Artistic director of KZN Dance Theatre and Arts and Cultural coordinator of the Durban Diwali Festival
In 1973 after completing matric, Vasugi Singh left for India where she studied Bharatha Natyam at the Madras Music Academy, at the Balasaraswathi School of Dance. She was under the direct tutelage of a disciple of Balasaraswathi, Sharmilla Mohanraj. Before embarking on this trip to India , Vasugi at the tender age of six, started learning Indian dance from the Nydoo Sisters, Rani and Prema.
On her return to South Africa, she became a trendsetter. She was the first to introduce Indian Dance classes on a part-time basis, at the M.L. Sultan Technikon as part of the Department of Human Movement. Subsequently the classes moved to Sastri College under the auspices of the Department of Education, Arts and Culture. She designed and implemented the curriculum both in the dance styles of Bharatha Natyam and Kathak at the College. Having started with only 15 students in 1975, the school grew to 300 students and six teachers by 1992. A number of Award programmes was presented at these venues. In the seventies she was the first Indian dancer in SA to appear on SABC TV, Programme “Galaxy”.
During this period Vasugi also established the Natal Indian Dance Theatre which later became KwaZulu Natal Dance Theatre. The Dance Theatre was responsible for numerous productions such as the Vasugi Devar Show, and Natya Anjali which travelled through the country. Vasugie stablished herself as an outstanding and reputable performer, choreographer, practitioner, academic and artistic director within the dance fraternity and the community at large.
In May 2000 Vasugi was the architect of the first historic International Indian Dance Conference (Nrittya Sammelan 2000) hosted in South Africa. Delegates, internationally, nationally and locally performed as well as delivered papers.
The conference was co-hosted by Nateshwar Dance Academy and was partnered by the Playhouse Company, The Indian Consulate- Durban, Durban University of Technology as well as Radio Lotus FM.
Whilst being totally committed to propagating Indian Dance in this country, Vasugi also pursued her academic studies. This culminated in her having completed the
B. Paed (Arts) , B.Ed (Hons). Post Grad. Diploma in Remedial Education and finally The Masters degree in Arts. The MA traces the development of Bharatha Natyam as a Socio-religious dance form to theatrical dance form in the context of South Africa.
She established and ran the Art department (up to exam Grade 12 )at the Reunion Secondary School for 16 years. Thereafter she joined the Thekwini Fet College as an Art and Movement Lecturer.
Vasugi currently is the artistic director of KZN Dance Theatre. She also runs a consultancy concerning Indian Dance in South Africa. In 2010 she was elected Arts and Culture convenor of the 1860 Legacy Foundation., which commemorated the 150 years arrival of Indentured Indians in South Africa.
Vasugi is one of the Founders and Board members of Kwa -Zulu Natal Dance Link which is the umbrella body and the Provincial voice for dance across the multicultural spectrum in KZN. She has been a guest choreographer on cross-cultural work for the African Rennaissance and Imbumba a flagship production of KZN Dance Link. She served as a judge on the FNB Vita Awards, and KZNDL Awards.
She is currently the Jt. Secretary of the South African Hindu Maha Sabha, a National Hindu faith based organization, and Arts and Cultural coordinator of the Durban Diwali Festival. The Festival of Lights has become a South African Festival and a Tourist attraction which show cases cross-cultural and multi-cultural works performed by outstanding S.A. Artists.
She had been nominated on the recently formed advisory board of the South African Indian Dance Alliance. (SAIDA).