Bhaskar’s Arts Academy (BAA) celebrates 70 years in Arts

By Parul Trivedi-Shah

Singapore based classical dance, music and theatre company, Bhaskar’s Arts Academy (BAA) celebrates its 70th Anniversary with an amazing array of programmes lined up to showcase its legacy.

From February to November 2022 they will present close to 20 captivating performance and exhibitions to honour the Academy’s achievements. It will also showcase a beautiful reflection of their association with the performing arts community in Singapore through mentorships and collaborations.

Mrs Santha Bhaskar, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Bhaskar’s Arts Academy, says, “This celebration is about the Art; one that migrated here 70 years ago, found its roots and became a part of our heritage. It’s a milestone in our history and a journey that deserves to be celebrated.”

Sangeetha Sapthathi.   (All images courtesy of BAA)

Butterfly Lovers

Three core productions Sangeetha Sapthathi, Butterfly Lovers and Marabu 3 will set off the festivities, while other activities of the celebratory programme are included under two umbrella categories: Footprints and Making it count, with aims of documenting BAA’s achievements in the past 70 years and providing opportunities and support to budding artists and art organisations respectively.

The productions have been planned carefully.

Sangeetha Sapthathi is a presentation by Bhaskar’s Arts Orchestra led by Music Director Dr Ghanavenothan Retnam while Butterfly Lovers is a Chinese folktale choreographed by Mrs Santha Bhaskar through Bharatanatyam lens and reimagined by her daughter, Meenakshy Bhaskar. Marabu 3 is the final act of the Marabu trilogy which brings pertinent moments of the Singapore Indian community to life.

Prasaantham (Dancer Usha Anbalagan)

Prasaantham (Dancer Sarenniya Ramathas)

Prasaantham (Dancer Malini Bhaskar)

Each selection is significant in its own way in presenting an important moment in the institution’s journey.
Making it count aims to give back to the industry and community by providing a platform and offering opportunities for budding artists to showcase their performing arts. Through the 70th Anniversary celebrations, BAA hopes to share its accumulated knowledge and provide support to independent artists or younger arts organisations as a pioneer in Indian dance in the following ways: Since its establishment in 1952, BAA has celebrated seven decades of its legacy, made possible by the Academy’s adaptability and openness to change. Amidst a rapidly evolving arts landscape, the Academy looks to continue adapting as it shifts its focus to ‘transitions’ for the upcoming years.

As it celebrates the achievements from the past seven decades, BAA hopes to move towards sustainable development, with the long-term goal of future-proofing the organisation and its legacy. For one, BAA has plans to groom the younger generation of artists, such as through Choreography Labs, where the younger generation of choreographers will be mentored by senior choreographers. With its experience in producing cross-cultural works, BAA also hopes to build cross-community bridges and enhance the uniquely Singaporean performing arts identity. In keeping up with evolving audience expectations, BAA will also explore working with partners from the technology sector for the presentation of their works.

“My hope is for BAA to continue embracing this little red dot’s diversity and multiculturalism without losing the values that have been passed down from generation to generation,” added Mrs Bhaskar. “I would like to see a younger generation of artists who have the courage to explore and experiment, who embrace technology so that they can connect globally and excite future generations. They should have a shared vision to foster a healthy environment where the artists in the region can thrive and the arts can be accessible to all.”

The 70th Anniversary celebrations will kick off on 25 February with Sangeetha Sapthathi at the Stamford Art Centre Black Box. Tickets are available for $25 at Further information on the upcoming programmes and ticketing details, are available on BAA’s Facebook page.


Parul Trivedi Shah