Fete begins at Kanakakunnu grounds

This year, Nishagandhi Festival began with a colourful, vibrant portrayal of India's cultural diversity. Two-hundred dancers made this possible through ‘Sangamam,' a specially choreographed show at the Kanakakunnu grounds in the city on Friday.

Inaugurating the function, Transport Minister V.S. Sivakumar said that the festival was a platform for the public to witness India's cultural traditions. “Art forms from other States will be performed at the festival. We have an excellent opportunity to appreciate them,” he said.

‘Sangamam,' choreographed by Soorya Krishnamurthy, began with an invoking of the Almighty, its songs representing all major religions of the country.

In the next step, Kathak, Manipuri, Mohiniyattom, Kathakali, and Bharatnatyam were adeptly fused.

Fusion of steps, notes

There was a loud applause for the performers who presented a fusion of Hindustani and Carnatic music. Then, 50-odd singers joined the dancers rendering ‘Vande Mataram'. ‘Sangamam' was followed by a mandolin concert by U. Srinivas and U. Rajesh. The seven-day cultural event will have major artistes from around the country performing during the evenings at the open theatre.

There will be Odissi and Manipuri dance on Saturday by Rajana Gauhar and Baisali Sarkar.

Leading Mohiniyattom artists such as Kalamandalam Kshemavathy, Veena Warrier and Bharatnatyam artists such as Manju V. Nair, and Jyotsna Jagannathan will perform in the coming days. There will be a Carnatic concert by Sankaran Namboothiri and a ‘gazal sandhya' by Chandan Das as well. The festival will conclude with a fusion music concert by artist Stephen Devassy.

In connection with the festival, a Kathakali mela and a food festival at Sooryakanthi grounds are also on at Kanakakunnu Palace premises.