On the evening of 1 Oct 08, with friends, I visited the Sri Mariamman Temple at South Bridge Road, said to be the oldest Hindu Temple in Singapore. The temple is celebrating the 9 days of Navarathri. And on this night, there were dances performed by various students from different Indian Classical Dance schools.
I was there partly because Arul Ramiah was going to dance. (^^)
It was an evening of the community of devotees of the Sri Mariamman Temple. One could feel the energies and atmosphere sitting on the canvas covered ground with a small stage placed at the corner of the temple courtyard.
Indian Classical Dance and the temple have a very strong symbiotic relationship and I could sense the story and devotions by the dancers as they depicted stories of the Hindu deities. Alas, my lack of understanding of the Tamil language deprived me of a deeper understanding of the dance with the songs being sung. But still, the hand gesture, the eye movements and the movements of the body did give much for visual and audio appreciation.
The final performance must be, for me, the grand finale as Arul Ramiah performed a series of dances, some with two lovely girls who had undergone just six weeks of intensive training in Indian Classical Dance! What a typical cosmopolitan Singapore in display as Arul's Chinese friend did the introduction and two Dutch girls dancing with her!
The opening dance to the Shiva Chant was, to me, the most powerful with the song, music and movement synchronised to tell a story.