Kalaa Utsavam – Indian Festival of Arts is an annual festival that celebrates Indian arts during the festive period of Deepavali.
Launched in 2002 as a three-day festival, Kalaa Utsavam has since grown into a 10-day festival that presents a spectrum of classical to contemporary works by artists from the Indian subcontinent, the Indian diaspora and Singapore.
Join us from 16 – 25 Nov as we celebrate the arts and the beauty of Indian culture.
Texas-born music prodigy Vishaal Sapuram first encountered the chitravina at the age of six when his parents took him to an N. Ravikiran concert in Chennai. What started out as a family vacation led to two decades of mastering the rare and exquisite instrument. Young Vishaal had been so struck by the mesmerisingly rich and smooth tones of the chitravina that he resolved to become Ravikiran’s disciple despite the distance, and he hasn’t looked back since.
The chitravina, an ancient 20 or 21-string lute also referred to as the gotuvadyam, resembles a veena (slide lute) without frets and sounds like a combination of the veena and a violin. Some believe that it inspired the Hawaiian slide guitar.
Esplanade Recital Studio - Friday, 16 Nov - 7:30pm
Parasurama, the valiant warrior sage, is the sixth avatar or manifestation of Lord Vishnu.
He lived through the lives of the avatars Rama, Balarama, Krishna, and Kalki, the last of whom he was destined to mentor. He was also teacher to Bhishma, Drona and Karna, who were the greatest champions of the famous epic, Mahabharatha. Parasurama was a man of principles who stood by his beliefs despite facing some of the toughest decisions any mortal could make. He was also the fiercest among the human avatars.
Parasu: The Story of an Ultimate Warrior follows some of Parasurama’s trials and tribulations, exploring his struggle of having to choose between duty and righteousness and the limits of the anger that had built up inside him over centuries.
Esplanade Theatre Studio - Friday, 16 November 8pm & Saturday, 17 Nov 3pm & 8pm
There are different kinds of women in the Indian community, and they are all superwomen. Superwomen don’t have it perfect; they have responsibilities to manage, careers to juggle, generations to bring up and cultural values to uphold. Is it possible to have it all? Maybe.
Meet Malini, Mumtaz, Aunty Sunita and Disco Sheela. They come from all walks of life and are great at what they do. They also represent all these possibilities for an Indian woman. Which of the four will you relate to? Whose life and dreams will resonate with you most?
Following 2017’s rib-tickling Sharul weds Sharul, actress and stand-up comedian Sharul Channa returns with yet another hilarious one-woman show. This time, she plays strong and colourful female characters who each has her own struggle, but makes it all look easy.
Esplanade Recital Studio - Saturday, 17 November 7.30pm & 9:30pm
What happens when roles are reversed in a male-dominated theatre practice like yakshagana?
India Foundation for the Arts grantee and theatre practitioner Sharanya Ramprakash’s Akshayambara explores the conflicts in tradition, gender, power and morality that are inherent in yakshagana.
Esplanade Annexe Studio, Saturday 17 & Sunday 18 November, 06pm - 07.30pm
The mighty monkey god is an important character in the Ramayana epic story. He once tried to eat the Sun, mistaking it for a mango in the sky! Blessed with powers and strength he went on many adventures together with the other characters of the Ramayana. Listen to how he fought the terrifying sea creature Surasa and laugh at his antics as he created mayhem in the royal palace of Lanka! Celebrate Deepavali and understand the story behind the festival of lights.
PIP's PLAYbox, Saturday 17 & Sunday 18 November, 01pm - 01.20pm & 03.30pm - 03.50pm
Under the guidance, and numerous years of training from his Father and guru pandit Kartick Kumar, Niladri went on to revolutionise the style of sitar-playing and invented his own instrument, which he coined the zitar. He was the first to go electric. Niladri is hailed as a serious exponent of Indian music who has a youth appeal.
Esplanade Concert Hall, Sunday 18 November, 07.30pm - 09pm
Following last year’s fully-subscribed programme, Kalarippayattu Workshop is back to with a more hands-on taster of the Indian martial art from Kerala. Be introduced to one of the oldest martial art forms in India and learn about its history, and the different animal postures, movements and techniques.
