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In the final stretch, surprising, long-kept secrets are revealed. This is vintage Russo. Russo is one of my favorite authors. Nobody else captures the humor, angst, and sweetness of the "normal" guy's existence like he does. If I described my neighbor to you, you might be a little bored. Listening to Richard Russo's deft, incisive description, you will laugh, groan, maybe tear up a little bit. This book has a mystery in it, but it's really the main characters' involvement in this mystery that makes it a signature Russo.

It is difficult to come up with words to describe how bad this book really is. From an author both my wife and I have respected and admired comes this truly dreadful and trite piece of trash. Poorly written and even more poorly conceived. Cliched attempts to be relevant and wise. Terrible characters who we came to dread with each chapter. Not Lincoln again!! Or Big Mic on Potts? Not to mention the minor jerks - the drunk ex-cop and the narcissistic or abusive father.


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She turned out to be even worse than we could ever imagine, and we wished she had never left the island. The narrator had a difficult time distinguishing characters so it was hard to tell who the heck he was reading so the characters mushed together. There was a time, mid book, when we felt that maybe this was a bad book, badly narrated. No, this is it terrible book. I have loved Russo's earlier work, but this one indulges in way too much navel-gazing.

Being of an age that makes it easy to recall the historical details of the s, I could easily relate to the characters in their time and place. But the somewhat interesting plot line was constantly derailed while each character explored every side of every thought, past and present. It got old way before the end. I did like the frequent reference to the way chance impacts our existence, especially as he kept referring to the lyrics of the Johnny Mathis song, "Chances Are. Just having finished might not be the best time to review this book as I can find myself rethinking many of the topics this book contained.

I think I liked it, but I did feel that some of the character developments went on for too long.

Tcherina, Ludmila

However I very much liked how this story ended,in fact it was my favorite part of the book. So for now my numbers stand bit as time goes on, I reserve the right to change them. Faces the free will dilemma with honesty and caring, Breathes life into characters deftly drawn. One of Russo's best which says a lot. Richard Russo has been one of my favorite authors for decades, but like many other artists, his peak was before age fifty you could look it up.

The books he wrote in the beginning were marvelous, full of wry humor, terrific characters and interesting plots. You might complain about his locations, all New England, and his people, all white and preppy with the great exception of Tully, perhaps his most memorable character. This book is about growing old, with the same setting, Martha's Vineyard, and the same ethnicities, three white men age sixty-six and a white woman of the same age. This foursome has been in touch with each other since going to Minerva College. The men have been in love with the woman, Jacy, for the entire four decades.

Their reunion is the story. It is tempestuous although kinda tame. When the reality someone else is living in changes, coping with that change may be challenging for you, but at least the trust is maintained. Truth has just taken on a different form and the decision lies with you whether you want to adapt with it or move in another direction. But when two people pull it off, it is tremendously rewarding. And so truth, not love, is the foundation upon which a marriage is based. When truth is fundamental, then love can flourish.

This applies to every facet of your life and experience. Without honesty, intimacy is impossible. Intimacy with ourselves, with nature, with community, with society, with our children. Because after a while of doing it, you begin to see how the various fear-based scenarios that your mind creates, of what would happen if you were to tell the truth, rarely ever pan out. And even if they do, they are almost never the unscalable obstacles we imagined them to be. When one is consciously aligned with the truth, one finds all the resources both outer and inner that one needs in order to deal with the circumstances that arise as a result of that alignment.

There is so much infidelity in the world: in spirituality, in government, in society, in business, in marriage, in education, in our social relationships and interactions. Your question about marriage is not exclusive to marriage alone. The same pattern plays out in all aspects of our lives. That in order to maintain some semblance of security and order we must be moderately dishonest. And so our lives become a process of manipulation whereby, from sun up to sun down, we are actively involved in distorting to the truth we perceive, both to ourselves and to others.

This blog is about orienting our perspectives to be able to see the truth, which is always evident. And then to maintain that perspective by aligning ourselves with it. I make an active choice every day to say what is on my mind. Yet, she rests well at night knowing that she has my heart, the whole of it. She knows its light and its darkness. None of it has been concealed.

