Agathi: The Plight of Refugees


AGATHI is a new dance-theatre production by Apsaras Arts exploring the contemporary issues—including prejudice and misunderstanding—surrounding the plight of refugees all over the world. Through music, poetry and bharatanatyam, Agathi paints an intimate portrait of their lives and struggles, expounding the emotional states as well as stigma that people forced out their countries have to endure. Agathi draws inspiration from the company’s artistic director Aravinth Kumarasamy’s personal experiences as a refugee many years ago, and features a music score based on the poetry of well-known Tamil poets Kavimani Desiga Vinayagam Pillai and Maha Kavi Subramania Bharathi and Kaviarasu Kannadasan as well as translations by Niranjan Bharathi of poems from the UN Refugee Agency-published A Book of Poems: Expressions from our Youth.  

Creative Team

Concept, Script and Artistic Direction: Aravinth Kumarasamy Music Composition: Chithra Poornima Sathish, Karthik Choreography: Mohanapriyan Thavarajah, Renjith Babu, Vijna VasudevanLighting Design: Gyan Dev Singh Sound Design: Sai Sharavanam Lyrics: Niranjan Bharathi Costume Design: Mohanapriyan Thavarajah Narration Script: Audrey Perera(English), Sri Ganesh(Tamil)  



“Agathi” was not just a dance-theatre work, it was also a social commentary on current affairs across the world. It threw the spotlight on the circumstances that make people flee their homes, natural calamities and politically-motivated displacements, and brought awareness of the injustice of it all, especially the latter” “Music and dance reinforced their impact. The well-trained dancers worked within a tight framework of movements to bring out the mood, but what was most impressive was their seamless contribution to the intensity of the narrative.” – by Rupa Srikanth, Published on Jan 04, 2018 on The Friday review for The Hindu, India “Can Bharatanatyam tell painful stories of rape and migration? A dance company provides an answer ‘Agathi’ by Singapore’s Apsaras Arts Dance Company is an attempt to introduce difficult contemporary themes into an age-old idiom.” – by Malini Nair, Published Jan 04, 2018 on “Carrying forward the narrative, flashback was used, and imaginative use of chorus, a la Greek theatre, reflecting what the main character is thinking. Such a large scale production deserves to be seen in other cities, where Ramayana is known to everyone and its performances are a living tradition” (Read more– Narthaki, Padmashri Dr. Sunil Kotari “It was a brilliant evening getting to watch a contemporary theme portrayed in Bharatham, brilliant choreography, excellent singing and moving; poignant lyrics that reflect real plight and finally the pleasure watching an artistic dance treatment to popular numbers.” “It was a refreshing and a much needed welcome relief that Apsaras Arts, Singapore has dared to take Bharatham to talk about an issue that keeps nudging at us all at some corner of our nice and cosy living- the crisis of a refugee that keeps hogging the front pages of our newspaper and is also increasingly becoming a deciding factor in the politics and policies of many a country around the world.” – by Vijaysagar Subbaiyaa, Published on Dec 22, 2017 on Life’s and Times of (Blogpost) 


Upcoming Performances Agathi Europe Performance tour 2018

  • London – 11th June 2018 at 8pm, Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan (For tickets –
  • Liverpool –
  • Manchester –
  • Birmingham –
  • Paris –
  • Netherlands –

Agathi Australia Performance Tour 2018

  • Sydney –
  • Melbourne –

Post Performances

  • Natya Darshan Festival – 24th Dec 2017 at 6.45pm, Bharthiya Vidya Bhavan, Chennai,
  • Chettinad Sarvalokaa Arts Festival – 22nd Dec 2017 at 7.30pm, Rani Seethai Hall, Chennai
  • Raga Series – 20th & 21st Jan 2017, Esplanade Theatre Studio, Singapore

Book the Show

Aathi is available for tours Cast Details:

  • Dancers: 7
  • Narrator: 1
  • Lighting Designer: 1
  • Sound Operator: 1
  • Artistic Director: 1
  • Vocalists: 2 (Optional)

Please contact / for more information

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Supported by

Devata: Guardians of Dance

BLK D Goodman Arts Centre

#01-24 90 Goodman Road Singapore 439053