Anjasa, a six-act dance theatre presentation by Singapore based Apsara Arts will today open the curtains of the Shantanand Arts Festival 2016 being organised by the Temple Of Fine Arts Kuala Lumpur.
The presentation by a team of nine senior dancers led by the choreographer and costume designer for the production, Mohanapriyan Thavarajah, will help unravel to the audience the wonders of Buddhist monuments in Asia. The mentor for the production is Apsara Arts co-founder, Neila Sathyalingam while Aravinth Kumarasamy is behind the concept, music composition and artistic direction.
Anjasa, meaning path in Pali, is a continuation of Apsara Arts 2010 production, Nirmanika which explored the Beauty of Architecture. The show has already toured India, UK and Singapore over the past three months.
The presentation starts with the tale of Lumbini in Nepal, believed to be the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautama and moves on to Buddhagaya in India, the place of Buddha’s enlightenment to Sanchi where King Ashoka established the Great Stupa.
The tale continues in unravelling the spread of Buddhism to Vattadaga in Sri Lanka, its subsequent flowering in Bayon, Cambodia; Shwedegon in Myanmar and Borobudur in Indonesia.
It will be interesting to note in today’s show how Bharatanatyam which is generally centred around Hindu themes is used to handle the story of Buddhism.
Preview by R. Sittamparam
Photograph and video courtesy of Apsara Arts (Singapore)