A sound start to Chennai Sangamam

Director Vasanth  

Meera Srinivasan

Director Vasanth to direct a musical

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CHENNAI: The Tamil Maiyam office at Alwarpet was buzzing with activity on Saturday. Strains of a Kurundogai piece (Yaayum nyaayum yaaragiyaro ...) floated above animated discussions ahead of `Chennai Sangamam'.

The mega cultural event will have a very special start. Director Vasanth has taken time off his current project `Satham Podadae', starring Prithviraj and Padmapriya, to direct a 90-minute musical titled `Sangae Muzhangu', which would be staged on the inaugural day (February 20). During a small break from rehearsals, he spoke on all that had gone into the making of the musical.

"The musical will be an aesthetic compilation of Tamil literature, from the Sangam era to modern day literature," he said. About 200 folk artistes will perform traditional folk art forms such as Thappaattam, Thudumbaattam, Oyilaattam, Mayilaattam, Naiyyandi Melam, Kaavadi, Puliyaattam, Poikkaal Kudirai, Karagam and Mankombu live.

"I have always been fascinated by Tamil literature and was very excited when this opportunity came up," said Mr. Vasanth.

The musical would feature popular verses from Kurunthogai, Devaram, Tirukkural and works of Bharathiyar and Bharathidasan. Paul Jacob has scored the music for the verses.

The passage of time would be captured not only through transition in literature, theatre and art but also in the exclusive sets that art director Thotta Tharani has been working on.

Members of `Avignya' will perform select pieces while actor Pasupathi will recite verses from Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi's Purananooru in an evening that promises an artful blend of Tamil literature, music and theatre.

Singers Bombay Jayashri and Palghat Sriram are among those who have lent their voices for the musical. Lyricist Vairamuthu has penned lyrics for the theme song `Chennai azhagiya Chennai, idu Vangakkadalin thinnai ...', which has been tuned by music director Deva. Yesudoss and Father Jegath Gaspar of Tamil Maiyam have tuned the theme song `Yengal vazhvum...', sung by Shankar Mahadevan.

Conceptualised by Kanimozhi, poet and daughter of the Chief Minister, the show is being organised by the Tamil Maiyam, in association with the Tamil Nadu Tourism and Culture Department. The inaugural function will be held at the open-air theatre in IIT Madras on February 20. The proceeds of the show will go to rehabilitating street children.