Kalaa Utsavam: Events to look out for this week

Singapore’s biggest cultural festival, Kalaa Utsavam which kick-started last week, has been offering an assortment of events and activities. The festival which celebrates traditional and contemporary Indian arts is enriched with the presence of multi-cultural and diverse talents.

There are events and activities for all age groups. Here is a list of highlights of the activities during the coming week.


  • Category - Music
  • Nov 25, 7:30 at Esplanade Concert Hall  

A group of Carnatic rockers are reinventing the classical experience with their music Agam. The Bangalore-based band describes its music as Carnatic meets progressive rock, the combination of classical melodic scales and rhythm structures, and western aesthetic principles.

Formed in 2003 by a group of former schoolmates, the seven-man outfit got their break in 2007 after winning a national televised band hunt judged by Oscar-winning Indian composer, AR Rahman. Following gigs around South India, Agam went on to perform at high profile music festivals in India, which gained them popularity on a national level.

from: The Platform

  • Category - Dance
  • Nov 24 and 25, 8pm at Esplanade Theatre Studio

Wordless movements based on everyday gestures and filled with strong imagination and fleeting glimpses of stories, from: The Platform is an experience about how you might be connected to strangers in this big world. The dancer-choreographer Raka Maitra takes inspiration from experimental Austrian dramatist Peter Handke (Offending the Audience, Wings of Desire), a one-act wordless play about the things that happen in a day at an unspecified town square.

Soti Rpd during a rehearsal. Photo: Connected to India​
A shot taken during a rehearsal. Photo: Connected to India

Garuda -  King of Birds

  • Category - Theatre
  • Nov 25 and 26, 11 am and 2 pm, at Esplanade Recital Studio

Written by talented Pooja Nansi and directed by Carina Hales, Garuda tells the story through music, story and dance. Garuda! With wings so wide they could cover the sky, and feathers so strong they could change the weather, you would never see a bird quite as fantastic.

Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay
Photo courtesy: Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay

Craft and Communities

  • Category - Exhibition
  • Ongoing until Nov 27, 10 am to 11 pm, at Esplanade Festival Corner

Crafts have been an integral part of Indian society. Rich in their own history, and influenced by the geographical location, climate and socio-cultural biodiversity, the myriad communities in India produced both everyday and decorative objects through a variety of unique crafts traditions. This travelling exhibit presents contemporary examples of craft traditions from ten different hometowns of Singapore’s Indian communities representing the root material cultures of these Indian communities.

Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay
Photo courtesy: Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay

Adapting Shakespeare

  • Category - Workshop
  • Nov 20, 5 pm at Esplanade Annexe Studio

This workshop, led by acclaimed actor-director Atul Kumar, go hands-on and explore ways to adapt Shakespeare plays in an unconventional way. Through simple exercises, Atul shares insight on how to interpret the language, make sense of the scenes in a wider context, as well as explore the use of space, movement and sound to tell the story differently.

Try out devised theatre techniques and improvisation, use different languages and sounds (even gibberish).

Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay
Photo courtesy: Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay

The Place of Hastkala (Traditional) Crafts in Contemporary Visual Culture

  • Category - Talk
  • Nov 25, 4 pm at Library @Esplanade      

A panel Ddiscussion by Indian Heritage Centre, craft traditions and impacts and how they leave an imprint on contemporary visual culture in Indian culture, will be the key point of discussion. Why are craft traditions important? How has the visual vocabulary and technique of these traditions defined fine arts, performing arts, and design? How has it shaped the material culture of local and migrant communities? These are some questions that will be addressed in this session.

Priya Maholay Jarardi, Art Historian
Madhvi Subrahmanian, Contemporary Artist
Shantha Ratii Dancer, Cultural Activist and Filmmaker
Moderated by – Nalina Gopal, Curator, Indian Heritage Centre

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.