Young talent came to the fore at the three-day festival of music, dance and drama.

A three-day music, dance and drama festival was organised jointly by the Vijayawada Cultural Academy and the Ghantasala Venkateswara Rao Government College of Music and Dance at Gokaraju Laila Gangaraju Kala Vedika on the college premises, with large crowds attending on all the three days.

The programmes were inaugurated by C.V.K. Prasad, senior tax advocate, while Andhra Pradesh Grandhalaya Parishad chairman Turlapaty Kutumba Rao presided over the function. The first day's programme began with a fine group rendition of keertanas by the college students led by Chennakesava Rao. This was followed by a sumptuous classical music concert by popular vidwan Modumudi Sudhakar. He began with Navaragamalika varnam and followed it up with a keertana in Gowrimanohari with an elaborate and appealing raga version. Another major item was the Todi keertana Rookalu Padivelu adorned with exhaustive and bhava-laden raga and efficient swaras.

The highlight of the concert, however, was the superb ragam, tanam, pallavi presented by Sudhakar. The pallavi in Saraswati was set to chaturasra jati triputa talam in Khanda gati, a real difficult piece to perform. Sudhakar did justice to the intricate pallavi. Particularly he showed great precision in the kalpana swaras. The pallavi came to a close as a beautiful ragamalika. Admirable support on violin was provided by V. Krishnaveni who gave fine raga versions of Todi and Saraswathi. The pallavi was followed by a thrilling tani by percussionists K. Sadgurucharan (mridangam) and I. Anjaneya Sastri (ghatam). Sudhakar closed the concert with a tricky Thaya Thillana (Grahabheda thillana) composed by M. Balamuralikrishna.

Young Srija of USA enthralled the crowd by performing the famous Kuchipudi item Bhamakalapam and impressing with her abhinayam in the second day's programme. Lekhyabharani's Kathak item was brisk and enjoyable. A 15-member troupe of Kaladarsini, the cultural wing of the Andhra Loyola College, neatly presented a ballet titled Nadee Nartanam well written by Varanasi Venkata Rao and efficiently choreographed and directed by P. Hemantkumar. Noosetti Ramamohan Rao and Tondepu Hanumanta Rao were the honoured guests.

The final day's programme witnessed a powerful social drama Paramatma Vyavasthithaha, excellently enacted by the troupe of V.T.P.S. Cultural Association, Ibrahimpatnam. The play conveyed the message that unity and humanity are much needed for the glory of the nation. The play was written by Nandagiri and directed by Muralidhar. Seeram Subramanyam, founder secretary of Vijayawada Cultural Association, conducted the three-day festival efficiently.