Kalaa Utsavam 2017: Return of art, music and Indian culture at Esplanade

Art, music and folk culture come under one roof in the 10-day long Indian festival of arts.

Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay presents five productions by Singapore artists at its 16th Kalaa Utsavam – Indian Festival of Arts from November 17 to 26, 2017.

Anjaneyam – Hanuman’s Ramayana. Photo courtesy: Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay
Anjaneyam – Hanuman’s Ramayana. Photo courtesy: Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay

The new works that push artistic boundaries are:

- from: The Platform, a contemporary dance performance by Raka Maitra’s Chowk Productions commissioned by Esplanade.
- Garuda – King of Birds, a children’s play written by Pooja Nansi produced by Esplanade
- Anjaneyam – Hanuman’s Ramayana, a cross-cultural dance drama programme, co-produced by Esplanade and Apsaras Arts
- Sharul Weds Sharul, a new comedic monologue, featuring stand-up comedian Sharul Channa

Sharul Weds Sharul
Sharul Weds Sharul. Photo courtesy: Esplanade

Veteran percussionist Mohamed Noor, who is been playing different bands at Esplanade for past 15 years, will also charm the audience with the special concert Groove to My Rhythm.

Rajeswari Ramachandran, Producer, The Esplanade Co Ltd, said, “As Esplanade celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, we are happy to welcome back many artists whom we have worked and built close relationships with, at Kalaa Utsavam 2017. For example, we presented Mohamed Noor as part of an Indian carnatic fusion band Brahma at our Opening Festival in 2002, and through the years, he has performed at Esplanade’s Mosaic Music Festival, Baybeats, Late Nite as well as our free programmes series, with various bands such as Vasantham Boys, Tribal Tide, and Men in Groove.”

from: The Platform
from: The Platform. Photo courtesy: Esplanade

“Apsaras Arts, which is celebrating their 40th anniversary this year, has also journeyed with Esplanade since 2006. For the past 11 years, we have worked together to stage some of their new works in our Theatre Studio and also co-produced their first large-scale production Angkor: An Untold Story at the Theatre in Kalaa Utsavam 2013. This year, we are co-producing Anjaneyam – Hanuman’s Ramayana with Apsaras Arts, and bringing together a creative team from around Asia including Singapore’s Era Dance Theatre, Kalakshetra Repertory Theatre in India and Bimo Dance Theatre in Indonesia,” she added.

Artistes from India and the Indian diaspora will add richness and colours to these Singapore presentations, with a diverse range of classical and contemporary works.

Raga Tarangini – Melodic Moods of the Night
Raga Tarangini – Melodic Moods of the Night. Photo courtesy: Esplanade

Disciples of legendary musician Ravi Shankar - Grammy award-winner Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Pandit Daya Shankar and Pandit Tarun Batthacharya will be present to showcase the performance Raga Tarangini – Melodic Moods of the Night.

In an effort to present the next generation of artistes who represent the dynamic and evolving Indian arts scene, Esplanade will also be presenting rising star flautist B Vijayagopal, accompanied by Trivandrum Sampath on the violin, R Sankaranarayanan on the mridangam and Trichy Krishna on the ghatam, in Muralidhara – Call of the Bamboo where compositions written and popularised by legendary flautist N Ramani will be featured. Agam, a group of carnatic rockers part of the new generation of musicians who are reinventing the classical experience, also returns to Esplanade with their first full-length concert outside of India.

Khwaab-Sa – Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Khwaab-Sa – Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Photo courtesy: Esplanade

Fans of The Company Theatre and award-winning Director Atul Kumar can look forward to Khwaab-Sa – Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream which features an ensemble of 16 dancers, actors, singers and musicians, who will weave Hindustani classical and electronic music, contemporary dance, spoken word, and gibberish into a farcical spin on Shakespeare’s much-loved classic.

Stay tuned to Connected to India for more Kalaa Utsavam updates!

Author
Garima Kapil
Garima Kapil – Senior Writer

Garima Kapil has around five years of experience in the field of writing and editing. Specialised in writing, performing proof-reading and text editing functions along with content ideation; she has worked with leading e-commerce and as a freelancer. She writes on lifestyle, news, telecom, travel, education, healthcare, immigration, along with other subjects required as a full-time writer and freelancer. 

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