It is the variety in a cultural programme that pulls in the crowd. Sometimes, even high profile cultural programmes fail to attract crowds because most people seem not to be connoisseurs of art, dance and theatre.
For them, entertainment is television, cinema and now of course, fashion shows, beauty contests and the like.
The culture of attending music concerts, dance programmes or plays is yet to catch up with the common people, though there is some definite change, says Shyamala Surendran, promoter of Dharani Society for Dance and Art. Unless the nuances of art transcends into society, support for art forms will remain lukewarm — both in terms of popularity and garnering support for the show financially. Other cultural forums too have similar concerns. The Changampuzha Samskarika Kendra that organises a variety of shows from speeches to Kathakali performances, has found more crowds gathering at folk art shows. Said Sajil V.D., secretary of Changampuzha Memorial Library, the open stage at the Changampuzha Park is perhaps more suited for such art forms. The events are more colourful both on and off stage.
There is only a select audience for Kathakali and for dance, it is usually the friends and family of the performer who gather.
It could also be the lack of good programmes that is keeping people away, said Ravindran A.N., secretary, Bank Employees Art Movement, Ernakulam that had been presenting programmes for the past 27 years. Though Kerala has rich classical art and folk art forms, it is perhaps the mistake of a faulty education system that the people are alienated from these aspects, said Ms. Surendran, of Dharani.