The ability to explore oneself was the greatest asset of an artist, said Shaji N. Karun, renowed cine personality.

Shaji was inaugurating the Kathakali fest, organised by Pathanamthitta District Kathakali Club, at Cherukolpuzha near Kozhencherry on Wednesday.

According to him, a good artist has got the energy and rectitude to overcome any hurdle on the path of his artistic pursuit. Shaji said his movie, `Vaanaprasthom’ with actor Mohanlal in the lead, was an experiment in this regard.

Dr Jose Parakkadavil, club president, presided the inaugural function.

Mr T.N. Upendranatha Kurup, Ayroor-Cherukolpuzha Hindumatha Maha Mandalam president, delivered the keynote address.

Natyabharati Award

Shaji also presented this year’s Natyabharati Award instituted by the club to renowned Chenda exponent, Kalamandalam Krishnadas, on the occasion.

Kalamandalam Rajeev and Pallimon Rajeevan Unnithan jointly held a Kathakali demonstration for school-college students, later.

A Chakyarkoothu performance by Margi Madhu followed by a Kathakali on `Ravana-vijayom’ were held in the evening.

V. Kaladharan, public relations officer at Kerala Kala Mandalam, will inaugurate the Kathakali workshop to be held on Thursday forenoon.

Kathakali demonstration by renowned performer, Fact Mohan, will be the main attraction of the workshop.

A workshop on Kathakali percussion by Mankulam Krishanan Namboodiri (Chenda) followed by Kathakali on `Dakshayagom’ will be held, later, in the evening.

Kathakalai workshop for school children will be held on Friday forenoon. Babu George, District Panchayat president, will inaugurate the workshop.

Kathakali on `Kalyanasaugandhikom’ will be staged, later, in the evening. Kalamandalam Gopi, winner of this year’s Kalidas Samman of Madhya Pradesh Government will be felicitated on the occasion.

The four-day fest will come to a close on Saturday. A Kathakali performances on `Rugmangacharitom’ and `Nalacharithom-3 day’ and Sopana Sangeethom performance by Ambalappuzha Vijayakumar, will be the major attractions on the concluding day.

Mr Raju Abraham, MLA, will inaugurate the valedictory function at 6.15 pm. K.V.Sambadevan, Palliyoda Seva Sanghom president; M.P.Sasidharan nair, Hindumatha Maha Mandalam secretary and P.S.Nair, Travancore Development Council chairman, will also address the function.