Temporarily setting politics aside, Odisha Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik attended a cultural evening of dance and music at the Kalakshetra Foundation in the city on Thursday. He was in Chennai to lay the foundation of the new Odisha Bhawan in Chennai and to attend a meeting with the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.
At the event, the Odisha Chief Minister was presented with the book Biography on Rukmini Devi authored by Leela Samson, by the chairman of the Kalakshetra Foundation, Gopalkrishna Gandhi. The evening began with a veena recital presented by Ananth Narayan, a lecturer at Kalakshetra after which Mr. Patnaik, along with Mr. Gandhi proceeded to the Veena Sambasiva Iyer instruments’ cottage and spent a considerable amount of time observing the numerous veenas on display.
The recital was followed by vocal and dance performances to the accompaniment of the tanpura, mridangam, violin, veena, flute and kanjira presented by the students of Kalakshetra at the Rukmini Arangam.
Addressing the press, Mr. Patnaik said, “For me it’s a privilege to be here this evening at the Kalakshetra of the great Rukmini Devi Arundale, who we know was an absolute miracle of Bharatanatyam; at her institute with an exquisite and fabulous collection of musical instruments of our classical arts. I am honoured to be here in Chennai, full of tranquility and culture of the Tamil people.” Mr. Patnaik also answered questions about the upcoming presidential elections and his meeting the next day with the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister.