CHENNAI : The objective behind this fest is not just entertainment, it is also a place for equalising spaces, art forms, and people,” says Nithyanand Jayaraman, event coordinator of the fifth edition of Urur Olcott Kuppam Vizha. Rebranded as Chennai Kalai Theru Vizha, the fest is all set to be flagged off on January 13. The festival will extend to the nooks and crannies of North Chennai. “This is an attempt to use art to break barriers. In Chennai, there’s an invisible wall between the north and the rest of Chennai. This fest will breach that wall and bring Chennai together,” he shares.
North Chennai in Mylapore, a two-day fest as part of the Vizha will be curated at Raga Sudha Hall on January 19 and January 20. “The sabha space will host some special performances including villupattu, gaana, oppari and Tamil sufi songs. The aim is to dispel the negative stereotypes of the area, and people living there are subjected to. The performances will highlight the aspirations of the locals and their talents,” explains Nithyanand.
With Raga Sudha Hall, a renowned sabha, opening their doors to unconventional performances, we couldn’t but wonder if there’s a larger shift in how sabhas perceive art forms. Nithyanand says, “There are stereotypes about sabhas as well. Such performances don’t happen in sabhas not necessarily because they don’t want to host it, it is also because no one is knocking their doors for such curations.”
An interesting curation of events include tholpavai koothu, paraiattam, a performance by Casteless Collective, Bharatanatyam by Swetha Prechande, Apoorva Jayaraman, light music by Chinmayi Sripaada, and a conversation by Pa Ranjith with achievers of north Chennai. “These achievers are all down-to-earth and their achievement is about how they have made meaningful contributions to the community. Living amid such negative stereotypes and doing good is a struggle. That’s what we want to recognise,” he explains.
The events and performances will be held in multiple areas including Korukkupet, Ennore, Mylapore and Besant Nagar.(Chennai Kalai Theru Vizha will be held from January 13 to February 10. For details, visit their Facebook page Chennai Kalai Theru Vizha)