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Apsaras Arts at the Magical Marghazi Season, December 2019

Apsaras Arts continued its annual participation with performances in Chennai India in celebration of the most prestigious Marghazi (December Dance & Music Festival) season, that has been a ritual over the past three decades initiated by the Founders, Shri S Sathyalingam and Smt Neila Sathyalingam.

During the past decade, Apsaras Arts has transformed its presence to become of the premier Performing Arts Company worldwide, and has been invited to present the company’s repertoire during this season at prestigious Sabha or conferences held at Chennai. December 2019 – January 2020 Apsaras Arts Dance Company was on tour presenting two of the iconic productions and a few other performances during a month long tour.

The multidimensional purpose of performing in the evenings, attending sessions at the annual dance conferences Natya Kala Conference, witnessing the daily performances by the stalwart performers at the Madras Music Academy and Kalakshetra, were all part of this immersive experience during the season. The Apsaras Arts team also sneaked in visits to the studios of many leading dancers, shopping for costume materials and accessories amid their tight schedules. We are excited that we got the opportunity to present some of our Singaporean dancers to also perform at the prestigious platforms.

ALAPADMA – The Louts Unfolds

This repertoire production is one of the most popular works of the company. Premiered in 2015 presented by the Esplanade Theatres by the Bay for its Raaga series in 2015, ALAPADMA has been on many international tours including to several cities in India.

Review of our production “ALAPADMA” on The Hindu, Chennai

"Outside India, Indian classical art forms seemingly survive with more rigour. Dare I say that the Singapore-based Apsaras Arts Dance Company’s ‘Alapadma’ was a far more accomplished performance than anything I have seen on the Kalakshetra stage recently and few Indian dancers exhibit the perfection of the lovely young Nikita Menon who stole the show."

Please Click Here for full review

ANJASA – Unravel the Wonders of The Buddhist Monuments of Asia.

This production which premiered in Singapore in 2015, has seen repeat seasons in Singapore and several overseas tours to Bangalore, Kuala Lumpur, Colombo, Kandy, London, Manchester and Liverpool. This time it was performed for the first time as part of Natya Kala Conference 2019 presented by the Krishna Gana Sabha convened by Rama Vaidhyanathan.

Review of our production “ANJASA” on New Indian Express, Chennai

"The dancers, each of them, had their own signature and managed to draw eyes even while being a part of an ensemble. Nikita Menon had my complete attention. It was a blessing to see Mohanapriyan Thavarajah bring exquisite form to his choreography as he joined the dancers in select acts. Given the high ideals of this production envisaged by Aravinth Kumarasamy, he hits every spot — from intrigue to familiarity — just right. With people around the globe still delighting in this work, five years since its debut, it is likely to come to your city again. When it does, drop everything to watch this and experience reverence in person.”

Please Click Here for full review

Solo Presentations

Apsaras Arts presented Principal Dancer Mohanapriyan Thavarajah in a solo performance at the Narada Gana Sabha’s festival. Review of the Solo Presentation by Mohanapriyan Thavarajah by Dr Sunil Kothari for Narthaki.

“His choreography is vibrant with athleticism and sensitivity by nuanced expressive elements of storytelling. He succeeds in creating new structures in Bharatanatyam form. Commencing his performance with a medley of Thevarams on Lord Shiva by saints Thirugnana Sambandar, Appar and Sundarar to the music by Dr. Rajkumar Bharathi, choreography by Sheejith Krishna, Mohanapriyan aptly evoked mood of bhakti during the Margazhi month. His choreography of Navarasa Varnam in praise of Goddess Meenakshi composed by Lalgudi Jayaraman was replete with sancharis for each rasa. Parvati's expressions were well captured by him. The rasas found felicitous depiction with appropriate episodes.”

Please Click Here for full review

Apsaras Arts presented the following three solo works of Singaporean dancers which were developed as part of the Dance India Asia Pacific 2018-19.

Mohini by Seema Hari Kumar
Kamakshi by Madhuri Suresh
Moonstruck by Nithyashree Nadesan

These solo thematic works were created by the artistes under the mentorship of Priyadarsini Govind and Anjana Anand.

Apsaras Arts’ Artistic Director Aravinth Kumarasamy was invited to be a speaker on the panel at the dance conference of Madras Music Academy and also moderated a panel discussion at the Natya Kala Conference. Apsara Arts team also presented a Lecture-Demonstration on the making of Anjasa, organised by C.P Ramaswami Iyer Foundation, Chennai.

Review of the LecDem on New Indian Express

“Short of making a visit and taking in the sites, the way we experience the monumental remnants of ancient history has remained the same for centuries — unquestioned school texts, impersonal tour-guide websites and perhaps a revelatory journal or two. But, for five years now, Aravinth Kumarasamy has been helping the world to indulge in the Buddhist marvels of South-East Asia through the exquisite medium of Bharatanatyam. The artiste’s fascination for architecture and practised expertise in setting a story to tune and dance find a perfect union in this production — Añjasa — Unravelling the Wonders of Buddhist Monuments. Having watched the sneak-peak demonstration of the performance, legendary classical dancer Padma Subrahmanyam remarked, “In one way, dance is also architecture. The architecture that the body creates; not through stone or cement but with the soul. And Aravinth has been able to bring the two arts together.”

Please Click Here for full review

The season 2019-2020 ended on a high note in January with a luncheon hosted by Apsaras Arts for all the Singapore based dancers and musicians who collaborated and contributed to the success of the season. It was definitely an immersive learning journey for our company dancers, performing, watching leading performers, attending the conferences and guided heritage tours etc. We look forward to continuing our learning journey during the future magical Marghazi seasons at Chennai.

 

 

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