Slowly, but steadily, the world has opened up and performances are back where they belong!
Inspired by that idea, the notion of the future, we reached out to four dancers-choreographers-curators and asked them to share with us their vision for dance. We were excited by their ideas, and insights! This is the cover story for Aavartana’s March edition that also marks the month where we dedicate to the importance of women’s rights, gender equality, et al.
Our Interview section, this edition, anchored by Vidhya Nair, celebrates the life and journey of V Balakrishnan, acclaimed Singapore-based dancer-choreographer-teacher, who lays bare the many challenges life threw his way, and tells us his story in a way that the art and the artiste become one and the same!
For us, at Apsaras Arts, February is a month we remember our co-founder, Neila Sathyalingam as that marks her birth anniversary. Neila Maami was all things amazing; her creativity, her enthusiasm, her generosity of spirit, are all worth a celebration. In that spirit, our Point of View section goes back in time and we recall a short speech Neila Maami made when she received an award, letting the audience into the birth of the name Apsaras and also predicting the future of Indian arts in Singapore.
In our Books Banter section, we interview Odissi exponent, Ileana Citaristi, on her new book, Odissi and the Geeta Govinda, where Citaristi speaks about the premise, intent and process of the book and her own relationship with the Geeta Govinda, as a dancer.
We are also excited to share as part of our In-Sights section, a detailed overview of the IPAC Symposium on Bharatanatyam that was a coming together of practitioners, scholars, writers, artistes, et al, soaking in the arts and sharing their knowledge and learnings with each other.
Speaking of which, we really enjoyed listening to two beautiful artistes, Madhuri Suresh from Singapore and Divya Nayar from Coimbatore, India, as they discussed a host of things that unify them – dance. As rising stars, with meaningful insights, this conversation, under our umbrella of #iamayoungdancer, is a must-watch!
In our Travel Diaries section, we travel back in time, to share a travel nugget from Little Angels, a multi-ethnic ensemble that was co-founded by Neila Sathyalingam. That section is all kinds of nostalgia for us!
Speaking of Apsaras Arts, we have enjoyed two fantastically productive months, immersing, learning, sharing and presenting all things arts. We had the opportunity to showcase Nirmanika Re-imagined, our re-envisaged work that was originally created by our co-founder, Neila Sathyalingam, ten years ago, and that unfolds in an avatar that retains some elements from the original but also is infused with newness and some additions in imagination and choreography. We are so excited that the response to this work was phenomenal!
Don’t forget to read a detailed interview with Aravinth Kumarasamy, Artistic Director of Nirmanika Re-Imagined, who wore many hats to re-create this work, a decade later. This is as part of Aavartana’s Work-in-Process.
We also dedicate this edition to Singapore-based dancer-choreographer-teacher, Santha Bhaskar who passed on recently and whose contribution to the landscape of the Indian arts, especially Bharatanatyam, in Singapore, is beyond significant. Thank you Santha Aunty for all that you did!
There’s a lot brewing and we are happy to be sharing it, in-person with the world! We are hoping to chronicle and document it all through Aavartana. We hope you like what you see and will be a part of this journey!