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Arts institutions and artistes thrive in an ecological system of supporters and facilitators. They enable artistes to focus their attention and energy on practice and teaching of the art forms and on creating new productions. They enable institutions to slowly grow and attain self-sustainability in the long run by subsidising expenses on housing, productions, and fees of visiting artistes. They also provide a platform for students to perform and to improve through competition. Students also benefit from scholarships for advanced study. In this chapter, we describe briefly the roles played by various enablers of Indian performing art forms over the last five decades. Various parts of the Singapore government have been major enablers, helping artistes and arts institutions with grants and housing support, organising competitions (such as the National Music competitions and the Singapore Youth Festival) and funding arts related research and travel. The media (press, radio, television and increasingly online media) is an integral part of the music and dance scene. The High Commission of India has been a significant source of support, throughout the five decades, but especially in the 1970s, as the official representative of the Indian government in Singapore. There are also many individuals and corporate donors who have played a vital role in financing artistic productions. More recently, the Indian performing arts field has been enhanced by the launch of event management companies, which both bring in big productions from overseas, and provide technical and professional support to local organisers of Indian classical music and dance events.


Indian music, Indian dance, Government, Media, Sponsors, Event Managers, Singapore


Asian Studies | South and Southeast Asian Languages and Societies | Theatre and Performance Studies

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Kala Manjari: 50 Years of Indian Classical Music and Dance in Singapore


Seshan Ramaswami & Sarita Alurkar-Sriram

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Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society

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