Life’s Game of Snakes and Ladders


Parama Padam was created by followers of the Vaishnavite faith, with the dual purpose of entertainment and inculcating moral values. On the game board are a hundred squares illustrated with snakes and ladders, representing vices and virtues, respectively. Ladders allow you to ascend, just as good deeds pave the road to heaven, while snakes bring you down, like the cycle of rebirth. The final goal is to reach Vaikuntha, or Heaven. This game originated in India in the 10th century, and became popularised worldwide by the British as the classic game of Snakes and Ladders during the 18th century.

Creative team

Artistic Director: Aravinth Kumarasamy

Music Composer: Dr Rajkumar Bharathi,

Choreographer: Nohanapriyan Thavarajah

Costume Designer: Mohanapriyan Thavarajah


“Mohanapriyan’s exploration of the game of Snakes and Ladders on stage was a metaphorical representation of a soul’s goal to reach the 100th square, or moksha. This performance was not merely a visual spectacle but a thought-provoking experience, a profound integration of art, life and philosophy. The combination of technical precision and emotional depth by Mohanapriyan enhances the storytelling and brings the narrative to life.”

HAMSA VENKAT, The Indian Link, Australia

Snakes & ladders: This Singapore dance company’s solo Bharatanatyam performance by Mohanapriyan Thavarajah, reflects on ancient Indian philosophy of moksha. Mohanapriyan Thavarajah had just stepped inside the famous shrine in Tamil Nadu’s temple town of Srirangam when he noticed an image of the Snakes and Ladders game at the sanctum sanctorum. Leaving Srirangam’s Sri Renganatha Swamy temple, Thavarajah continued to brood on the Snakes and Ladders game and its influence on a shrine, Thavarajah immersed himself into understanding more about the game and its ancient links. But he became aware that it was important to link a tradition with modernity. And there was nothing better than dancing to do it.

FAIZAL KHAN, Financial Express, India

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Devata: Guardians of Dance

BLK D Goodman Arts Centre

#01-24 90 Goodman Road Singapore 439053

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