Esplanade Presents

Dance | Talk

Exchange: Chhau meets Kuda Kepang

Biren Kalindi Chhau Dance Ensemble and Kesenian Tedja Timur (India / Singapore)

30 Apr 2023, Sun, 2pm

1hr 30mins

(Intermission: None)

Esplanade Recital Studio

This event is over.


Hailing from different parts of the Asian continent, both chhau and kuda kepang are ceremonial spectacles and traditional rituals that bring communities together. The performers of both ritual dances take on warrior personas and perform various feats—in manifestation of the deities in chhau, and in a state of trance in kuda kepang. Join Biren Kalindi Chau Dance Ensemble and Kesenian Tedja Timur as they come together in an artistic discovery of each other’s practices.


Purulia chhau is one of three forms of the traditional chhau dance that will be presented at this year’s edition of A Tapestry of Sacred Music. Hailing from West Bengal, it is characterised by its elaborate and oversized masks as well as vigorous acrobatic stunts. The performers combine combat techniques, and animal gaits and movements to bring to life the ancient mythological battles in the Ramayana and Mahabharata epics, about good and evil.


In the Javanese kuda kepang, warrior-dancers ride on woven bamboo or rattan horses, as if going to battle. Stemming from animistic beliefs, the ceremony culminates in the performers going into a trance when they perform superhuman feats such as eating glass or walking on coals, accompanied by the haunting sounds of the gamelan—part cleansing ceremony and part ritual reenactment of battle.


As part of A Tapestry of Sacred Music, join us for a series of exchanges between international and locally based traditional artists whose artforms share thematic resonances. Listen as the artists demonstrate the similarities and differences in their sounds, movements and approaches, and gain insight on the significances and functions of their artistic practice within their respective communities.


• Patrons who have registered will have priority entry to the venue.

• Patrons who have registered must arrive 5 mins before the start of the event to guarantee your admission.

• Patrons who have registered but are not at the venue 5 mins before the start will have their seats released to walk-in patrons on a first-come, first-served basis.

• Limited seats are available at the door.

• Seating will be assigned by Esplanade’s ushers.

Admission Age:
10 and above
Language: English
Things to Note:
Accessibility Advisory: We provide a range of access services and relaxed performances for patrons with access needs. For wheelchair-accessible seats, please call Esplanade Customer Experience at 6828 8377 for assistance. Concessions for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) and up to one accompanying companion are available. | View our accessibility guide
Artist Information

Biren Kalindi Chhau Dance Ensemble

Hailing from Purulia, India and formed in 2006, the Biren Kalindi Chhau Dance Ensemble comprises 12 members led by master chhau artist Biren Kalindi, a prominent Natua and Chhau dance artist. While the troupe specialises in narratives from the Ramayana and Mahabharata, it also presents acts based on social issues that are of concern. The ensemble has performed regularly across West Bengal and parts of India, such as Ahmedabad, Delhi, Goa, Mumbai, Odisha and Udaipur. They have also performed in China, France, Germany, Lithuania and Switzerland.

Date & Time

30 Apr 2023, Sun


Esplanade Recital Studio

Become a member

Three membership cards depicting each membership tier, Discover, White and Black.

Great arts experiences begin with Esplanade&Me. Join this membership to enjoy ticket specials on shows at Esplanade, early bird specials, promotions at Esplanade Mall, unlimited access to Offstage and more.

Never miss a show again. Get on our mailing list.