Singapore gears up for a cultural feast with Kalaa Utsavam 2019

It’s that time of the year again for folks in Singapore to enjoy an explosion of arts with Kalaa Utsavam, the Indian Festival of Arts.

Showcasing cultural performances from classical to contemporary by artists from India, the Indian diaspora and Singapore, it promises to add to the festive Deepavali celebrations in our Lion city this year. 

Dance maverick Aditi Mangaldas returns to Kalaa Utsavam for the fourth time, bringing her signature blend of the classical kathak tradition, contemporary dance elements and theatre design.
Dance maverick Aditi Mangaldas returns to Kalaa Utsavam for the fourth time, bringing her signature blend of the classical kathak tradition, contemporary dance elements and theatre design. Photo courtesy: Nirvair Singh

Kalaa Utsavam: Then and Now

Kalaa Utsavam - Indian Festival of Arts was launched in 2002 as a three-day event and has grown to become an iconic fixture in the city-state’s calendar. 

“The festival reminds us of how tradition can keep us rooted and enrich us as we navigate this contemporary age,” said festival organiser Rajeswari Ramachandran, Producer, The Esplanade Co Ltd.

The 18th edition of Kalaa Utsavam will be held at Esplanade - Theatre’s on the Bay from November 15 to 24, 2019. The 10-day festival, which features a mixture of ticketed and free performances and workshops, is an annual event at Esplanade, Singapore’s national performing arts centre.

This year, some of the main performances include Bangalore-based Carnatic rockers Agam returning to the festival with an exclusive segment with celebrated Hindustani vocalist Kaushiki Chakraborty. 

Agam perform their popular favourites and hit songs in this concert, which also features an exclusive segment with specially crafted repertoire performed by the band together with prominent hindustani vocalist Kaushiki Chakraborty.
Agam perform their popular favourites and hit songs in this concert, which also features an exclusive segment with specially crafted repertoire performed by the band together with prominent hindustani vocalist Kaushiki Chakraborty. Photo courtesy: Esplanade
Kaushiki Chakraborty is one of the most celebrated Indian classical vocalists who has established herself as one of the finest interpreters of the Indian classical style. Photo courtesy: Esplanade
Kaushiki Chakraborty is one of the most celebrated Indian classical vocalists who has established herself as one of the finest interpreters of the Indian classical style. Photo courtesy: Esplanade

Dance maverick Aditi Mangaldas returns to Kalaa Utsavam with Inter_rupted, a work that showcases her signature blend of the classical kathak tradition, contemporary dance elements and theatre design.

The Lost Wax Project, a contemporary dance work by Bharatanatyam expert Preethi Athreya and The Threshold, a musical piece by artists Pallavi MD and Bindhumalini celebrating the journeys of remarkable women, will be among the prominent performances at Kalaa Ustavam.

Get ready for a night of Bollywood fever as National Award-winning composer, renowned singer and lyricist Amit Trivedi makes his Singapore debut
Get ready for a night of Bollywood fever as National Award-winning composer, renowned singer and lyricist Amit Trivedi makes his Singapore debut. Photo courtesy: Esplanade

Bollywood music fans can look forward to the Singapore debut of composer, singer and lyricist Amit Trivedi at the festival. Actors Ensemble India Forum, a theatre company also makes its Singapore debut with Ultimate Kurukshetra, a side-splitting comedy and a modern take on the epic Mahabharata. We can look forward to a debut concert by The Guitar Prasanna as well.

Led by Harsha Channa, The Band Walle crosses boundaries set out in both Indian and Western music cultures, painting a unique soundscape for the Singapore music scene.
Led by Harsha Channa, The Band Walle crosses boundaries set out in both Indian and Western music cultures, painting a unique soundscape for the Singapore music scene. Photo courtesy: Esplanade

Singapore-based artists returning to the festival include Bhaskar’s Arts Academy co-producing Marabu – The First Ripple, the group’s first venture into the dance-theatre genre. 

Swarhythm Ensemble, a multi-ethnic group of talented Singapore musicians founded and led by accomplished tabla artist Nawaz Mirajkar, will launch their first album during their concert. Homegrown Hindi band The Band Walle returns to the festival with their first ticketed concert.

Singapore-based artists returning to the festival include Bhaskar’s Arts Academy co-producing Marabu – The First Ripple, the group’s first venture into the dance-theatre genre.
Singapore-based artists returning to the festival include Bhaskar’s Arts Academy co-producing Marabu – The First Ripple, the group’s first venture into the dance-theatre genre. Photo courtesy: Esplanade
Swarhythm Ensemble, a multi-ethnic group of talented Singapore musicians founded and led by accomplished tabla artist Nawaz Mirajkar, will launch their first album during their concert.
Swarhythm Ensemble, a multi-ethnic group of talented Singapore musicians founded and led by accomplished tabla artist Nawaz Mirajkar, will launch their first album during their concert. Photo courtesy: Esplanade

Ticketed Programmes 

Inter_rupted
Aditi Mangaldas Dance Company – The Drishtikon Dance Foundation (India) 
Date: November 16, 8pm
Venue: Esplanade Theatre

Agam with Kaushiki Chakraborty (India)
An Esplanade Commission 
Date: November 22, 8pm 
Venue: Esplanade Concert Hall

Amit Trivedi Live In Concert (India)
Date: November 23, 8pm 
Venue: Esplanade Theatre

Guitar Prasanna Trio featuring Mohini Dey and Harvey Wirht (India/USA)

Date: November 15, 7.30pm 
Venue: Esplanade Recital Studio

Marabu – The First Ripple (Singapore)
Bhaskar’s Arts Academy An Esplanade Co-Production
Date: 15-16 November 15-16, 17, 8pm and 3pm 
Venue: Esplanade Theatre Studio

The Lost Wax Project (India)
Date: November 15-16, 8pm and 6pm 
Venue: Esplanade Annexe Studio

The Band Walle featuring Palwinder (Singapore) 
Date: November 15, 6pm 
Venue: Esplanade Annexe Studio

Swarhythm – An Album Launch (Singapore) 
Date: November 17, 7.30pm 
Venue: Esplanade Recital Studio

Airavata and his Mammoth Task (Singapore)
An Esplanade Production
Date: November 23-24, 11am and 2pm 
Venue: Esplanade Recital Studio

Ultimate Kurukshetra – An EPIC! Comedy
Actors Ensemble India Forum (India) 
Date: November 23-24, 8pm and 3pm
Venue: Esplanade Theatre Studio

The Threshold
Pallavi MD and Bindhumalini (India) 
Date: November 23-24, 6pm 
Venue: Esplanade Annexe Studio

Author
CtoI News Desk
CtoI News Desk – CtoI

Singapore-headquartered online media company targeting Indian Diaspora across Singapore, US, UK and Dubai. Connected to India covers developments around Indians abroad, informing, engaging and entertaining its audiences.

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