“Shatarupa”, a 33-day cultural festival being organised by the Department of Culture at Ghantasala Venkateswara Rao Government College of Music and Dance, got off to a colourful start on Monday with the performance of folk dances and various other programmes.

M. Kanta Rao, Director, Department of Culture, said that the festival would reflect the varied traditions followed across the State. Artistes had descended at the venue from different parts to regale the audience with folk and classical dance forms, musical concerts and other modes of entertainment. A dance performance by Telugu film actress and renowned classical dancer Manju Bhargavi and a mono action by comedian Jayaprakash Reddy would be some of the highlights.

The cultural caravan from here will move to Kadapa for another 33 days of cultural programmes and culminate in a grand finale in Hyderabad.

Krishna District Collector Peeyush Kumar said the reason for hosting the festival in three different places was to ensure that the flavour of different cultures spread out to every nook and cranny.

Listing out the elaborate arrangements made for a comfortable stay of the artistes who had come from outside the city to perform at the festival, he said people must make use of the opportunity to enrich their knowledge on various cultures.

Vijayawada Central MLA Malladi Vishnu said the objective behind the move was to re-kindle people's interest in the “rich art forms that reflect our culture but are on the verge of extinction.” Referring to the ‘hi-tech' era we live in, he made an appeal to the people of the city to take time out and extend their patronage to the cultural festival.

MLC Ilapuram Venkaiah and others were present.

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