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Kalaa Utsavam - Indian Festival of Arts opens this weekend

Singapore, 12 November 2013 --- Kalaa Utsavam - Indian Festival of Arts, will open this weekend from 15 to 24 November 2013 at the Esplanade.

Leading media group Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), under its SPH Gift of Music series, is Supporting Sponsor of the annual festival for the first time. tabla! is the official newspaper for the event.

The 10-day festival, which celebrates traditional and contemporary Indian arts and culture, offers a line-up of ticketed and free music, dance, theatre, literary and visual arts programmes by local and overseas performers during the Deepavali festive period. 

Highlights of the festival include a host of free programmes featuring the vibrancy and diversity of Indian arts and culture. On the opening weekend, India's Margi Theatre will perform Kathakali, a classical dance drama of Kerala, India that dates back to the 17th century. It is a highly stylised form of dance-storytelling that employs elements such as elaborate make-up, intricate costumes, ornate singing, defined gestures and facial expressions to dramatic effect. For the following weekend, a seven-man Indian band Agam from Bangalore will wow the audiences with a unique blend of music known as carnatic progressive rock. 

At the Esplanade Concourse, Singapore artists will perform a variety of vocal, instrumental and dance performances each evening, throughout Kalaa Utsavam. 

Festival-goers can also learn more about various aspects of Indian arts and culture in free talks at the library@esplanade. Photographs capturing the exchanges between dance teachers (guru) and their students (shishya) in the everyday space of the dance studio will be exhibited at the Esplanade Tunnel. Taken by renowned photographer Ganesh Ramachandran, these photos focus on a critical aspect of classical dance training in India that is often ignored in contemporary dance photography. 

Two groundbreaking large-scale productions will also be staged as ticketed events at the festival. The first is Angkor: An Untold Story, an original dance-drama which is a co-production between Esplanade and Apsaras Arts. It will premiere at the Esplanade Theatre. The second production Taal Express, an epic musical adventure, is a collaboration between Esplanade and Temple of Fine Art featuring musicians and dancers from Singapore, Malaysia and India. It will be staged at the Esplanade Concert Hall.

Children can look forward to Forest Fables: Animals of Mischief, a story-telling production featuring Indian folk tales performed in English. 

Non-Indian audiences are invited to enjoy Kalaa Utsavam’s offerings as well. Several programmes in its line-up are performed in English while those in Indian dialects will feature English subtitles.

Since 2009, SPH Gift of Music has been sponsoring free weekend concerts at the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre. Some of Singapore's brightest musical talents have been showcased at the SPH Gift of Music concerts at Esplanade, including Jack & Rai, Budak Pantai, T'ang Quartet and more. 

Last month, SPH Gift of Music at Esplanade featured Singapore's up-and-coming singers and songwriters who have made it big on Youtube. Newcomer Ling Kai, whose first hit "Larkin Step" garnered more than one million views on Youtube, performed songs from her debut album LinK. She shared the stage with local groups CLO, Gentle Bones and Diverse Attentions.

Launched in 2005, the SPH Gift of Music series has been entertaining Singapore audiences in the heartlands, parks, concert halls and shopping malls. Thousands of Singaporeans from all walks of life have enjoyed the free concerts. 

Tickets for Kalaa Utsavam are available from Esplanade‘s Box Office at Mezzanine level (Tel: 6828 8377), the SISTIC Hotline (Tel: 6348 5555) and all SISTIC outlets.

Visit for more information.

Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
Co. Regn. No. 198402868E

For more information, please contact:

Francis Mah
Senior Manager
Corporate Communications & CSR Division
Singapore Press Holdings
Tel: 6319 1028

About Singapore Press Holdings Ltd

Incorporated in 1984, main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is Southeast Asia’s leading media organisation, engaging minds and enriching lives across multiple languages and platforms.

Newspapers, Magazines and Book Publishing 
SPH has 19 titles licensed under the Newspaper Printing and Presses Act, of which nine are daily newspapers across four languages. On an average day, 3.05 million individuals or 76 per cent of people above 15 years old, read one of SPH's news publications. SPH also publishes and produces more than 100 magazine titles in Singapore and the region, covering a broad range of interests from lifestyle to information technology. SPH's subsidiaries, Straits Times Press and Focus Publishing, produce quality books and periodicals in English and Chinese.

Internet and Mobile
Beyond print, the Internet editions of SPH newspapers enjoy over 300 million page views with 20 million unique visitors every month. Apart from AsiaOne, SPH’s online and new media initiatives include ST701, the leading online marketplace for jobs (STJobs), property (STProperty), cars (STCars) and general classifieds (STClassifieds); Stomp, and The Straits Times RazorTV. SPH also launched The Straits Times’ iPad and enhanced iPhone applications, an Android smartphone application and The Business Times’ iPhone application. SPH’s Chinese flagship newspaper Lianhe Zaobao has also launched its digital editions which include a web application, as well as online and PDF versions.

In the radio business, SPH UnionWorks Pte Ltd operates entertainment stations UFM 100.3 in Mandarin, as well as Kiss92 and HOT FM91.3 in English. SPH has a 20 per cent stake in MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates free-to-air channels 5, 8 and U, and a 40 per cent stake in MediaCorp Press Limited, which publishes the free newspaper, Today. 

Events and Out-of-Home Advertising
SPH’s events arm Sphere Exhibits organises innovative consumer and trade events and exhibitions as well as large scale conferences in Singapore and the region. In addition, SPH has ventured into out-of-home (OOH) advertising through its digital out-of-home platform SPHMBO. 

SPH REIT is a Singapore-based REIT established principally to invest, directly or indirectly, in a portfolio of income-producing real estate which is used primarily for retail purposes in Asia-Pacific, as well as real estate-related assets. SPH REIT is managed by SPH REIT Management Pte. Ltd., which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings Limited. 

The initial portfolio of SPH REIT comprises the following two high quality and well located commercial properties in Singapore:

· Paragon, a premier upscale retail mall and medical suite/office property, well known for its upscale mall housing many luxury brands, located in the heart of Orchard Road; and
· The Clementi Mall, a mid-market suburban mall located in the centre of Clementi town, an established residential estate in the west of Singapore. 

The Seletar Mall is SPH's latest retail development and is expected to open at the end of 2014. This property is a potential asset to be injected into SPH REIT. SPH’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Times Development Pte Ltd, also developed a 43-storey upmarket residential condominium, Sky@eleven, at Thomson Road. 

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