And she does the same for me. And so there is a degree of trust there that I have rarely encountered. And through that trust, we have achieved an intimacy that goes beyond just spiritual. It brings all the mess of our complex humanness into it. And that mess is not just our own. It is familial and ancestral as well. In our relationship, nothing is disowned. The darkness is not dispelled in favor of light and love. In fact, darkness, fear, hurt, trauma, anger and hatred are regularly invited and confronted on a near daily basis, both within ourselves and with each other.

This kind of intimacy is both a ballet and a battle. It is fierce and forgiving. Filled with conflict and camaraderie. And she knows the same is true of me without a smidgen of a doubt. Then any changes or amendments that need to be made are an ongoing process of communication and re-negotiation always.

But the foundation of trust remains intact. Infidelity has nothing to do with love. It has to do with trust. And by making it about love, your mind is drawing you into a false parallel and creating a false dilemma. This is a choice between truth and untruth. I wonder about your daily life. You said that you have no spiritual practice. Is there some other kind of ritual you follow that helps you to keep your head clear? Every morning I wake up around and make breakfast for the girls and prepare coffee for my wife and I. And then I retire to practice a ritual that I have performed unfailingly every single day, including weekends, no matter where I am.

It is the deepest form of spiritual practice I have ever encountered. My family knows all too well what a sacred time this is for me. And there I sit down to take a shit. The moment I sit, I go on command. There is little resistance within me. Surrender is effortless. Letting go happens in and of itself. It is a profound experience. The experience is one of pure flow.

There is nothing within me that craves to hold on to the sublime experiences nor to throw up the indigestible ones. My iron stomach processes both the good and the bad, the delicious and the yucky, the ephemeral and the gross in short order and releases it to clear up space for the next flavour of experience whatever that might be. And so I am open to consuming all sort of things. I equally partake in street food or spicy or greasy junk that has little to offer in terms of nutritional value. When I was a child my stomach was extremely sensitive. It was deeply traumatized by the violent levels of oil, fat and spice I was exposed to in the culture I grew up in.

Then one day, I reached a crisis point. I had held it in for three whole days. All the pain, the trauma, the toxic waste within me was destroying me from the inside. And I knew. I wanted to be done with the medication and the supplements. I no longer wanted to try and find new techniques or follow any experts who claimed they could en-lighten my load for good.

Belgica O.s.t. (2016)

I decided that I was simply going to sit with myself on that can and not move until I had let it ALL go. And so I faced it all. All the shit within me, that had been tormenting my insides, became my sole and only focus. I sat with it for what seemed like an eternity. Even though every instinct within me wanted to get up. Yet I sat. And sat. And sat…. Ever since then, I have never skipped a beat. No matter what, no matter where, no matter when and no matter how I consume an experience, my highest priority above all else is simply to allow it to process through my system with minimal resistance and then to smoothly let it go.

So to sum up that rather long winded response to your very genuine question: is there some ritual I follow that helps me keep my head clear? But I gave all my identity in that and all the purpose of life. So now what? And thank you for the post! Grasping that no matter what you do, achieve, understand or create you will not have improved upon this moment as it already stands even an iota, one HAS to be inundated by a sense of meaninglessness. Fully comprehending that evolution is ultimately a circular movement around an unchanging core of experience, one HAS to be drained of purpose and motivation.

Let me assure you that what you are experiencing is not outside the norm. It IS the norm. Getting sober is a tremendously deflating experience. You have been denied the substance that had hijacked all those things from you and was only giving it to you on ITS own terms. The future has always been your escape route. And the future has hijacked your sense of self, your purpose, your meaning and motivation. It has captivated them and made you believe that since it holds the things you value the most, IT must be more valuable than the present.

It has created a decoy. A copycat identity. A perfect replica of yourself — except for certain cosmetic modifications. Your future self is the photoshopped version of you — minus many of the flaws and blemishes you sport while highlighting your assets. Because that is what the true enchantment of the future is. That is the advantage it holds over the present.

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And so the present-self can never compete with the future-self, because it will always lack that halo. The future hijacked you a long time ago just as it did me and billions of others. And most people will languish and eventually die never knowing how they were bewitched by it their entire lives. Yet, something caused you to snap out of it and come to your senses. Home is here and now. But what purpose do I have, now?