Esplanade Rehearsal Studio, Sunday 18 november, 4pm - 5pm
Spend a fun, healthy Sunday bonding with your child as you discover the joy and benefits of parent-child yoga. Learn relaxation techniques for a healthier body, breathing exercises that sharpen one’s focus, and get into different poses that help improve flexibility. Give it a try and start your child on yoga early.
Please bring your own yoga mat for each person and dress comfortably.
Esplanade Rehearsal Studio, Sunday 18 november, 11am & 2pm
“Few bands in the contemporary indie scene in the country have been able to sustain that momentum, transcending language barriers, on the back of just that one album as have Avial.” The Hindu.
Esplanade Concert Hall, Friday, 23 November 8pm
Vasantham LIVE Nenjukulle brings you an evening of local songs by Singapore’s Tamil music talents, in commemoration of the TV channel’s 10th anniversary.
Homegrown artists Suthasini, Vishnu Balaji, Satthia and many more, look set to give you an unforgettable musical experience with performances of original songs from their albums and from Vasantham dramas and local movies. Break out in dance and groove to Ketta Pullai, LOL Sollathey and Kshatriyan from popular drama series; and sing along to Oru Murai, Pogathey and Raasathi. Also featuring 2017’s Fusion Beats Mentorship band, The Groove Factory.
Esplanade Annexe Studio, Saturday 24 November, 07.30pm - 09.30pm
“Rivers serve to remind us that we are linked to the varied philosophies, cultures and languages that the river witnesses in its continual flow through our lands.” Leela Samson
Esplanade Theatr, Saturday 24 November, 08pm - 10pm
Before the sacred Ganges River got its name, it was known as Ganga, the mischievous daughter of the mighty mountain king Himalaya who lives in heaven.
One day, a king from Earth named Bhagirath begs Himalaya for help with his land, which has been suffering from years of severe drought. As it turns out, only Ganga has the power to save his kingdom. The only thing is, Ganga is too powerful for Earth.
Esplanade Recital Studio, Saturday 24 & Sunday 25 November, 11am & 2pm
One of the unsung heroes of the Indian epic Ramayana is the army of monkeys from the land of Kishkindha that helped Rama win his war against the demon king Ravana. But before these simian soldiers followed him into war, their ruler, the monkey king Bali, commanded them all.
Esplanade Theatre Studi, Saturday 24 & Sunday 25 November, 08pm & 3pm
Adishakti has evolved into a purely physical craft for the stimulation of emotion and psychological expression. As breathing is the physical expression of thought and emotion, it implies that a particular emotion has a particular pattern of breath. In koodiyattam, an ancient form of Sanskrit theatre from Kerala, there existed the knowledge of eight breath patterns that corresponded to specific emotions as mentioned in the Natya Shastra (Sanskrit text on performing arts). It is apparent that this codification emerged from a study of breathing behaviour in everyday life.
Esplanade Rehearsal Studio, Sunday 25 November, 06pm & 9pm
Come discover the rich heritage of Indian dance! In this introductory workshop for you and your child, learn animal and bird postures as well as hand gestures representing different elements of nature. Find out how to create a simple dance sequence and play a game of dance charade with another parent-child pair. At the end of it, learn to clap to the vibrant rhythms of Indian dance.
Esplanade Rehearsal Studio, Sunday 25 November, 11am & 2pm
Bus Stop No. 02061 (The Esplanade) Buses stop outside Esplanade Mall entrance along Raffles Avenue. Bus service numbers 36, 56, 70M, 75, 77, 97, 97e, 106, 111, 133, 162M, 171, 195, 531, 700A, 857, 960, 961, 1N, 2N, 3N, 4N, 5N, 6N, NR1, NR2, NR5, NR6, NR7, NR8
Bus Stop No. 02111 (Esplanade Bridge) Buses stop along Esplanade Drive. Bus service numbers 10, 57, 70, 128, 162, 196, 531, 652, 656, 660, 700, 850E, 868, 951E, 971E
City Hall MRT (North-South (red) or East-West (green) line) Esplanade MRT (Circle Line)
The taxi stand is located at the entrance to Esplanade Mall along Raffles Avenue.