BAA kickstarts the year with a two-day Kathakali Festival with revered artistes from India alongside BAA's Kalamandalam Biju and senior disciples. Senior choreographer Ambujah Thiru restages Kutrala Kuravanji and Swathi Orchestra is invited to perform for Esplanade's In Youthful Company series as well as Kalaa for Utsavam's fringe event. Marabu - The First Ripple, Santha Bhaskar's first act of a trilogy plays to three sold-out shows for Esplanade's Kalaa Utsavam.
Malini Bhaskar, granddaughter of dance doyens the Bhaskars, is selected to represent Singapore in Viva ASEAN, a multicultural showcase involving dancers from the 10 ASEAN countries that toured Europe, China, Korea, Japan and Thailand. Santha Bhaskar heads the Singapore delegate to the ASEAN Contemporary Dance Festival in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
Swathi Orchestra (BAA’s youth orchestra) gives its full-length debut performance in Sangeetha Sagaram. Under Santha Bhaskar’s choreography, Singai Sathir premieres and celebrates 2 full-house performances showcasing a Singaporean interpretation of a margam. An earlier work Manohra, is reimagined in its 3rd iteration, this time with independent artistes from Thailand led by Dr Anant Narkkong, completing BAA’s trilogy of ASEAN collaborations. The 2-day sold-out performance is graced by Ambassador of Thailand to Singapore, His Excellency Manopchai Vongphakdi.
BAA’s annual Music & Dance Festival Bhaskareeyam takes a bold leap and stages ticketed performances over 4 nights. Featuring artistes such as Shantha Ratii, V Balakrishnan, Ajith Bhaskar, Veshnu Narayanasamy and Maalika Panicker in addition to BAA’s own artistes, each day is a sold-out success. Trayee, BAA’s fundraiser enjoys overwhelming support from the community. The 2nd International Bharatanatyam Conference Conflict and Convergence: Bharatanatyam Culture in Contemporary Asia is jointly presented by BAA, NUS Centre For the Arts, NUS Indian Dance and Nrityalaya Aesthetics Society.
People of Ninh Binh Province, Vietnam are treated to bharatanatyam, kathak and kathakali dance forms through BAA’s participation in the 1050th Anniversary of Dai Co Viet State celebrations. BAA’s bharatanatyam and kathak dancers are featured again at the ASEAN Festival of Arts in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
The next generation of younger artistes is trained by Kalamandalam Biju and introduced in the Therukkoothu performance Vellai Vattam. Neewin Hershall’s Singapore premiere of Facade enjoys a two-day full-house show at Goodman Arts Centre Black Box. Brihannala – Arjuna’s Disguise, the second (of a trilogy) collaborative work with an ASEAN partner is staged successfully with friends from Amrita Performing Arts of Cambodia, and is graced by His Excellency Ambassador Ngoun Sokveng.
The 3rd edition of Bhaskareeyam (BAA’s Music & Dance Festival) features artistes such as Veshnu Narayanasamy and Roshni Pillay Kesavan in addition to several in-house talents. Santha Bhaskar takes centrestage at Singapore’s National Day Parade. Masterclasses by Padma Vibushan Pandit Birju Maharaj and Padmabhushan Sudha Ragunathan bring in participants even from Malaysia. Rainbow, a mini dance-theatre production conceptualised and choreographed by BAA’s Junior Company Dancers is well-received at Esplanade's Oktoburst! Festival.
Rama & Sita, a collaboration with ACT3 International travels to Sibenik, Croatia for the International Children’s Festival.
BAA opens the year with Prahalada Charitam, a full-length Kathakali production featuring Priyadarshini Nagarajah, it’s first female artiste. Santha Bhaskar’s Na Mah celebrates a two-day sold-out run at the Esplanade. Vinayaka, BAA’s three-way collaboration with Sasana Budaya Art Troupe (Indonesia) and Singa Nglaras Gamelan Ensemble (Sinagpore) receives unreserved appreciation under Meenakshy Bhaskar’s creative direction.
Ramayana: Ashoka Vanam goes to Bangkok, Thailand as part of the ASEAN Plus Ramayana Festival.
President Tony Tan awards Santha Bhaskar the Bintang Bakti Masyarakat (Public Service Star) in recognition of her decades of contributing to the cultural landscape of Singapore.
BAA’s Orchestra is brought to the next level with the staging of Raga Sandhya, the inaugural music production featuring Swathi (BAA’s youth orchestra). It is also the year BAA is awarded double honours with the Singapore International Festival of Arts commissioning Returning under the artistic direction of Madam Goh Lay Kuan, as well as Smriti Padha, a collaboration with Kerala Kalamandalam under the artistic direction of Santha Bhaskar. BAA also showcased the talents of young choreographers Dhana Bharathi, Usha Anbalagan, Shangari Sadheesh and Hemalatha Sathasivam with their “Tales from the Panchatantra” in Puraskara.
Ramayana goes on tour to New Delhi, Patna and Kolkatta as part of the Ramayana Mela in India.
BAA’s Kathakali Troupe gets the honour to present Kiratham together with maestro Kalanilayam Kochu Narayana Pillai. Performed by six 3rd generation dancers, Bhairavi marks the coming-of-age of choreographer Ambujah Thiru, who is a student of Santha Bhaskar. Through choreographer Meenakshy Bhaskar’s Yaatra IV, BAA forays into creating awareness of social issues such as the plight of domestic violence victims through dance.
With the heaviest heart, students, teachers, staff, parents and well-wishers of BAA and NAS bid farewell to our Founder and CEO Mr KP Bhaskar on April 17, 2013. In his passing, Singapore loses a pioneering force and visionary in the field of arts.
XPressions is presented to music composition of renowned flautist and international musician BV Balasai. In collaboration with inDANCE (Canada), the Academy presents I, Cyclops at the CanAsian International Dance Festival in Toronto and restages it in Singapore with the full international cast.
The epic Ramayana is re-choreographed by Young Artiste Award recipient Meenakshy Bhaskar to a mix of fusion and traditional music and is presented at the launch of the Wellington Diwali Festival and the Diwali Festival of Lights Mela 2013 in Wellington, New Zealand.
Santha Bhaskar choreographs for local comedian Kumar’s Amazing Race.
A rich year of productions, starting with Santha Bhaskar’s collaboration with the Biological Arts Theatre’s Dr S Chandrasekaran, which results in Infinite Saree. With guest choreography by Canada-based Hari Krishnan, Purnima/Full Moon is presented. Under the invitation of S-VYASA, the Academy performs CHAKRA – the Philosophies of Vivekananda in Bangalore, India and under the invitation of the Thai government the Academy represents Singapore at the International Ramayana Festival in Bangkok, Thailand.
Under guest choreographer PT Narendran of Kalakshetra, Thandava is produced. Meenakshy Bhaskar presents Yaatra III in collaboration with Flamenco guitarist Roberto Corrias. The Academy represents Singapore at the Bali Arts Festival in Bali, Indonesia with Vinayaka, a collaborative work with Balinese musicians and dancers.