Well that’s been something of a rather Indian weekend. My previous visit to the Little India area allowed me to get tickets to the Utsav parade. It seems that ticketing wasn’t done quite right, seeing as how the grandstands were quite empty. If it weren’t for the presence of the President and other officials, I would have assumed that the event was a low profile dud. That said, it turned out to be 3 hours of spectacular music and dance performances. Wow!

One of the myriad dance routines showcased at this year's Utsav parade
One of the myriad dance routines showcased at this year’s Utsav parade

I must admit I know little of Indian dance varieties, and this event has been quite the eye-opener for me. I may have seen some traditional dances and the now popular Bhangra style, but I never did expect that some groups would see fit to incorporate Chinese or Peranakan elements to the dance styles and certainly not a Flamenco-inspired routine!

Flamenco inspired Indian dance
An explosive dance that is distinctly Indian yet bearing the stylistic elements of Flamenco.

The 3 hours went by in a riotous blur (punctuated by the shoulder strain of holding the camera up for that long), and climaxed at the final explosive (pun intended) Bhangra dance. Pity the fireworks went off just as the last group was doing their routine…I had difficulty deciding if I should be shooting the fireworks or the dancers. Hence I did both.

Sizzling fireworks going off alongside twirling dancers
Sizzling fireworks going off alongside twirling dancers
A truly explosive Bhangra dance routine
A truly explosive Bhangra dance routine

P.S. In case anyone’s wondering if I’m shilling for Muthu’s Curry, I can assure you that I’m not: It’s a quirk of the seating at Sector C, which left me with little choice but to take in the signage from time to time.

P.P.S. To the #SingaporeTourismBoard and #SG50, something can really be done about the way SG50 events are publicized. Taking this for example, there were no maps available or even information on the end time of the event. The oblique way of distributing tickets did not help, and the grandstands were uniformly half filled at best. Very unfortunate considering how much care must have gone into organizing this event. Still, it’s been quite the spectacle indeed.