Cultivating arts in Singapore, SIFAS 2019 kicks off today

Imagine enjoying Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Carnatic music, Hindustani classical music, a crafts mela and a lot more under one roof! Yes, you heard it right!

Featuring over 75 performances, the Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society (SIFAS) which is celebrating its 70th year anniversary, brings an array of productions, concerts, workshops and talks to the SIFAS Festival 2019.

The unmissable festival which kick starts today will be officially opened by Singapore Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu at 6 pm and will be followed by two amazing performances. A Carnatic vocal concert by Vishnudev Namboothiri at 6.30pm followed by a Kathak recital by SIFAS Guru Aamrapali Bhandari from 8.45pm.

This 24-day festival will feature more than 125 artistes and will have many valuable sessions.

A tribute to the 70th Anniversary of SIFAS, SAPTADVIKA is a unique Classical Carnatic concert showcasing original compositions embodied by the theme of the number 7 with an ensemble led by the Gurus of SIFAS, featuring alumni and multi-ethnic local artistes.

The universality of Classical Indian music is captured in the blending of traditional Indian, Chinese, Malay and Western musical instruments with compositions weaved around the number 7 or its multiple based ragasand thalas in a variety of flavours and colours.

Conceptualised and conducted by SIFAS Guru Tripunithura Sreekanth and Chaitanya Kumar, they are joined by the following repertoire of artistes:

  • Nishanth Thiagarajan (Vocal)

  • SIFAS Guru Chaitanya Kumar (Flute)

  • Surup Thatachar (Violin)

  • Archana Kumaraswamy (Veena)

  • Muthu Subramaniam (Mridangam)

  • G Lakshmanan (Tabla)

  • Tony Makarome (Morsing & Konnakol)

  • Timothy O’Dwyer (Saxophone)

  • Cheryl Ong (Chinese Drums)

  • Riduan Zalani (Malay Drums)

  • Mahesh Parameswaran (Ghatam)

SIFAS's "Saptadvika" has musicians of all races in Singapore, playing Indian Classical Music tunes and rhythms.

The festival will also be conducting the prestigious Kalavaibhavam series of programmes annually for local artistes from across institutions in Singapore to perform for the Singapore audience.

As a festival that has helped discover local and regional excellence in music and dance, SIFAS would like to encourage local as well as regional talent to participate in the Festival.

This time, the 17th edition of the festival is open to artistes of Bharatanatyam, Odissi, Kathak, and other Indian classical dance forms, and Carnatic and Hindustani Vocal and Instruments. 

All artistes are selected after a rigorous audition by external examiners. The Kalavaibhavam programmes are held at the SIFAS Stage and admission is free.

Celebrating the rich tradition of Indian Classical Music, SIFAS will also feature Padmabhushans Pandits Rajan & Sajan Misra, one of the top-most Vocal Duo today with a distinguished lineage. Well known for their serene music, they will share the stage with highly accomplished musicians of their generation, Maestro Pandit Kumar Bose on Tabla and Pandit Dharamnath Misra on Harmonium.

Aimed with the purpose of cultivating the arts in Singapore, this never before seen production promises to entertain and educate our Singapore audience on the legacy of Indian classical dance and encourages them to preserve and participate in this art form.

Celebrating 100 years of Indian Classical Dance, the festival will also feature, Natya Yatra, a theatrical dance production brings together 4 major Indian dance schools and 1 long-time troupe, each with its own rich and vibrant history: SIFAS (1949), Bhaskar’s Arts (1952), Apsara Arts (1977), Temple of Fine Arts (1981) and Bharathaa Arts (1999). 

SIFAS is a non-profit Indian cultural organisation in Singapore that has achieved a high level of technical excellence in Indian Fine Arts. The Society began humbly in 1949 with only 12 members.

Today it has a Principal, 27 qualified and competent full-time teachers, over 1,600 members and 2000 students with a pan-Indian curriculum of 14 disciplines that reflects the cultural diversity of a vast country with an ancient heritage.

The Festival was launched in 2003 with the objective of promoting regional excellence in the Indian performing arts and to give a platform to the best Indian and local talent.

It collaborated with Esplanade in 2005, and since then, the SIFAS Festival of Indian Classical Music, Dance and Arts has presented many international renowned artistes, along with a comprehensive local programme to encourage and foster talent in Singapore.

The long awaited festival has finally arrived! Don't miss!