NUS Indian Dance

Sun 27 March / 8-9:30pm / UCC Theatre

General: $25 / Students: $15 / Friends of CFA: $25 for two
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Light is about what we see, but also about what we don’t see. In Tamil, “thanmai” means true nature and “pataroli” means light.  Thanmai is a journey to reflect on the metaphysical and physical qualities of light and what it means to us as humans.


Under the guidance of NUS Indian Dance’s Artistic Director, Mrs Santha Bhaskar, this performance explores the complexities of human’s physical and spiritual relationships with light in its many forms. This work also features collaborations with visual artist Joshua Yang with original music by Dr. Ghanavenothan Retnam and Mario Vanegas.

Join NUS Indian Dance in the exploration of the true nature of light through the lens of science, spirituality and time with Bharatanatyam, poetry and visual art.

Programme Booklet

On the Wings of Light by Dr Shobha Avadhani

About NUS Indian Dance  

Established in 1977, NUS Indian Dance is a group of highly committed dancers guided by its Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer Mrs Santha Bhaskar, a pioneer in the Indian cultural dance scene and Cultural Medallion recipient.

NUS Indian Dance pursues excellence in the Indian classical dance form Bharatanatyam through rigorous training aimed to not only hone dance skills but develop a deeper sense of self-confidence and cultural identity.

Recent productions include Kaala Chakra, for NUS Arts Festival 2021, a work-in-progress presentation that explores the varying passage of Time and Dhi, a digital production about self-discovery to seek answers from pressing internal conflicts.

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Artistic Director, Mrs Santha Bhaskar

Mrs Santha Bhaskar is the Artistic Director of Bhaskar's Arts Academy. A versatile choreographer, she has staged productions from dance dramas to contemporary and experimental works in Indian classical dance, reflecting Singapore’s unique cross-cultural identity. Her innovation is seen in productions Butterfly Lovers (1958), Shakuntala of the Mahabharata (2002), Vibrations (2007), CHAKRA (2012), and XPressions (2013). In 2008, she led Singapore musicians and dancers, to the World Folk Song Festival in Beijing, China. Mrs Bhaskar has received accolades for her contributions including the Cultural Medallion in 1990, the Public Service Star in 2016, and the Meritorious Service Medal in 2021.

Joshua Yang

Joshua Yang has been drawing since he could grip a crayon. His works range from single-continuous line drawings to multi-layered paintings made with a limited palette of two pigment. His recent projects include long walks with his dog in the ever-decreasing wilderness of the garden city while listening to audiobooks on hard-boiled detectives or science fiction involving time travel. He holds studio sessions with small groups of artists to discuss drawing, painting, films and everything in between. He works at Republic Polytechnic where he teaches drawing. He lives with his wife and daughter.  

Mdm Ambujah Thiru

Mdm Ambujah Thiru was introduced to the sacred art of Bharatanatyam by Kavitha Daran, a student of Mr & Mrs Bhaskar. She continued her journey with Mrs Santha Bhaskar at Nrityalaya Aesthetics Society and presented her Arangetram in 1993 and joined the teaching faculty soon after. Her training continued and culminated in her solo shows Nayika (2000) and Maatha (2002).

As a choreographer, Ambujah staged her first major choreographic production Thirukutrala Kuravanji in 2008. She also restaged Mrs Santha Bhaskar’s Ramayana in 2012. With Bhairavi in 2014, Ambujah reached new heights as a choreographer.