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Drumming up excitement

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The curtain will come down on the 17th edition of the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) to the beat of drums led by tavil maestro Karuna Moorthy and 100 Thappatam percussion artistes from Tamil Nadu. Conceptualised by T.K. Rajeevkumar, ‘Journey of Rhythm’, a 25-minute percussion extravaganza, will mark the grand finale of this edition of the IFFK at Nishagandhi open-air auditorium on Friday.

“As soon as Rajeev anna told me about this concept, I left for the villages of Tanjavur to assemble the percussion artistes. We have been rehearsing for a week. For the programme, I will begin on the tavil and set the rhythm. I will be joined by the percussionists and after a while, we will start moving to the beat. Then it will be more of a dance before we end the performance with a crescendo of beats. The Thappatam players have come up with a mesmerising rhythm and several music directors, right from A.R. Rahman, have used this beat in their compositions,” says Karuna, as he leads the musicians rehearsing the beats at Vyloppilli Samskriti Bhavan on Thursday. He adds that no event in villages in Tanjavur is complete without the Thappatam.

“We plan to provide sticks for the audience too, so that they can join in the rhythm journey. Every member of the audience becomes a participant in this percussion extravaganza,” says Rajeev.

Aswathy Nair has choreographed the performance with Rajeev editing and adding certain steps and movements to make it a visual spectacle too. “I wanted this festival to conclude on a different note since we scored with a spectacular inaugural,” says Rajeev. While the drums herald the end of the fete, it also sets the note for the wait for another edition of the IFFK.

Saraswathy Nagarajan

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