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 Choong Lian. Their intent was to carve out their “spaces” in Singapore’s cultural firmament.
Little Angels was a platform to present programmes for children. The performances, which were multi-disciplinary, featured hybrid elements of Chinese, Malay and Indian dance which extended the borders of each of these distinct dance styles to engender greater excellence and artistry while promoting inclusiveness and the embrace of multiple cultures. This forging of a Singaporean dance resulted in the ensemble travelling overseas and performing in well-regarded arts festivals in Europe in the 1990s.
A senior dancer and psychiatrist, Deva Priya Appan recalls, “I was part of Little Angels. In 1995, when I was in Primary 5, I travelled to Paris with the troupe and we all had to learn elements of Malay and Chinese dance along with Bharatanatyam and we performed there. It was during school term time but my parents allowed me to participate as they considered it prestigious and I remember it as a memorable experience which further quelled my interest to dance and perform.”
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