Spirit of Margazhi
Bharatanatyam dancer Nitya Sriram from Singapore recounts her experience of the December Music Dance season 2022-2023; her learnings, new perspectives and connecting with the dance community from across the world in Chennai
The company dancers and I had excitedly gone through the Music Academy schedule multiple times, prior to the trip and had almost memorized it. We chatted away on the flight to Chennai, discussing the exciting line-up of the Madras Music Academy Dance Festival. This time, we at Apsaras Arts, had the lovely opportunity of dancing at two prestigious venues in Chennai at Vani Mahal on 5 January and the prestigious Madras Music Academy on 8 January.
The dance festival line-up at the Music Academy was, as always, amazing. Every solo artiste had something unique to bring to the festival. Bharatanatyam dancer Praveen Kumar kickstarted the festival with a phenomenal solo. He performed the piece, Yathai Kandu Nee Ichai Kondai, in ragam Kalyani which I will never forget. This Padam was narrated from the perspective of a father and is about dealing with his relationship with his daughter, and was different from the typical Padams that we usually learn.
Every artiste incorporated a piece of themselves into their dancing and there was a lot of divergence from traditional topics that were covered in their repertoire. It was truly refreshing to watch and spurred some creative ideas in me as well.
Apart from the slew of performances, we had rehearsals every day. We got the opportunity to re-unite with our friends from India. It was fantastic to spend time with Rutuja, Nivedha and Vaishnavi who danced with us just a couple of months ago at Esplanade Theatres for ARISI:Rice. We immediately got to syncing our learning with theirs and had a fabulous time dancing with them on stage in their home ground.
Vani Mahal and Music Academy are venues I have frequented since I was a child and have seen so many of my dance idols perform here, and to be dancing on those very stages felt absolutely surreal to me.
Connecting with other like-minded dancers, watching programmes and dancing everyday, made the trip wholesome. To be in a city with so much talent during the beautiful season of Margazhi will be an experience I will never forget.
Travel Diaries A trip to the learning campus – Monash @ Melbourne, Australia for IPAC 2022, was for Apsaras Arts and its team, the possibility of learning and creating memories, aplenty After curating and convening the Indian Performing Arts Convention (IPAC) in Singapore annually for 11 years, it was exciting for Apsaras Arts to travel ... Read more
Travel Diaries A first-person account on the culture, tradition, art, life and architecture of the country Bali by dancers of Apsaras Arts, Janani Arun Kumar and Periyachi Roshni. As we entered the cultural heartland of Bali, Ubud, our eyes were transfixed on the intricate soft stone carving in every single house on the street. While ... Read more
TRAVEL DIARIES Of lights, tours, board games and Sri Lanka Chandigarh-based lighting designer, Gyandev Singh, brings to life his experience of touring Parama Padam through cities and the sights and sounds of Sri Lanka Parama Padam The game of Snakes and Ladders- Touring Sri lanka- The pearl of Indian Ocean Since its premier back in ... Read more
Travel Diaries Little Angels in Paris Just as we celebrate our founder, Neila Sathyalingam’s birth anniversary, we travel back in time to share a travel nugget from Little Angels, a multi-ethnic ensemble she co-founded. The Singapore Multi-Ethnic Ensemble Little Angels was formed in 1985 by three prominent dance teachers. Neila Satyalingam, Som Said and Yan ... Read more
The France Tour A detailed report of Apsaras Arts tour to France Over the years, France, as a country, has emerged as a hub for the performing arts and is an important destination in the international touring calendar of Apsaras Arts. We, at Apsaras Arts, have had the privilege of visiting France with our work ... Read more
Memories of an Odissi-dancer-to-watch from the International Dance Festival at Bengaluru By Soumee De Early on a chilly January morning, when I landed from sunny Singapore at the Bengaluru airport, I was both anxious and excited to be represent Singapore at the International Dance festival, hosted by World Dance Alliance Asia Pacific, Karnataka chapter at ... Read more
NAVADISHA 2016 An opportunity to network with the Indian Dance Fraternity from the Northern Hemisphere By Aravinth Kumarasamy For the past two decades and more, I have been attending the Natya Kala Conference in Chennai, and a few other such international dance conferences in India and Singapore, in addition to the many ASEAN conferences in ... Read more
Remembering Rukmini Devi Festival 2020 By Vidhya Nair The annual Remembering Rukmini Devi Festival is held in the last week of February-early March to coincide with Smt Rukmini Devi’s birth anniversary which is February 29th. I was privileged to attend the festival in 2020 [ my last trip overseas before the pandemic hit!]. The ambience ... Read more
A dance tribute by one thousand Bharatnatyam dancers to the Lord of Dance By Loganayagi Govindarajan Back in 2010 , Apsaras Arts was invited to participate in the celebration of Thanjavur Big Temple (Periya Kovil) for turning 1000 years old. The temple was called The Brihadeeswara temple in the town of Thanjavur, southwest of Chennai. ... Read more
Durban Trip This month, Vijaya Nadesan, Academy Principal shares memories from 2002 of a trip to Durban by seven members of the Apsaras Dance Company led by co-founder Neila Sathyalingam. “The first stop was the wide stretch of the beautiful beach. We had a wonderful time strolling along the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. ... Read more
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