But how will the present motivate me? But with what ingredients am I to create meaning in THIS moment, when it is devoid of dreams and hope? The present feels like returning home to a land you left when you were still a child and have lived away from for a lifetime. What you are experiencing is a reverse culture shock. A reorientation that begins with disorientation. You cannot rediscover meaning without going through a phase of meaninglessness. You cannot rediscover purpose without going through a phase of purposelessness.

You cannot rediscover your self without going through a phase of not knowing who or what you are. That limbo is where you are. The halo is missing. That hope that filled in all those empty spaces, that smoothed over all the rough edges, that reconciled all the seeming gaps, that repaired all the broken bridges. No matter what, the future only exists in 2D. You can photoshop the image all you want but you can never bring it to life.

You can never see all its dimensions at once. All you have to work with is a two-dimensional replica of the real deal. Within every human being is a tug-of-war between truth and hope. Between being and becoming. Between what-is and what-could-be. And when the pull of truth within us overwhelms the pull of hope, we find ourselves with our feet firmly planted in the present. That is why the meaning, the purpose, the motivation still eludes you. You have lived abroad so long you have forgotten your native tongue and are only able to think in a foreign language. If the future has truly lost its hold on you, your mind will reorient to its new circumstances.

It will learn the language of the present. It will reclaim its meaning and its purpose and assert it in this new territory. But it will do so in a new way. When the halo of hope has lost its shine, when the hellfire of purgatory has lost its heat then you will find yourself no longer drawn to saints nor terrified by demons. Instead, with your feet planted in the cool mud of truth you will discover a whole different way of being.

You will learn about purpose from the trees, about meaning from the passing clouds, about motivation from the birds and the ants who ceaselessly build their lives one present moment at a time. How do I see it? This stuff has been driving me crazy for years. Just wanna be done with it. How to be free?

How to be happy? How to be at peace? How to let go? The boy is on the beach busy building a sandcastle. And each time the wave comes in and wrecks his castle, he moans in despair and blames the universe for his woes. Yet, in the next moment, as he begins rebuilding, he is filled with positive emotion and hope when his castle begins taking shape again. Eventually, another big wave comes in and wrecks the castle and the boy cries out in dismay, lamenting that life as he knows it has lost all purpose….

You are being a child. There is no such shape. The big wave will destroy whatever you build no matter how sophisticated. Can you imagine the boy who keeps rebuilding again and again in desperation in the belief that he will hit that magic configuration one day? THIS is your problem. THIS is the source of your neurosis. Do this meditation, inquire in this way, eat this, sit like this, sleep like this, fuck like this.

Sitting here asking another human being: how do I do this, how do I do that, is not going to get you anywhere. It keeps you stunted and child-like and not in a good way. Only children ask their parents how they must do things because they are helpless. Your problem is not truth, happiness, peace or any of that. It holds an inherent dichotomy that makes us uncomfortable. Every moment of pleasure contains within it the seed of pain just waiting to sprout. Every new birth already prophesizes a future death.

Every good thing that happens to you is eventually going to go away. Everyone you love is eventually going to die in front of your very eyes, or you in front of theirs. Every fragrant flower eventually rots and gives off a stench. Every innocent child eventually grows into a confused adult. Even great marriages end in messy divorces. Even children who have been given everything by their parents grow up to forget all about what their parents did for them.

Every single person alive on this planet today will be dead in another hundred years. And in time they will be entirely forgotten. Your life, your name, your entire existence will be like it never even happened. And you want it to be different. And there are no problems in enlightenment-land.

There is no happiness or sadness — ONLY happiness. No peace or conflict — ONLY peace. No truth or falsehood — ONLY truth. Sat, Chit, Ananda. Earth is too painful and you want heaven. Look at the imagery and symbolism hidden in the words! Up where? Up to what? So, you just shifted your strategy to a vertical direction.

Now, rather than sideways, you are trying to escape upwards! People think Zazen is meditation. It is not.


