The curtain went up on Kalakshetra's annual art festival with a nagaswaram concert by the S. Kasim and S. Babu duo on Tuesday.
The 58th edition of the festival carries a special significance as it coincides with the diamond jubilee of the institution founded by Rukmini Devi Arundale in 1936.
Culture Secretary S. S. Jawahar inaugurated the festival by lighting the lamp inside the dim-lit Rukmini arangam at Kalakshetra.
Musician Lalgudi Jayaraman was chief guest for the evening. Bharathanatyam exponents Adyar Lakshman and C.V. Chandrasekhar were also present.
The festival, which continues till December 31, packs in the marquee evening sessions by stalwarts, performances by youngsters and a series of lecture demonstrations. According to Leela Samson, Kalakshetra Foundation Director, the lecture demonstration sessions which highlight various milestones in the evolution of the institution, are aimed at showcasing the heritage on which the institution has been built.
The sessions would also acknowledge the variety of influences that have shaped Kalakshetra. Its newly-opened theatre Padma Pushkarini will feature dance-drama expositions by young artists. Organisers have staggered the performances throughout the day to enable connoisseurs to catch most of the action on all days.
The performances include Carnatic concerts by Bombay Jayashri and Sanjay Subrahmanyan, a Hindustani concert by Gundecha Brothers, Charishnu, an amalgam of six dance forms, martial arts and drums, choreographed by Ms. Samson and a Kathakali enactment by Kalamandalam Gopi and Sadanam Balakrishnan.