Avant Theatre & Language

Art is timeless. Art is ageless. Art needs no specific boundaries, languages, colour or space to express itself. Avant, means ‘before' in French. It is placed before a lot of words to mean forward, advance and gives a sense of future. We have placed Avant in front of Theatre and Language, which are two modes of expressions. These through the mind, body and soul are the catalyst of any art form.

Motto

Connecting Through a Universal Language - ART

Mission
Committed to Excellence in Performance Making and Creative Learning. We strive to provide each artiste with opportunities to continually develop their artistic skills in an open, holistic, challenging and supportive multi-disciplinary learning environment. Through this Avant Theatre & Language will prepare them to play an active and responsible role as global artistic citizens in a multicultural world and the artistic industry. In doing, so we share and support the Art and Cultural Ministries in their vision in creating Singapore a Global Arts Hub in Asia.
Vision

To be the premier provider of high quality commercial theatrical performances induced from various Asian and global techniques/cultures and also to maintain a platform for drama and theatre exploration and education through worldly initiatives.

Core Values
Integrity & Commitment - Fair and honest in our claims and representation through our presentation and the desire to exceed expectation and to ensure learning and development in evident effectively and ethically in what our actors and audience can achieve and benefit from.

Social Responsibility - Advocating respect for multicultural social development and understand the importance of seeing through growth in the area performing arts for continuity.

Artistic Citizenship – Being steadfast to the decorum and values to uphold the responsibility of an artiste in the global environment as a citizen of art with intent to both give and receive the craft with respect and to all stakeholders and creative partners.

Avant Theatre & Language Limited in Singapore on 2nd March 2011 as a Public Company Limited by Guarantee under the Non-Profit Organisation entity.

The emergence of Avant, Singapore was timely as there was a strong desire to expand and explore the theatre craft in South East Asia with many collaborative partnerships. Steadfast in its artistic direction and realising many opportunities for artistic exploration in this region it was a lucrative and commercially viable move to set up Avant Theatre & Language Limited in Singapore on 2nd March 2011 as a Public Company Limited by Guarantee under the Non-Profit Organisation entity.

Avant, Singapore is new, fresh and is willing to take on exciting ventures to promote multicultural art forms in Australia. Having the best of both worlds, east and west, Avant wants to be a hybrid production company carving its name in Melbourne’s contemporary theatre scene. Avant, Singapore aims to be a professional creative platform showcasing commercially appealing productions and an artistic exploratory platform working in partnership with local arts organisation in supporting the Singapore Global Arts hub identity.Avant, Singapore endeavours to promote the creation of hybrid performance environment that is commercial, educational and entertaining.

Avant Theatre has successfully completed its 1st International Production Tour with ‘Bhishma the Grandsire & Bhishma the Pitamaha’ to India and Sri Lanka in October 2011. We were received by warm fellow men and arts appreciative people in both countries. The production received raving reviews mainly highlighting Tamil Theatre in Singapore and appreciated the clarity, profound use of Tamil Language. Actor Mr Puravalan as Bhishma was highly talked about by the high arts circle of Tamil Nadu and Jaffna. Deeply appreciate Manu Arts India and all promoters in Sri Lanka mainly Dynamik Event Management in Colombo and Mr Akilan of Jaffna together with all media, Press and TV station for the support and Publicity. Not forgetting Vasantham’s Talam and TAMIL MURASU for their continuous Support. NAC and SIF for making this travel journey possible. Scroll down to see all Newspaper article and photographs with Invited guests that includes, SUPER STAR Rajini Kanth & Director K Balachandar, Director Charan, Music Director M S Viswanathan & Bharadwaj, Actors Nasaar, Parthieban, Pandiarajan, Pasubathy, Rajesh, Anandhakannan, Dance Doyen The Dhanajayans, Sutharani Ragupathy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka, Minister Douglas Devananthan of Sri Lanka, Mayor Pathmavathi of Jaffna and other important Dignitaries. Avant is humbled by the success of this venture

Avant is proud to celebrate its 10th Anniversary in Singapore with two unique ground breaking production. Bhishma the Grandsire & Bhishma the Pitamaha was a duologue in English & Tamil by the same artiste within an interval of 15 minutes in September 2011 and also another first ever in Singapore a Total Theatre Concept presented with the text from William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet which was transcreated in Tamil as Romz & Julz, with audience having the choice to view the process and/or the narrative of a performance for holistic appreciation of theatre. This productions together with the touring production concluded Avant’s 10th Anniversary celebration.

Avant, Australia is a non-profit organization registered with the Victorian Consumer and Business Affairs has been set up in Melbourne, Australia (B1587748C) in 2001 to serve as a platform to fuse, promote and instil various art forms so that art can grow, thrive and move forward in this world of constant change and advancement.