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  • If there was a practice I would endorse as even remotely beneficial it is zazen. And not the version it has become with its bullshit rituals and gasshos and other such nonsense. But its original intent. Because all zazen is about is JUST sitting. But literally JUST sitting. Because these zen dudes realized that people like you are literally in escape mode 24 fucking 7. If there is an outlet to escape, you WILL take it. It could be a door, a window, a sewer, a ventilation shaft.

    That is what I subjected myself to for over a year. Hours and hours of just sitting on my balcony with nothing to do. Not meditating, not witnessing. Just using every ounce of self-control I had to prevent myself from leaping out of my own skin or jumping over the balcony. And it was through utter boredom and helplessness, seeing how deep that resistance was within me, that I came to realize what my REAL problem was.

    Sitting in self-imposed solitary confinement did two things. First, it developed courage within me to sit with the discomfort and take responsibility for it. Second, it allowed me to see how I was exponentially magnifying the discomfort by giving it undue significance. All my existential angst was no more significant than an annoying itch. How many people are willing to look at their own suffering in such a mundane way? Imagine glorifying a skin rash into the greatest existential crisis to plague humanity!

    That is what we do with our suffering. Nobody TOLD the boy that he has to build a castle. He sees other kids doing it so feels he should as well. But neither the ocean nor the beach exist for the purpose of his castle. The real miracle here is that he has been given the opportunity to play. The beach provides the sand for him to create shapes with. The ocean provides the moisture with which the sand may hold together. This simple dynamic of interaction between water and sand allows him hours of endless play. What a fucking miracle.

    Because if this were just a desert, the sand would be too dry to hold together. And if this were the ocean floor, there would be too much water for the sand to take shape. It is precisely the point where surf meets sand, that sandcastles are possible. Truth is seeing this dynamic for what it is. Happiness is enjoying the miraculous opportunity to play. Peace is realizing that no matter what you build it will eventually be taken down and returned to its original form.

    Your life is a house. You are the space in which it exists. At first the space has no name to go by. Empty of all but imagination. The dream of the whole world exists in this space. And then one day, the space is claimed. People will think twice before treading here now. All will know that they are only welcome with your consent.

    Here, in this space, you must build your house. Take the time to dig deep and lay your foundations well. Cracks in the earth may appear from the heat of the scorching sun. Or the ground may be softened by torrential rain. You cannot control the circumstances of your foundation years. You can only do your best to keep true to your purpose.

    As you erect the frame of your house, Ensure that the structure is sound, And aesthetically true to who you are. Build your windows wide and in every direction These are the windows of your mind They will welcome the light of wisdom and patience on bleak winter days And the winds of fresh possibility when spring emerges Keep them open as often as you can So that you are never a stranger to the chirping of sparrows The laughter of children Or the aromas of freshly baked apple pie. Keep the furnace of your heart always lit Even if you do not need its warmth in the moment Even if the matters of the world require your urgent attention Attend to your furnace often Watch the flames childishly play and dance about No matter how many years roll on by No matter how the world changes just as your body changes The flame in your furnace will never age It is just as it was the day your house was built.

    Keep your basement free of clutter, This basement that is your subconscious mind Where the secret cracks and fissures of your childhood years Remain hidden and forgotten even to you Endeavour to spend time here often Attending to each crack, each fracture of your foundation You can only heal it with your own awareness Compassion is the only sealant which works after the fact.

    Furnish your home sparsely yet tastefully Occupy it with the experiences and events you love Rather than those that you think you want or the world says you need Let space, not things, be your primary focus Because it will always be a reminder of your original self This space was here before anything else Treat it with consideration and above all respect. The day will come when this house must fall Either from the onset of a terrible storm Or from the natural consequence of wear and tear Great sadness will accompany this event As will joy at the memories that were created within its walls The neighbors will be reminded of what once was Each time they gaze at the empty space in which your house once stood.

    This is it. Why is it so important? Why not take the blue pill and continue living in the Matrix? What you realize or fail to realize makes not an ounce of difference to the overall scheme of things. To awaken to your own true nature has been marketed to you as the highest virtue a being can aspire to. It is breaking the chains of suffering and becoming liberated once and for all. The only person who this is actually important to — is you. Awakening, self-realization and most things spiritual are only new stories we tell ourselves when the old stories we were living out begin to seem boring and predictable.

