CHENNAI: One of the best things about the venues of Chennai Sangamam is that they are refreshingly informal. Kutcheris need not be watched in stiff postures. Viewers are welcome to clap their hands in sync with the thalam as they take brisk walk down the pathways of parks and lean over trees to enjoy performances in the way they prefer to.
The second day of Chennai Sangamam combined rural tradition and urban elegance with ease. Kutcheris were the highlight on Tuesday. The alfresco Carnatic vocal performance at the Independence Day Park, Nungambakkam, drew quite a number of senior citizens, whose grandchildren promptly gathered before the ice cream and bhel puri kiosks lined up before the park.
Following the last year’s trend, the park had visitors flowing in much before the performances started. But minutes after the programme began, the park was full to its capacity and the spill-over crowd had to perch on vehicles parked outside.
At the same venue, pariattam by a troupe from Nagercoil was also held. There were also other programmes to entertain the youngsters such as mayilattam Fusing acrobatics with dance movements, the dancers and drummers were in full swing.
At Nageswara Rao Park, Mylapore, the ambience amplified the festivity. “The atmosphere is very soothing and makes us feel welcome,” said K. S. Krishnakumar, a retired librarian from Kerala, who is on a 10-day trip to Chennai.
The Natesan Park, T.Nagar, was at its diverse best, hosting folk performances and film music programmes. Fast-beat music reigned at Periyar Vilayattu Thidal, Valasarawakkam, which slotted in a Carnatic performance by Maharajapuram S. Srinivasan. Kutcheris at the parks were a blend of the classic and the contemporary, as the singers carefully chose familiar songs that appealed to the audience.
Each venue had its own personality. If the Independence Day Park crowd was on its feet cheering folk performers, audience at the Nageswara Rao was laid back, swaying heads gently to the music and occasionally clapping to match the rhythm of songs.
The predominantly folk festival also slotted in a few contemporary music and dance shows. The Elliots Beach, Besant Nagar, for instance, saw several rock bands of city competing with each other.