An Indian Renaissance [Singapore]

“From storytelling to stage plays, feature films to fusion music, the works of Singapore’s Indian artists are taking a multi-faceted diaspora story to global audiences.

Sixty years after she left India, Mrs Santha Bhaskar travelled back to her Motherland in 2015 to choreograph a dance commissioned by the Singapore International Festival of Arts. As part of the Indian diaspora, this Cultural Medallion recipient and artistic director of Bhaskar’s Arts Academy in Singapore directed classical dancers at a top performing arts university in Kerala.

“At first, the masters were suspicious of me, and sat in to see if I was doing the right thing,” Mrs Bhaskar reveals with a chuckle. They ended up being impressed and enlightened by her ingenuity.

The art of the diaspora is fascinating because it is a curious mix of one’s cultural roots and the inevitable influences of one’s new home. Even for the second- or third-generation diaspora who consider themselves true-blue Singaporeans, cultural identity is a hard thing to shake off. This becomes interesting when they are artists who present their works to global audiences.

We speak to some Singaporean and Singapore-based Indian artists about how they blend the cultural and the contemporary in the works they present on the international stage.”


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