Apsaras Arts Singapore presents
Alapadma, The Lotus Infolds
February 21 - 28, 2016
Vellore, Bangalore, Chennai
February 11, 2016
Apsaras Arts, Singapore, presents ALAPADMA, THE LOTUS INFOLDS.
Inspired by symbolisms of the lotus in different cultures—ancient civilisations of India, Egypt and Southeast Asia, in particular—the dancers and musicians from Apsaras Arts explore its representation in mythology, iconography and philosophy through dance. Alapadma is the name of a dance mudra (hand gesture) that stands for the fully opened lotus. It is codified as such in the ancient texts on Indian dance and theatre, namely the Natyasastra and the Abhinayadarpana, which serve as invaluable repositories of knowledge for most Indian classical dance forms. The many aspects of the lotus, such as srishti sarasija (signifying creation), padapankaja (mythology), leela kamala (romance), alankaara Ambuja (iconography) and sahasrarapadmam (human wisdom), will be brought alive through music and dance.
- 21st Feb, Vellore: at Sripuram, 6.30pm
- 23rd Feb, Bangalore: at Christ University, 2pm
- 26th Feb, Chennai: at Kalakshetra Foundation for Rukmini Devi Festival, 6.30pm
- 27th Feb, Chennai: at CP Ramaswamy Aiyer Foundation, an illustrated talk on the choreographic process of Alapadma, 10.30am
- 28th Feb, Chennai: at Narada Gana Sabha for Bharata Ilango Foundation, 10.30am
With over four decades of prolific international productions, Apsaras Arts has grown into a premier Indian dance company in Singapore, enjoying successful performances and following worldwide. Apsaras Arts was founded in Singapore in 1977 by S. Sathyalingam and Neila Sathyalingam, alumni of Kalakshetra, Chennai. Since 2002, Apsaras Arts has emerged as a premier professional performing arts company, focusing on creating new works presented at international festivals. Some of the company’s repertoire includes the following: Nirmanika: The Beauty of Architecture, Angkor - An Untold Story, The Heroines of Raja Ravi Varma - The painted heroines come alive and Aalam - The Banyan Tree of Bharatanatyam. Apsaras Arts is a recipient of the Singapore’s National Arts Council’s Seed Grant (Organizational Development) for Traditional Arts. Since April 2014, Apsaras Arts is the recipient of the Annual Major Grant by National Arts Council for FY15-FY18.
Neila Sathyalingam, founder of Apsaras Arts
Neila Sathyalingam enrolled in Kalakshetra, Chennai, under the tutelage of its founder Rukmini Devi Arundale, graduating with a first-class honours diploma in Bharatanatyam and she also completed the Post Graduate diploma with honours. Neila was appointed as one of the faculty members for dance at Kalakshetra and was cast in many roles in the six part Ramanyana series choreographed by Rukmini Devi Arundale and toured with Kalakshetra. Her association with Kalakshetra as a student and a faculty member was from 1955 to 1975. Together with her husband S. Sathyalingam, also a Kalakshetra graduate and faculty member in music, she founded Apsaras Arts in Singapore in 1977, and have since been promoting Indian traditional art forms in the multiracial Singapore.
Neila has toured her work at Apsaras Arts to international arts festivals in more than 30 countries including to India several times. She has collaborated with many leading artistes including Dr Padma Subrahmanyam, The Dhananjayans, Krishnaveni Lakshman, Prof C.V. Chandrashekar, Pandit Ravi Shankar to name a few. Neila has been bestowed many prestigious titles including Singapore's Cultural Medallion in 1989, nation’s highest award by the president. She has been inducted into the Women’s Hall of Fame in Singapore, and has been acknowledged as the Pioneer of the Arts in Singapore in 2015, in conjunction with the nation’s golden jubilee celebrations.
In 2002, Neila and her husband Sathyalingam handed over Apsaras Arts to Aravinth Kumarasamy as their succession plan appointing him as its Artistic Director. Under the mentorship of Neila Sathyalingam and the leadership of Aravinth Kumarasamy, Apsaras Arts has transformed into a premier professional performing company, employing full-time dancers, focusing on creating new works which are presented at international festivals around the globe.
Aravinth Kumarasamy, artistic director of Apsaras Arts
Aravinth Kumarasamy is a multi-talented performer and prominent figure in the international Indian arts community. Aravinth’s creations at Apsaras Arts have been acclaimed as world class seamlessly blending innovative choreography based on traditional dance vocabulary, thereby progressively redefining the boundaries of Bharatanatyam ensemble work.
Aravinth is trained in both Indian classical dance and music. He is the recipient of several awards including Singapore’s ‘Young Artiste Award’ by the National Arts Council of Singapore, ‘Bharatha Kala Mani’ by Apsaras Arts, Singapore, ‘Nrithya Vaarithi’ by Vazhuvoor Ramaiya Pillai, Chennai, and ‘Kala Sadhana’ by AruSri Art Theatre, Sri Lanka. For his contributions to Indian dance, he was honored by the Mayor of Croydon, UK in 2011. Aravinth sits on the advisory board of National Arts Council of Singapore, and on the talent advisory board of the People’s Association of Singapore.
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