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Kalyana Krishna Dance & Music Festival 2008



A Report

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During the 2nd week of December 2008 (14th, 15th, and 16th) Kalyana Krishna foundation a not-for–profit organization focused on social and cultural charities, celebrated its 3rd Annual Dance and Music Festival (KKDMF) at T. D. M Hall Kochi, Kerala.  The festival is in commemoration of the Indian Classical legends Late Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair and Late Kalamandalam Kallyanikutty Amma. KKDMF intend to hold up the time-tested gems of India’s cultural heritage and it emphasis the importance and significance of India’s culture to maintain its identity and for that it facilitate events to reflect this image clearly.


On Day One of the Festival, Dec 14th, the festival began by 6pm with an Inaugural function. Towards its appreciation to the Gurus of our cultural heritage, who are no more in the limelight, but who helped us to uplift and maintain the cultural identity and values of our land, this year KKDMF honored the Kathakali exponents, Sri Kalamandalam Rajan and Sri Panthalam Kerala Varma during this function. Sri Kalamandalam Rajan lighted the Bhadradeepam and inaugurated the festival, marking the beginning of the 3- Day Celebration. Sri Jyotis Balasubramanian, Chairman, honored Sri Kalamandalam Rajan with a Ponnada for his life long commitment and service in this field. Sri Rajan has worked for more than a decade along with Sri Krishnan Nair at Tripunithura Fine Arts Academy. Sri Rajan was very happy to be a part of the festival though his ailments were so severe that he was accompanied with his wife and an assistant. Then the First KKF Endowment Award for Lifelong Commitment in the Field of Art was awarded to Sri Panthalam Kerala Varma. The Award included a KeerthiPatram and a Cash Award of Rs.10, 000/- that was received by Sri Varma’s daughter as his sickness restricted distant traveling.


Sri Kalamandalam Rajan inaugurating the 3rd KKDMF

The Inaugural function was soon followed by a Kathakali presentation- Duryodhana Vadham Story. Sri Krishnan Nair’s well-known disciples, Sri Thonnakkal Peethambaran  portrayed as Duryodhanan, Sri Thalavadi  Aravindan as  Dussasanan, Sri Vembayam   Appupilla  as Shakuni, Mr. Muralikrishnan as Panchali ,  and Sri Fact Padmanabhan as  Sri Krishnan.   The other artists of the day were Sri Dr. Narayanan Namboodir as Raudrabheeman, Mr. R.L.V.Pramod as Dharmaputhrar and Mumukshu,  Kalamandalam Rajesh Babu & Kalamandalam Sreejith on  Vocal , Mr. Gopikrishnan Thampuran on  Chenda,  Mr. Kalamandalam Sreekumar- Chenda,  Mr. Kalanilayam Manoj on  Maddalam, Mr. Kalamandalam Vinod- on Maddalam and the Ernakulam Kathakali Club helped with the Kathakali Yogam.  


Thonnakkal Peethambaran, Thalavadi Aravindan, Sri Vembayam Appupilla, and R.L.V.Pramod

Dec 15th the Second Day of the festival commenced with The Upcoming Talents Slot. Ms. Nandini N. J. was selected as the 2008 Upcoming Talent in the field of Classical Carnatic Music.  She is the Disciple of Dr S. Bhagyalekshmi, Dr M.N.Moorthy, Prof P.R. Kumarakerala Varma, Prof Parassala Ponnammal., & Kalaimamani  Bombay S Jayashri Ramnat.

This was accompanied by a Mohiniyattam performance by Smt. Smitha Rajan granddaughter and disciple of Kalamandalam Kallyanikutty Amma.


Ms. Nandini N. J.

Smitha Rajan

The Third Day of the Festival opened its venue for the First KKF Accredited Artists (KKF conducted its 1st Accreditation Test to select an upcoming talent in Mohiniyattam, who upholds the teachings of Guru Kallyanikutty Amma in its purest form). Ms. Sangeetha Gopi and S. Shalini were selected for their excellence and commitment they have shown to this dance form. They both have taken the Masters decree in Mohiniyattam from Tripunithura R.L.V. Fine Arts College and are trying to pursue this dance in its purest form. KKF was proud to present the two young dancers to the Cultural Venue of India.

Sangeetha Gopi and S. Shalini

Roja Kannan

This was followed by a performance by one of India’s leading Bharatanatyam performers, Roja Kannan. Roja is a very senior disciple of the renowned Guru Padmashri Adyar K. Lakshman and Padmabhushan Kalanidhi Narayanan. She is the General Secretary of ABHAI (Association of Bharathanatyam Artistes of India) for the past seven years. She runs her own Academy of Dance & Music “ Bharatha Natyalaya” at Chennai, India where she is training numerous students. She is also the dance tutor at the Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School, Mylapore.


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