Mirroring Singapore's transformation

Mirroring Singapore's transformation
PHOTO: Temple of Fine Arts

As part of its SG50 celebrations, the Temple of Fine Arts (TFA) is staging Dharma Ashoka - A Transformative Journey from Aug 27 to 29.

Performed by the students and teachers of TFA and with help from its sister centres in Johor Baru, Kuala Lumpur, Coimbatore and Perth, Dharma Ashoka is TFA's biggest stage production this year. It involves a 50-strong cast, 50 volunteers and close to 150 sets of costumes. Some of the scenes will feature backdrops that have been painted by artists from India.

The dance-drama narrates the story of Mauryan Emperor Ashoka, who ruled a large part of India during 265-238 BCE. The production shows his transformation from a man of war to a man of peace after embracing Buddhism. He was largely responsible for spreading Buddhism to the world and for reforming administrative and judicial systems. He initiated useful public works and moved from narrow dogmatic policies to one of a multi-religious and multi-cultural peaceful co-existence.

Likewise, Singapore had its roots in conflict, but has transformed to an exemplary city-state over the past 50 years. The SG50 celebrations commemorate the pioneering spirit, celebrating and honouring "the conquerors of new frontiers", and Ashoka is one such conqueror.

Before the 11/2-hour show begins, dinner will be provided by Annalakshmi on a "give as you feel" basis. Artefacts and apparel from TFA's visual arts boutique Lavanya Arts, which embody the themes of Odissi as well as Buddhism, will also be on sale throughout the evening.

Invitations to the show can be reserved from the TFA office. There is no admission charge but donations in support of TFA are welcome.

Dharma Ashoka - A Transformative Journey will be staged from Aug 27 to 29 at 8pm at the TRCC Theatre in Republic Polytechnic. Readers may reserve their invitations for the show by e-mailing admin@tfasg.org or calling 6535-0509.

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