More than 10,000 people were present at the main venue

After a less-than-enthusiastic opening day, the 54th State School Arts Festival came alive on Monday. Huge crowds turned up for most of the competitions, held across 16 venues. Not even the ‘Palakkadan’ wind, capable of working up ferocious dust storms, could dampen their enthusiasm.

More than 10,000 people were present at the main venue, the Indira Gandhi Stadium, where Kuchipudi (High School Girls) and Folk Dance (Higher Secondary School Boys) were held.

The turnout was a pleasant in contrast to Sunday night, when for the inaugural event, Mohiniyattom (High School), the dancers performed before what was the thinnest crowd for a classical dance competition in the recent history of the festival. Another crowd-puller on the second day was Folk Song (‘Nadan Pattu’). It was almost a full house at BEM Girls Higher Secondary School (HSS). The event was introduced only last year. After a stunning debut in Malappuram, it was sure to be a big attraction at this year’s festival, with its rustic, vibrant music and colourfully attired, energetic singers

A big and enthusiastic crowd enjoyed Chenda Thayambaka and Panchavadyam at the Fort grounds.

Being at this festival venue was like being at a temple festival. The atmosphere was electric.

People turned up in large numbers for even competitions such as Malayalam Recitation, which is not among the most popular events at the festival. Koodiyattom too drew many enthusiasts to Government Moyan Lower Primary School. Drama, expectedly, witnessed a full house at Town Hall. The event saw fierce competition in the High School section.

For music lovers, there was plenty to choose from – Light Music, Classical Music, Nadaswaram, and Veena, besides the big hits Folk Music, Thayambaka, and Panchavadyam. It was a memorable day for art lovers and a reassuring one for the organisers, who may have been disappointed after day one.

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