Three young Singaporeans take the stage in Bhaskar’s Arts Academy’s upcoming Kathakali Festival, joining the rare breed of female artistes in a traditionally male-dominated Indian dance form.

Arya Sreekumar, Soneiya Chandran and Vinaya Menon have been learning the ancient artform of Kathakali for the past three years. The three ladies, who range in age from 19 to 22, were handpicked by their instructor Kalamandalam Biju, after showing tremendous potential in understanding and executing the nuances of the dance form.

Also featuring professional artistes from Singapore and India, the Festival will showcase two stories from the epic Mahabharata. Both tales centre around the theme of quelled arrogance of mighty heroes.

The two-day Festival is the third organised by the Academy, following the Kathakali Melas in 2004 and 2008, where performances ran through the night. The Academy is incidentally the only one outside of India to have a performing Kathakali troupe.

“It is an honour to perform alongside some of the great gurus from India. It is also a proud moment for me to organise a Festival such as this and to have these three young ladies performing in it. They have grown so much since I first started training them,” says Kalamandalam Biju, who heads the Academy’s Kathakali department.

Kathakali Festival featuring two works:

Kalyana Sougandhikam on 16 Mar 2019, 7.00pm.

And Santhana Gopalam on 17 Mar 2019, 7.00pm.

Both works will be performed at Goodman Arts Centre Black Box.

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