In order to strengthen the cultural ties between South East Asia and India, Aravinth Kumarasamy, who this week received Singapore’s renowned Cultural Medallion from President Halimah Yacob, says he wants to be their cultural ambassador.
In addition to leading the 45-year-old Apsaras Artists Dance Company, a prominent school for the classical dance style Bharatanatyam, Kumaraswamy engages in cross-cultural projects involving Chinese and Malay dance styles to promote Singapore’s multicultural identity abroad.
Aravinth Kumarasamy aspires to be the National Ambassador of Indian Performing Arts
"I want to become the National Ambassador of Indian performance arts for South East Asia and India.''-Aravinth Kumarasamy
“I want to close the gap between both the cultural ties between the two places,” which he says are related to the Natya Sastra, a 2,000-year-old Sanskrit book on performance arts.
”One of my events, which was held when PM Narendra Modi toured Singapore in 2018, involved top musicians from South East Asia”, he claimed.
11 years ago, Kumaraswamy left a leadership position at a Singaporean financial software firm to devote all of his time to Indian performance arts. Since then, he has shared the stage with renowned Indian performers like Padma Bhushan V P Dhananjayan.
He had origins in Sri Lanka and spent some time as just a refugee in Delhi when the ancestral home of his parents was destroyed in the Colombo disturbances of the 1980s.
Together with well-known Indian performers, he has indeed been organizing the annual Indian Performance Arts Conference (IPAC) in Singapore. IPAC is supported by the National Arts Council of Singapore and The Esplanade, a notable theatre in the city-state, and it lasts for ten days.
He frequently visits India alongside his dance company to give lectures, act in important productions, and offer seminars.