” Meenakshi said. .

Exciting and upcoming musicians such as Punjabi outfit Band Walle, Tamil group DNSV, and a night of soul and R&B with singer-songwriter Shak’thiya will also be featured at the festival.

“Kalaa Utsavam has something for everyone.

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