• Avant Australia debut theatre production was in November 2001 when we did a bilingual collaboration with ethnic artistes from Singapore which served as a launching board for us to showcase both local and international pool of talented artistes in an independent production.

• Next Avant invited International artists from Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore and India to create a successful blend for our production Two Spicy Masala* (*a powdery mix of herbs and spices) which added flavour and taste to the Melbourne Fringe Festival 2002.

• Four days of overwhelming support and encouragements from 2002 festival has given us the inspiration to work once again on another venture. For Melbourne Fringe Festival 2003, we are happy to partner with another Melbourne based devise theatre company, The Laughing Ostriches to present yet another enrapturing double-bill. A variety of young and budding talents tackled a wide spectrum of issues that teased, enticed and challenged the audience thinking. Asian art forms such as Bhutto from Japan, Wayang Kulit from Indonesia and Bharathanatyam from India and modern body art were explored in a movement piece where women share their inner deep dark secrets that shocked many.

• As part of 2005 Melbourne Midsumma Festival, we staged PRICE. PRICE is a captivating and sexily hilarious Indian Drag Performer’s story that threw light on controversial issues affecting minorities within a minority group. Issues such as how the gay community is looked upon by the Asian community in this time and age were explored in greater detail.

• In September 2008 Polygamy was staged as an independent project. Polygamy explored patriarchy, religion and identity of the marginalised.

• Also Avant as part of its community and cultural initiative, partners with CERES (Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies) a community environmental park to cultivate the idea of multiculturalism and cultural cohort among school children. Avant advocates the nuances behind cultural practices and the understanding and appreciation of arts of Asia to understand and appreciate the other members of the community.Avant partners with its associate theatre company in Singapore, Ravindran Drama Group, Singapore in various initiatives during 2007 to 2008 activities where company redesigned its artistic vision and goals for its theatre development. This collaborative partnership enables growth and exploration of ideas and talents across different arts organisation.

Selva is one of the accomplished theatre directors of Singapore. Till to date he has written, directed and acted in more than 80 plays in English and Tamil including overseas productions. Selva started off as an actor in the 1980s and soon progressed to writing and directing his own plays. He has acted and directed numerous Tamil and English theatre and TV productions.

Selva graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree (Class-Honours) majoring in Media Arts and Drama from Deakin University, Melbourne with the support from National Arts Council, Singapore in 2005.

The honourable title of ‘Kalai Chemmal’, was bestowed on Selva by Singapore Indian Artiste Association (SIAA) on 25 September 2010.

Selva is not a new comer to stage or to the film industry as he was awarded the Most Popular Celebrity award by Singapore’s Media Corp Television’s Vasantham Central in April 2001.

His accolades include receiving the Distinguished Artist Award from the President of Singapore, His Excellency S R Nathan in 2000. He was also nominated for Best Actor Award at the 1997 ‘Pesta Pradhana’ award ceremony by Singapore Television 12 Network for acting in the first ever-Tamil sitcom in Singapore “Amali Thumali”.

Selva has a list of Programmes he has worked on the local Television and recently he was featured in Malaysian Television RTM in the programme Vannamayilgal, as notable artiste from Singapore. The documentary highlighted Selva’s Theatre and Dance ventures over the years.

From 2005 to 2006 Selva worked in Deakin University, Melbourne as a tutor teaching tertiary level students for numerous semesters. He has also satisfactorily completed the Professional Development Program for Sessional tutors, in Australia.

From 2007 to 2008 Selva had been steering a mid range arts organization that have been in existence from 1988 in the various strategies and business plan necessary for future development and sustainability in Singapore.

Selva has created various genre of theatre performances for public viewing over the past 30 years in Singapore and in Australia. Selva was invited by NIE Singapore, to teach trainee teacher to approach teaching with a difference using theatre both for Tamil and English Language teachers.

Research is an area that Selva showed keen Interest, where much experience was gained in working closely with an academic unit in dealing in the area of Corporate Citizenship and Social Responsibility, Australia. I have written a research paper on the development of Tamil Theatre in Singapore, as part of my thesis, and planning to publish it as a reference book.

Selvas has worked on a collaborative research assignment commissioned by the National Arts Council and National Library Board Singapore, to research on cultural medallion recipients and archive the valuable contribution to the Arts scene in Singapore for NLB NORA Project.

From 2009 till 2011 Selva had the opportunity of teaching Drama and Theatre studies in an International School in Singapore. His creative teaching styles together with my dramatic presentation techniques have help students understand the subject with interest. I am qualifies to teach IGCSE Drama and IB Theatre studies courses.

On a professional level Selva continues to stage productions and tours with production, recently in 2011 travelling to Sri Lanka and India in the intention to exchange creative ideas and collaborative partnership ventures with overseas arts ministries.