A Fine Festival

Published on 13 March 2016

Catch a stellar line-up at the SIFAS Festival of Indian Classical Music and Dance.

BY DAPHNE ONG

Lovers of traditional Indian arts, rejoice! This March, the Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society (SIFAS) puts up the 14th edition of its landmark festival. Attracting an audience of over 8,000 each time, the festival is a traditional arts mainstay on the Singapore arts calendar. Its pedigree is impressive — over the years, big names from various disciplines of Indian performing arts have included Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, Shri M Balamuralikrishna, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and Malavika Sarukkai.

This year’s edition looks set to impress once more, showcasing the best local and international Indian performing arts talents.

Aficionados, not least critics, connoisseurs and general audiences, will be spoilt for choice. Spanning two weeks, the festival features five main events at various venues at the Esplanade — Theatres on the Bay.
In addition, over 50 local and regional artists will sing, play and dance their way through the daily performances at the SIFAS Auditorium.

Who are some of the international artists featured in the festival?

Sudha Ragunathan

A Carnatic vocal artist and composer from South India, Sudha Ragunathan is considered one of the world’s top Carnatic performers. She has earned critical acclaim and awards. In 2015, she was given the Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian honour.

Meenakshi Srinivasan

Consummate Bharatanatyam dancer and choreographer, Meenakshi Srinivasan has been lauded for her passion and creativity. Among other titles of honour, she was awarded the Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar by the National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama, New Delhi, in 2011.

Jayateerth Mevundi

Widely considered to be the doyen of Kirana Gharana (a complex system of musical style and ideology), Hindustani classical vocalist Jayateerth Mevundi is one of the most sought-after artists in India. He was hailed as a “Young Maestro in Music” by former Indian President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.

Surupa Sen and Bijayini Satpathy

Odissi dancers Surupa Sen and Bijayini Satpathy bring their craft around the world, often with their company the Nrityagram Dance Ensemble of which Sen is the head. Their blend of innovative dance vocabulary and deeply traditional content distinguishes their work in the world of classical Indian dance.

Lalgudi GJR Krishnan and Sriram Parasuram

Illustrious violinists Lalgudi GJR Krishnan and Sriram Parasuram combine their musical prowess in a duet in Carnatic and Hindustani styles. Krishnan’s prodigious performing career has taken him across continents and earned him at least 13 awards in India, while the multi-talented Parasuram, who is also a vocalist and musicologist, has given over 3,000 violin solo concerts internationally.

PHOTO SIFAS

Programme Highlights

Madhur Vani — A Musical Interlude

A Hindustani vocal recital by Jayateerth Mevundi.

VENUE Esplanade Recital Studio
ADMISSION PRICE $25
DATE 26 March
TIME 7.30pm

Anahata — Mystical Sounds of Music

A Carnatic vocal recital by Sudha Ragunathan.

VENUE Esplanade Concert Hall
ADMISSION PRICE $25, $40
DATE 2 April
TIME 7.30pm

Sita — Daughter of the Earth

A solo Bharatanatyam recital by Meenakshi Srinivasan.

VENUE Esplanade Theatre
ADMISSION PRICE $25, $40
DATE 3 April
TIME 8pm

Swar Samhita — A Coming Together

Violin jugalbandi (a fusion of two solo performances) by Lalgudi GJR Krishnan and Sriram Parasuram.

VENUE Esplanade Recital Studio
ADMISSION PRICE $25
DATE 8 April
TIME 7.30pm

Hari Shringara — Songs of Love and Longing

An Odissi dance performance by Surupa Sen and Bijayini Satpathy.

VENUE Esplanade Theatre Studio
ADMISSION PRICE $30
DATE 10 April
TIME 8pm

Tickets available at Sistic and SIFAS. Concerts at SIFAS Auditorium (2A Starlight Road) are free. More information at www.sifas.org. Enquiries: Call SIFAS at 6299-5929.

About SIFAS Formed over 60 years ago, the Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society (SIFAS) has a long and rich history. One of the largest schools of Indian classical performing arts in Asia, it is devoted to teaching the classical arts in a non-formal environment. It currently boasts over 1,500 members. SIFAS is also the first Indian school of performing arts in Singapore to have its very own festival which was started with the sole objective of promoting Indian performing arts.

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