    Certainly they do. Awakening is an experience as real as my sitting here and typing this sentence. If the lens is a self-centric one i. Then, YES. Awakening IS important, essential and the highest virtue. In such a self-centric view, what greater importance could there be than to liberate the very core around which the entire universe revolves and upon which all of reality hinges? Awakening is the pinnacle of all experiences! To be enlightened thus, is to enlighten all beings. Because when the root is awakened the whole tree that emerges from it must spring to life!

    You ARE that root. There can be no greater act of virtue than this. What human endeavor could be more essential? With the self at the center, the fate of the universe literally depends upon you.


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    • What choice will you make? Will you choose just another mundane sheep-like existence: being fed your views, your beliefs, your ideas and your stories of self? Or will you choose the extraordinary path of realization and casting aside all falsehoods one by one in an effort to reveal the truth? Which movie will you star in? Will it be a dull and forgettable TV Drama?

      Or a groundbreaking, award-winning, box-office record-setting, blockbuster of the year? From rags to riches. From disillusionment to triumph. From suffering to liberation. The self is just a passing phenomenon like a cloud formation in the sky. In such a view, there is no center to the universe. All points are equally valid. Everything affects everything else. Nothing remains for long. Even the brightest supernovas and the densest black holes are passing phenomena that have a momentary effect then are totally forgotten.

      Whether you burst into a blaze of illumination like a supernova or collapse into a dense void like a black hole is of negligible importance. The universe has seen many like you and will encounter many more to come. From the viewpoint of the whole, no point within it is more or less significant than another. No phenomenon happening within it is more or less significant. A Buddha enlightening and a prostitute orgasming are of equal significance.

      A sage waking up to the reality of his true nature and a teenager waking up to the reality of another school day are both utterly ordinary phenomena. ALL are ordinary. Nothing is extraordinary. For if something were to be extraordinary, something else would have to be less-than-ordinary.

      And to the whole, nothing can be more or less than whole. Everything is of the same nature as itself. From this lens of perception, the answer to your questions is a resounding NO. Your awakening is not essential. Not important. Not the highest virtue one can aspire to. It is just another mundane event in the universe: like a cloud dissipating. And in the process, all those events of spiritual significance, all the revelations we crave and value, all our hopes and aspirations are razed back to the ground zero level at which all phenomena exist.

      They would be like our dull and humorless parents, dousing the fires of our romantic spiritual views with their sobering perspectives rather than fanning the flames for their own amusement or benefit. Like teenage girls or boys who believe that finding their perfect soulmate is the purpose of their life, spiritual seekers are likewise driven by hopelessly romantic ideas of enlightenment.

      A good parent is one who neither discourages nor encourages the teenager, yet simply adds a sober perspective that the teen may not fully comprehend as yet, but will in time make greater sense. Similarly, a teacher if they are truly wise, will neither egg the seeker on nor will command them to cease and desist.

      They will simply present a sober perspective that says,. Of course, what most teachers actually do is egg on their students. If given the choice to live another lifetime under an entirely different storyline — I would gladly choose something completely different. Perhaps, a life of organized crime or being a member of an undiscovered Amazonian tribe. So many genres of fiction to pick from. Spirituality is not non-fiction. So, why not take the blue pill and live in the matrix? Or take the red pill and step out of the matrix. Both choices are equally valid. Neither is of greater significance than the other.

      Neither of higher virtue. Neither is going to save you from the death that is imminent. You may receive a scattered clapping from a few people around the world who are obsessed with the same things you are. But they are really clapping for themselves, not for you. For me, the question of which pill to take is inconsequential.

      It makes no difference whether I place my self in the matrix or apart from it. Blue or red? How would I know if I have encountered one? Considering Buddha kicked the bucket over years ago, encountering a living Buddha would be something like a scene out of the Walking Dead. Stabbing him in the heart or the gut will achieve jack shit. These enlightened types have a way of rising up again. Just look at our homeboy Jesus, for example. No, if you want them to stay down, you have to go for a head kill. The living Buddha will have certain vulnerable spots around his head — near the eyes, nose and ears — any facial orifice in which a reasonably sharp wooden or metallic implement can be inserted with sufficient thrust.

