The Scarlet Mela Festival of the Arts (SMFA) is a platform to celebrate, facilitate, and incubate young and upcoming independent traditional arts practitioners. This creative space provides an opportunity to seed discourse between traditional arts and its contemporary interpretations through creation, education, and incubation. The aim of the festival is to gather a community of critical arts practitioners who value tradition and are excited to push boundaries and want to be the change makers for the next generation.

The first iteration of SMFA focuses on an incubation programme for the dance sector in traditional arts, encompassing all cultural dance forms (ie., Chinese dance, Malay dance, and Indian dance). View our Programme Brochure.


A confluence of diverse influence

Scarlet Mela is a canvas for traditional performance artists to tell their stories through an intercultural lens. It is an approach that hopes to bring energy through seeding open conversation and new forms of collaboration.




The logo finds it foundation from the letterforms of Singapore’s multiple mother tongues. While each element stands individually, they come to balance harmoniously as a whole. Distinct differences flow with each other. Energies align, always in motion to push the boundaries of category and convention.

The Team



Banupriya Ponnarasu



Banupriya Ponnarasu is a well-rounded arts professional, where her experience extends from performing to championing the traditional arts, managing creative projects and arts administration. She has an interest in building community through arts and culture.



Tabitha Surita​

Tabitha Headshot


Tabitha Surita is a dynamic professional in various project management roles. With a keen eye for detail and an innate ability to orchestrate seamless events, Tabitha has excelled in her role in the arts. She thrives in the fast-paced world, where her various roles honed her leadership skills, conceptualizing, and planning where she gained invaluable insights involving liaising with diverse teams, overseeing day-to-day operations, and implementing strategic initiatives to enhance overall event quality. Her commitment to excellence and adaptability set her apart in this multifaceted role and her collaborative approach ensures that every project she undertakes is a harmonious blend of creativity and logistical precision.




Soultari Amin Farid

Soultari Amin Farid is a choreographer, arts educator and researcher. He is a co-founder of DIAN Dancers, a Malay dance organisation established in 2003 and was the joint Artistic Director of Bhumi Collective. Amin is a recipient of the ASEAN-India Youth Award (2018), Singapore Youth Award (2017), National Arts Council Scholarship (2017) and Goh Chok Tong Mendaki Youth Promise Award (2016). He holds a PhD in Theatre, Drama and Dance Studies from Royal Holloway, University of London, UK. He is an adjunct lecturer at University of Arts, Singapore, and Singapore Raffles Music College. As an arts practitioner-researcher, his works interrogate the normative notions of class, ethnicity, identity and gender. He believes that young practitioners must become leaders in creating artistic works that are innovative, critical and relevant to their evolving landscape.


Aishwariyah Shanmuganathan

Asha Nathan
A recipient of the National Arts Council's Arts Scholarship postgraduate award, Aishwariyah Shanmuganathan is a Drama educator and practitioner pursuing a Doctorate with Nanyang Technological University – National Institute of Education's Visual and Performing Arts Department. With more than 15 years of experience in the Arts Education sector, Aishwariyah has successfully brought Drama based education to learners of all ages, abilities and backgrounds. In addition to the teaching, lecturing, writing, directing and creative consulting work that she does, Aishwariyah is also an active advocate who is currently serving as the President of the Singapore Drama Educators Association (SDEA). As a practitioner, her keen interest in areas such as language, culture, interdisciplinary arts, kinaesthetic learning and socially engaged practices, allows her to find intersections within these areas. Aishwariyah particularly enjoys drawing parallels between traditional and contemporary art forms/ performance styles. Trained in Bharathanatyam since the age of 6, she taps on her knowledge and experience in traditional arts when creating works.



Mruthika Priya Raman

Mruthika Priya Raman is a growing cross-disciplinary arts manager with an inclination towards equity and inclusive art practice. Thika recently graduated with BA Arts Management with First Class Honours from LASALLE College of the Arts. Amongst other endeavours, She was most recently a Project Assistant for the Asia-Europe Cultural Festival 2023, as well as a project manager and marketing assistant for StoryFest 2022. Her research on the development of contemporary dance in Singapore has also been published in a collection of student essays and presented at academic conferences. Thika hopes to facilitate the convergence of diverse voices from different domains and promote a more fluid artistic landscape.



Neo Ke Xin

Neo Ke Xin

Dance has been an integral part of Ke Xin’s life since young. Ke Xin is interested in the possibilities with the human body and the power it has to influence and motivate others.



Ranice Tay

Ranice Tay

Ranice Tay, movement artist and theatre practitioner, draws inspiration from her roots in martial arts. As a world-medalist in Chen-Style Taijiquan, she merges traditional arts and personal mythologies into a unique expression driven by essence, energy and spirit. To unearth the creative potentials of this interdisciplinary approach, she founded WUSHIREN (@wushiren_theatre).


Shruthi Nair

Shruthi Nair

Shruthi has been a student of Bharathanatyam since the age of 5. She embraces learning, un-learning and re-learning, especially through the interest she takes in Indo-Contemporary choreography. She invests time into diverse choreographic projects and training in the hopes of growing as a creator, performer, and a student of Dance.


Hemamalini Vijay

Hema headshot

Hemamalini was formally trained in Bharathantyam at the age of 5 under Mrs. Mohana Harendran and Smt Neila Sathayalingam at Apsaras Arts. Hema has since explored other genres like contemporary, lyrical jazz and hip hop. Currently, she is under the tutelage of Ms Banupriya Ponnarasu at Mandala Arts. She is committed to continuous growth and inspiring others through the art of movement.


Artiqa Faryaini

Artiqa Headshot

Artiqa Faryaini has been trained as a Malay Dance Art practitioner since 2011. Her desire to explore and integrate traditional and contemporary art forms has led to her current interest in using movements as a tool for the body and mind to release and realign itself.


Aishwarya Nishikant Kunte

Aishwarya Kunte headshot

Aishwarya is a classically trained Kathak dancer and a beginner-level contemporary dancer. As a first-generation Singaporean, she uses Kathak as a medium to root her to her Indian culture, and is now keen to embrace and explore dance through the contrasting societal and cultural influences in her life.


Muhammad Sa'ed

Raised in a family of performers, Muhd Sa’ed feels a deep connection to the arts. As a traditional and contemporary Malay dancer, he has been under the tutelage of Fathurrahman Said, Kamal Ridzuan and Kamel Ridzuan. Sa’ed has always questioned the importance, relevance and position of traditional arts in a modern world.


welcoming the next generation of changemakers