SURF

Kara Smale

Digitized Minor Histories of Dance in Singapore’s National Archives

This dance history project is focused on identifying materials in the archive that record the contributions and major stage works of Santha Bhaskar, a prolific Singaporean-Indian dance choreographer whose career has spanned six decades between the 1960s and the present day. The primary resources for this project are the Singapore National Archives, Singapore National Library and the Singapore National Heritage Board, all of which have archives available for online access. In this project, I will collate and organize materials – newspaper reports, press clippings and photos related to Bhaskar’s contributions to Singapore’s cultural history, her dance experiments, dance institutions, and foreign diplomatic tours. Through this project, I will acquire the ability to 1) navigate online archives, 2) discern the value of materials encountered thus and 3) gain the technical proficiency in reading archival records along or against master-narratives of culture and nationhood. My mentor will provide guidance in developing a public-facing presentation that showcases the primary research questions, methodology and inferences derived over the course of the project.

Message to Sponsor

Thank you to the Johnson Fund for supporting my research this summer! My time in the SURF-SMART program this summer has been a wonderful introduction to history and dance studies research. I have not only learned about a new area of interest, but I have also gained the secondary and archival research skills I need to pursue independent research in the future. The support and guidance from my SURF-SMART mentor, as well as all of the SURF advisors, was vital in helping me grow as a researcher. Going forward, I feel confident and excited about conducting historical research, and I am extremely grateful to the Johnson Fund for providing this opportunity to me and other undergraduate students.
  • Major: History
  • Sponsor: Johnson Fund
  • Mentor: Aparna Nambiar