      Those post-apocalyptic hero types from the TV shows are all ripped as shit, not a gelatinous couch-potato like you are, so I suggest you do at least 30 minutes of upper body workout everyday with an added focus on your posterior deltoids, your pectorals and your Latissimus Dorsi, which is where the majority of your thrusting torque will be generated. When encountering the living dead, there is no room for hesitation. They may appear docile, peaceful, equanimous, bemused, beatific or even lost in a trance, yet the moment they notice you they will become savage in demeanor. Your brains are a delicacy to them and their only desire will be to feast on your skull as you spasm pathetically like a fish out of water.

      You will be converted into just another brainless zombie like the rest of them. You must act decisively and immediately. It will feel like skewering a really big marshmallow with a chopstick. If your weapon is able to cleanly break through the opposite cranial wall then that is a guaranteed kill. An incomplete head kill is about as effective as a tickle. So, nothing short of completely impaling his noggin will do. And you will be out one weapon…. Beware of the so-called bodhisattvas. They are living souls who emulate the dead and raise them on a pedestal rather than leaving them buried in the ground where they belong.

      In fact, this is the one fact zombie films get wrong. And so its these idiot bodhisattvas, gurus and priests who unleash what has been dead and buried for thousands of years, upon the rest of humanity, by believing that their dead ramblings are of greater value than our real-time experiences of life, no matter how dull or mundane they may be. Once the dead are raised, they have bottomless appetites. And these bodhisattvas and gurus, have built houses of sacrifice to satiate the voracious appetites of their undead overlords.

      And when they leave these houses of worship their conversion is complete. I hesitated long enough for him to begin nibbling on a part of my brain. Luckily, it was only the part of my brain that controls social filters. With each of his songs in these 11 years, Lu would be able to showcase his growth, while showcasing his true self to the audience.

      Duo Senses: Harp and Piano. On 29th November, harpist Laura Peh takes us on a magical journey through Europe with her enchanting harp. She will also premiere a new commission by Singaporean composer Lim Kang Ning b. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No.

      Opera Today

      Echo of a Millennium: Singapore. First appeared in AD, this choir is uniquely Norwegian and yet is now a global voice for the classical choral repertoires. Norway is a country surrounded by magnificent unspoiled nature. From the freshness of the fjords to the energies of the mountains, it is in this wonderful environment that our singers learn to bring the gentle sound of the choir to the thundering roar of the deep voices.

      Our youngest singer on this tour is 10 and the oldest is 74 years young. The boys are selected from 16 different schools and the whole choir commits to 4 rehearsals per week, in rain, shine, or snow. A concert not to be missed. Performed with re:Sound Collective Orchestra and four glorious soloists. A feast for the senses and a great family time spent together. Harmonies Through Time. After a well-received piano recital in Esplanade last year, Wendelin Kwek is back with a more rewarding concert by having her former professor from Indiana University Bloomington Jacobs School of Music, Edward Auer, as a guest artist.

      He is the first American to win a prize in the prestigious International Chopin Competition in Warsaw. Harmonies Through Time presents a variety of repertoire in Classical music. Meticulous works by Beethoven, Chopin, and Debussy will be performed to showcase the beauty of various style periods. Instagram wenpianostudio. The world-renowned Japanese composer-conductor Joe Hisaishi makes his impressive first appearance in Singapore in !

      Joe Hisaishi is the musical mastermind behind the score of numerous films, this symphonic concert celebrates his long and fruitful collaboration with the master of animated cinema, Hayao Miyazaki. Expect nothing short of a dazzling concert full of his catchy and danceable numbers, explosive stage presence and an evening filled with josh!

      Groove to the best of Amit Trivedi as he performs with his co-singers and band at Kalaa Utsavam His free-flowing use of Indian folk instruments, sometimes paired with a distinctly Western base of rock and electronica, has continuously broken new grounds in Indian cinema. The Guitar Prasanna Trio makes its Kalaa Utsavam debut with a captivating fusion of musical ideas and energies! Experience their signature musical style that blends Western genres such as rock, metal, blues and funk with carnatic music.

