Keeping up with the festive mood, Esplanade – Theatre’s on the Bay’s annual Kalaa Utsavam – Indian Festival of Arts features artists from across the Indian diaspora is being held from November 15 – 24, 2019.
The programmes in the 18th edition mirror the evolution of the times and remind us how tradition can keep us rooted and enrich us as we navigate this contemporary age. This year, Bangalore-based Carnatic rockers Agam return bringing their unique blend of classical Carnatic sounds with a rock twist. Commissioned by Esplanade, this concert will see the band perform an exclusive segment with celebrated Hindustani vocalist Kaushiki Chakraborty, for the first time ever.
Dance maverick Aditi Mangaldas returns to Kalaa Utsavam, this time with Inter_rupted, a work that showcases her signature blend of the classical kathak tradition, contemporary dance elements and theatre design. Page 2 of 15 The Lost Wax Project is a contemporary dance work by young choreographer Preethi Athreya—who has been trained in the classical form of Bharatanatyam—that seats the audience around an intimate, circular stage.
The Threshold is an intimate musical conversation that sees artists Pallavi MD and Bindhumalini celebrating the lesser-known journeys of remarkable women across continents and spanning generations. Bollywood music fans can look forward to the Singapore debut of composer, singer and lyricist Amit Trivedi, who is often touted as the torchbearer of the new generation of pop music.
Meanwhile, Actors Ensemble India Forum also makes its Singapore debut with Ultimate Kurukshetra, a side-splitting comedy and a modern take on the epic the Mahabharata. The Guitar Prasanna Trio makes its debut at Kalaa Utsavam in a concert that showcases their signature musical style that marries Western genres such as rock, metal, blues, and funk with Carnatic music.
Over the years, Kalaa Utsavam has supported many Singapore artists, in their artistic evolution. With Bhaskar’s Arts Academy, it co-produced Marabu – The First Ripple, the group’s first venture into the dance-theatre genre, presented as the first of a trilogy. Swarhythm Ensemble, a multi-ethnic group of talented Singapore musicians founded and led by accomplished tabla artist Nawaz Mirajkar, will launch their first album in a concert. Homegrown Hindi band The Band Walle, who was part of our Fusion Beats Mentorship programme last year, returns to the festival with their first ticketed concert. In Airavata and his Mammoth Task, young children will be inspired by the tales of the King of Elephants and the brave and loyal vehicle of Indra.