The opening ceremony of the 51st Kerala State School Arts Festival was marked by a welcome dance that showcased the cultural essence of ‘Akshara Nagari' (the land of letters). A grand mix of colours, music and dance, it managed to captivate the audience. Fifty-one children, selected from various schools in the district, represented various editions of the State school art fete.

The song, written and composed by music director Dr. Suresh Manimala, captured the quintessence of the cultural tradition of Kottayam. Under the choreography of Biju Xavier, the blend of various dance forms, like Bharathanatyam, Mohiniyattom, Theyyam and Kathakali added to the splendour of the show. A huge crowd of about 3,000 spectators gathered at the Police Parade ground, the main venue of the cultural festival, watched the show.

The massive pavilion erected has been fittingly named after the late Malayalam playwright and social activist Ponkunnam Varkey, who had carved a niche for himself in the cultural history of the State.

The portraits of 69 of the nation's greatest personalities have been installed all around the perimeter of the pavilion. The mesmerising show welcomed the visitors to bask in the rich spirit of the festival and has raised the curtains for the fete, which will showcase the cultural richness of the State for the next five days.