      PrasannaA fearless innovator in contemporary music and yet steeped in the authentic carnatic tradition, Prasanna is a pioneer in performing carnatic music on an electric guitar. Besides Pandit Ravishankar and A. Rahman, Prasanna is the only other Indian composer to have scored the music for an Oscar-winning film.

      In , he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for carnatic music by H. Shri Jayendra Saraswathi. Mohini DeyOne of the most well-known young bassists in the world, Mohini Dey has stunned the bass fraternity with her daredevil chops combined with exceptional musicianship. The Indian bass sensation has performed with an array of superstars from Steve Vai and A.

      Harvey WirhtSurinamese drummer Harvey Wirht brings an extraordinary level of musical diversity to his explosive playing. He has played with great artists across the globe from the legendary Harry Belafonte and Cameroonian master singer Gino Sitson, to Morroccan singing star Mallika Zara. As the body disintegrates, where do thoughts and emotions reside?

      When thoughts and emotions disintegrate, where does your trace reside? And when all is gone from the known, where does your love reside? It asks of the audience to celebrate the body and its existence, the way it lives and breathes as something that is transient, flowing, and yet interrupted. Dance maverick Aditi Mangaldas returns to Kalaa Utsavam for the fourth time, bringing her signature blend of the classical kathak tradition, contemporary dance elements and theatre design.

      The choreography will feature musicians as part of the set—diverging from the classical Indian dance tradition of placing the seated ensemble at the side of the stage.

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      She is known for consistently breaking new ground, by using kathak as a springboard to evolve a contemporary dance vocabulary that is infused with the spirit of the classical. Known for their creative and contemporary interpretations of traditional music, Swarhythm Ensemble comprises a multi-ethnic group of talented local musicians.

      Founded and led by accomplished tabla artist Nawaz Mirajkar, the group will be launching their first recorded album Swarhythm at Kalaa Utsavam The songs on record are a majestic confluence of the rich melodies and rhythms of India, weaved in with ethnic Malay and Chinese elements, as well as some exciting Spanish influences. The performance will also feature artists from India.

      Nawaz MirajkarNawaz Mirajkar draws inspiration from the diverse sounds of traditional and contemporary music present in Singapore. He has collaborated with acclaimed flautist Rakesh Chaurasia, veteran drummer Sivamani, as well as the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. Following their debut performance at Kalaa Utsavam last year, homegrown Hindi band The Band Walle returns to the festival stage with a special performance featuring singer-songwriter Palwinder Singh.

      Originals by Palwinder will also be performed for the first time, backed by The Band Walle. Indie artist KisH lends his vocals and plays the guitar, classical percussion-trained Ish takes the drums and blues boy Nilesh plays the keys. Palwinder SinghDhol musician and Bhangra dancer Palwinder Singh started his musical journey at the age of eight with the tabla. His love for drums grew and he picked up more percussion instruments over the years. After releasing his first single Reh Giya in , he went on to produce Bahaan in and Soniye Ve in There is no space and time before movement.

      The body does not move into space and time—it creates space and time.

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      Our bodies are constantly in motion, reaching out towards something and creating different relationships with everything around us. This potentiality appears every time language exceeds its syntax, every time another exceeds our reach, every time we sense more than we comprehend. The Lost Wax Project explores the potentiality of space and its interrelations with the human body. The title is a metaphor from the sculpting process, in which wax moulds are used to cast metallic sculptures. In this work, she crafts a circular stage around which the audience sits, inviting them into an intimate experience of the negative space between human bodies.

      Preethi AthreyaChennai-based contemporary dancer and choreographer Preethi Athreya was trained in bharatnatyam under the Dhananjayans. She went on to attain a post-graduate degree in Dance Studies from the Labon Centre, London, and has been working with the eminent choreographer Padmini Chettur since The Threshold is a musical conversation. In this unique and intimate production, musical duo Pallavi and Bindhumalini explore the issue of gender and its lived experiences through a lens of compassion.

      From the stories of Hypatia, Agnodice, Kharbaoucha and Fanny Mendelson, to the songs of Sule Sunkkavva, Nina Simone and Meera, The Threshold celebrates the tales of remarkable women across continents and spanning generations. Pallavi MDPallavi MD is a singer, actor, sound designer, composer, editor and filmmaker, with works featuring multidisciplinary collaborations.