The Lotus Unfolds

Inspired by the multiple symbolic representations of the lotus in different cultures of the world, the dancers and musicians from Apsaras Arts explore its significance and meaning through bharatanatyam in Alapadma – The Lotus Unfolds.

This dance production draws inspiration from the multi-faceted symbolism of the lotus and will explore its representation in mythology, iconography and philosophy, particularly in the ancient civilisations of India, Egypt, Iran and Southeast Asia. 

“Alapadma” is the name of the dance mudra (hand gesture) that represents the fully opened lotus, and can be found in the ancient texts on Indian dance and theatre namely the Natyasastra and the Abhinaya Dharpana, which serve as invaluable repositories of knowledge for most Indian classical dance forms.

The many aspects of the lotus such as Srishti Sarasija (signifying creation), Pada Pankaja(mythology), Leela Kamala (romance), Alankaara Ambuja (iconography) and Sahasrara Padmam (human wisdom) will be brought alive through music and dance.

The lotus is a flower sacred to nature and the divine, and representative of both the abstract and the physical universe. It is also emblematic of the productive powers within and borne out of the spiritual and physical realms. It was held sacred in antiquity by the Hindus, the Egyptians, and thereafter by the Buddhists. Revered in China and Japan, and adopted as a Christian emblem by the Greek and Latin Churches, the symbolism of the lotus is an enigma worthy of exploration.

Artistic Mentorship Neila Sathyalingam

Concept & Artistic Direction Aravinth Kumarasamy

Choreography Mohanapriyan Thavarajah

Dancers Mohanapriyan Thavarajah, Sangeetha Venkitt, Banupriya Ponnarasu, Akshaya Veejish, Meera Balasubramanian, Nikita Menon, Shrutivandana Sharma & Maanasa Shriganesh

Musicians K.S. Balakrishnan (Nattuvangam), T Ramanan (Mirdangam), Cithrapoornima Sathish (Vocals), Bombay V Anand (Violin), Vishnu (Flute), Shri Ganapathy (Tabla), M Kajan (Percussions)

Narration Shobhva Vadrevu

Costume Design Mohanapriyan Thavarajah

Light Design Genieve Peck (Singapore), Venkatash (India)

Wardrobe & Hairstyling Selvy Radhakrishnan

Photography Lijesh Karunakaran

Research Mentorship Dr Gowri Ramnarayan, Thanjavur Lakshmi Viswanathan

Guest Composer (for Sahasra Padman in Act 5) Dr Rajkumar Bharathi

“Choreography, movements and music synchronised effectively. While the references to other cultural lore were cloaked in the same format, taken as a classical Indian dance work, ‘Alapadma’ was wholly successful” (Read more)
– The Hindu, Pushkala Gopal

 “Apsaras Arts four decade experience of prolific international productions, was reflected in the deftness and uniqueness of their production. Alapadma – The Lotus Unfolds was deft and unique as a production” (Read more)
– The Hindu, Kumudha Bharthram

“Taking Indian arts back to its roots. Founder of homegrown Indian dance company Apsaras Arts receives Lifetime Achievement award in India” (Read more)
Tabla, Singapore

Singapore Premier
4th & 5th Sep 2015 : Esplanade Theatre Studio

India Premier
21st Feb 2016 : Sripuram, Golden Temple, Vellur
23rd Feb 2016 : Christ University, Bangalore
26th Feb 2016 : Kalakshetra Foundation for Rukmini Devi Festival, Chennai
27th Feb 2016 : CP Ramaswamy Aiyer Foundation, an illustrated talk on the choreographic process of Alapadma, Chennai
28th Feb : Narada Gana Sabha for Bharata Ilango Foundation, Chennai
30th Sep 2016 : Seva Sadan Auditorium, Bangalore
06th Oct 2016 : G.R Auditorium, Manjakudi, Kumbakonam 

Sri Lanka Premier

12th March 2017 : Sabalingam Hall, Hindu College Auditorium, Jaffna
10th March 2017 : DS Senanayake Auditorium Colombo
15th March 2017 : Devanayakam Hall, Batticaloa

Anjaneyam is available for tours.

Cast Details:

  • Dancers – 7
  • Narrator – 1
  • Musicians – 6
  • Light Designer – 1
  • Artistic Director – 1

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Supported by National Arts Council, Singapore

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