The closing ceremony of the 18th edition of IFFK celebrates the richness of Kerala percussion
If it was the100 thappattam percussion artistes from Tamil Nadu who stole the limelight at the closing ceremony of International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) last year, over 280 artistes will come together to mark the grand finale of this year’s IFFK.
It will be as much a celebration of our tradition as it is an invitation to the next edition of the film festival, says filmmaker T.K. Rajeevkumar, who has conceptualised the programme, titled ‘19th IFFK Calling’.
“This production takes off from ‘kelikottu’, which is a musical proclamation. The percussion ensemble will give the audience a different musical experience. We are not saying goodbye to the delegates, but asking them to come again,” he says.
The kelikottu will be marked by the blowing of blowing of the conch. As such each member of the audience will be given a conch to blow in tandem with the conch artistes on stage. Last year, sticks were provided to the audience to join in the fun of the thappattam performance.
The ensemble has thimila, maddalam, edakka, kombu, and ilathalam, played by 40 artistes each, in addition to 20 kurumkuzhal artistes, 20 singers, guitarists, and Mohiniyattam dancers. “The music has been arranged and conducted by composer-singer Sharreth,” Rajeevkumar says. The 20-minute production features artistes from Thrissur.
As the ensemble performs, alavattam and venchamaram will be displayed in the backdrop along with a symbolic presentation of theevatti (flames carried during procession of idols). Graphics have also been incorporated in the production. Meanwhile, a giant screen will showcase films and filmmakers who have been part of this IFFK.
“On the whole, we are presenting the incredible and immense diversity of our percussion tradition by tweaking it a bit without compromising on its integral uniqueness,” adds Rajeevkumar. Art direction is by Sabu Sivan.