Aravinth Kumarasamy is the creative director at Apsaras Arts, a premier non-profit Indian Dance Company based out of Singapore. A multi-talented performer, Aravinth is involved in Indian dance, music, theatre and other related fields. He is a prominent figure in the international Indian arts community. Aravinth’s creations at Apsaras Arts have been acclaimed as world class seamlessly blending innovative choreography based on traditional dance vocabulary, thereby progressively redefining the boundaries of Bharatanatyam ensemble work.
Aravinth is trained in both Indian classical dance and music. He is the proud recipient of several awards including the Singapore’s “Young Artiste Award” by the National Arts Council of Singapore, “Bhartha Kala Mani” by Apsaras Arts, Singapore,”Nrithya Vaarithi” by Padmashri Vazhuvoor Ramaiya Pillai, Chennai, India, and “Kala Sadhana” by AruSri Art Theatre, Sri Lanka.
Aravinth’s unique talent is to conceptualize and create new dance productions for which he composes the music, writes lyrics, works on the choreography design and takes on the role of the artistic director to work with choreographers, dancers, musicians, light designers, costume designers etc. Aravinth’s productions have been acclaimed internationally and have been regularly presented by Esplanade in Singapore, Opera House, Australia and at various other prestigious arts festivals in India, Europe and Australia.
Aravinth is an Artistic Director,Composer, Choreographer, Musician, Arts Activist, Producer,Transcultural Collaborator, Researcher,Arts Presenter, Speaker and a Peace Ambassador. For his contributions to Indian Dance, he was honored by the Mayor of Croydon,UK in 2011. Aravinth sits on the advisory board of National Arts Council of Singapore, and on the talent advisory board of the People’s Association of Singapore.
His various productions
The Banyan Tree of Bharatanatyam
Aalam is a journey of Bharathanatyam through the centuries showcasing its rich tradition and evolution. The banyan tree stands for time immemorial – it is the grand tree of tradition for its very roots that hang become yet another trunk. Bharathanatyam too is like the banyan and through time it has sustained itself through the variety of genres it has assumed.
“The banyan tree works as a metaphor in three ways for Aravinth. It represents the geographical range of the dance and its dancers, it combines within itself the different bani-s, and it embraces the wide variety of performing arts that showcase Bharatanatyam from solo dancing to dance-dramas to dancing in films.” – TulsiBadrinath, The Deccan Chronicle, Chennai
Premiered in 2010 | performed in Singapore, India, Sri Lanka
The Beauty of Architecture
Nirmanika – An innovative and fascinating dance production by Apsaras Arts, Singapore, exploring some of South Asia’s most famous and beautiful architectural monuments. Nirmanika, meaning architectonics in Sanskrit, uses the expressive nature of Bharatanatyam to deconstruct and re-create great and ancient monuments, such as India’s Taj Mahal, and Indonesia’s Borobudur Monument.
“By the end of the performance, I was, without a doubt, completely astounded. Nirmanika was an incredibly engaging production that breathed new life into the centuries-old dance form” – Pulse Magazine, UK
Premiered in 2011 | performed in Singapore, India, Sri Lanka, UK &Austraila
3. SITA’S MAGICAL FOREST
The Ramayana, an epic celebrated across Asia, tells the trials and triumphs of Rama and Sita. In the story, the couple spends a considerable amount of time in the woods whilst in exile, encountering many enchanted creatures. Amongst them are an eagle; a bear; a sea monster; a crow; a frog; a squirrel; a golden deer; one of the most important characters, Hanuman, and his band of monkeys. In this production for children by Apsaras Arts, Sita recounts her adventures with the animals of the magical forest through storytelling and dance.
Premiered in 2012 | performed in Singapore, Malaysia & Australia
An Untold Story
Angkor – An Untold Story, is a powerful work of imagination intended to take the audience to a far away time and place re-creating the Khemer world in the twelth century. A tale long lost to a forgotten past, two women’s lives are intertwined, bound by their devotion and fate. As their story resurfaces through dance, a grand and noble vision to build Angkor Wat, one of the most magnificent Hindu temples in the world is revealed.
“The spectacular dance production proved a powerful visual reminder of the historical truth that cross-cultural exchange has shaped Asia and Asian Arts for centuries” – Akshita Nanda, The Strait Times, Singapore
Premiered in 2013 | performed in Singapore,
Unravel the wonders of Bhudist Monuments
“Añjasa” (pronounced as “Anyasa”) means “the path” in Pali, the classical language of Buddhism. In Añjasa explores the beauty of Buddhist temple architectures in Asia through dance.
“Anjasa explores the beauty of Buddist temple architecture in vein of heir earlier Nirmanika-the beauty of architecture. Conceived, set to music,choreographed,designed with artistic direction by that indefatigable multi talented director, choreographer Aravinth Kumarasamy. As a work of art Anjasa leaves an indelible impressions and easily stand shoulder to shoulder in comparison with international theatrical dance productions.” – Dr Sunil Kothari, Dance Scholar, India
Premiered in 2015 | performed in Singapore
6. THE HEROINES OF RAJA RAVI VARMA
The painted heroines come alive.
Known for their beauty, Raja Ravi Varma’s painted heroines were personifications of passion whose lives were filled with romance, love and tragedy. Hear their stories as they come to life through the language of dance.
“The intricate story behind each epic heroine was constructed keeping in mind Ravi Varma’s version of them, with song sequences carefully hand picked and visionary choreography. Ravi Varma’s Heroines will stay in everybody’s minds long after the performances are over” – JananiVenkatraman, The Hindu, India.
Premiered in 2012 | performed in Singapore, India, Sri Lanka& Australia
The Lotus Unfolds
Inspired by the multiple symbolic representations of the lotus in different cultures of the world, the dancers and musicians from Apsaras Arts explores its significance and meaning through bharatanatyam in Alapadma – The Lotus Unfolds. This dance production draws inspiration from the multi-faceted symbolism of the lotus and will explore its representation in mythology, iconography and philosophy, particularly in the ancient civilisations of India, Egypt, Iran and Southeast Asia.
“Alapadma is a unique production which is not just about the concept of the Lotus but takes us on a journey both symbolic and narrative aspects of the lotus, beautifully visualized with choreography, light design, poetry and grace” – Dr Gauri Krishnan, Scholar, Author and Art Historian.
Premiered in 2015 | performed in Singapore