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Dance Review - Anjasa

 

Apsaras Arts presented Añjasa - Unravel the Wonders of the Buddhist Monuments of Asia 

 

International Tour 2016 / 2017

 

Thursday 10th November Bhavan Centre, London

Online Tickets at https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/event/147367

 

Saturday 12th November Capstone Theatre, Liverpool
Online Tickets at http://www.milapfest.com/events/anjasa-liverpool/?sub_brand=all

 

Hamsas (Swans) as depicted in Moonstone designs found in most Buddhist temples of Sri Lanka

 

“Añjasa” (pronounced as “Anyasa”) means “the path” in Pali, the classical language of Buddhism. In this sequel to Nirmanika - The Beauty of Architecture by Apsaras Arts, Añjasa explores the beauty of Buddhist temple architectures. The audience will journey through monuments including Mahadevi Temple in Nepal, Buddha Gaya Maha Bodhi Temple and Sanchi Stupa in India, Vattadage in Sri Lanka, The Shwed-agon Pagoda in Yangoon, Bayon in Cambodia and the Borobudur in Indonesia. This thematic dance presentation will also speak about the Buddhist emperors, Asoka and Jayavarman VII who were iconic in the spread of Buddhism across Asia. Experi-ence the wonders of Buddhist monuments as it unravels through the expressions and movements of classical dance style, Bharatanatyam. The performance featured Singaporean dancers from Apsaras Arts and guest dancers from India, Sri Lanka and Malaysia,  with live music accompaniment by Singaporean musicians and guest musicians from India.

 

Dance Review of Anjasa by Dr Sunil Kothari

 

I have been following their productions of Apsaras Arts with expectations of seeing something well re-searched, professional, technically flawless, musically innovative,replete with reso-nances, integrating South Asian cultures,choreographed imaginatively, and per-formed by well trained dancers of uniform high standards,with excellent- aharya.- costumes, bathed in lighting of a very high order.

As a work of art these productions leave an indelible impressions and easily stand shoulder to shoulder  in comparison with international theatrical productions.

 

Conceived,set to music,choreographed,designed with artistic direction by that indefatigable multi talented dancer,choreographer Aravinth Kumarasamy, the latest production Anjasa indeed 'unravels the wonders of Buddhist monuments'. It explores the beauty of Buddhist temple architecture in vein of their earli-er Nirmanika -the beauty of architecture.' This thematic dance presentation speaks volumes in kinetic language of movement and mimesis ,using Bharatanatyam technique, the story of Buddhist emperors Asoka and Jayavarman VII, who spread Buddhism across Asia. The clever ploy in the con-struct of the dance-drama is the wonders of Buddhist monuments which come alive in rich colours, sounds and visuals.

 

Apsaras as depicted in the Cambodian Buddhist monument of Bayon

 

The highlight of the production is amazing amalgamation and collaboration of Singa-porean dancers from Apsara Arts and guest dancers from India, SriLanka and Ma-laysia,with live music accompaniment by Singaporean musicians and guest musi-cians from India.

The audience is taken to monuments that tell stories of Buddha's life and 'path'- a  journey across sprawling regions of India, Sri Lanka, Burma, Cambodia,Indonesia where Buddha's message was spread. Visuals of unusual beauty, and one in par-ticular in  shadows creating silhouette of dancers, as it were carved, standing still ,was breathtaking! The renovated Victoria Theatre is a gem of a theatre that en-hanced the artistic and aesthetic experience. Surrounded by the glorious celebration of Singapore's 50th Anniversary, the legend-ary Smt Neila Sathyalingam, who with her late husband Eelanallur S.Sathyalingam,as pioneers in the Indian Arts in Singapore have been lauded,feted, appreciated and remembered  during 2014/15.What could have been more opportune for them  than to bask in glory of their second and third generations,performing and doing them proud?

 

Dancers depict the architectural beauty of the Buddhist stupa of Sanchi in India

 

This is an  exquisite production which breaks new paths in dance choreography both in terms of  content and execution involving multinationals.So captivating is the dance production that it is bound to go places and am sanguine will be received with great warmth and affection in countries where Buddhism is alive.
 

Quotes on Anajsa 

 

Apsaras Arts is ready to go global and on tour with Anjasa. Please do so and make us Singaporeans, even more proud.”

- Minister Khaw Boon Wan


For two hours, I was spiritually transported to a higher level of consciousness, where I felt no bodily pains, whatsoever. Apsaras Arts is on par with global dancers and companies and exemplifies the highest standards in the classical Indian dance forms. The late Mrs. Rukmini Devi, Founder of Kalakshetra, would have been utterly proud and supportive what Apsaras Arts has accomplished in Anjasa. For a long, long time in Singapore, I have not thoroughly enjoyed myself in an arts concert or a dance performance, the way I did on Saturday 24th January 2015 at the newly renovated Victoria Theatre. Brava, on Anjasa.” - Mrs. Rathi Karthigesu (in her late 70’s and the true Pioneer of the Indian Dance in S’pore from circa 1950’s and the wife of the late Justice of Appeal, Mr. Justice Karthigesu, Supreme Court of Singapore):

 

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