THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: This Onam, gear up for a spellbinding visual extravaganza showcasing not just the myriad art forms of Kerala but western art forms, folk, drama and martial art performances. With Onam shy of three days, the Tourism Department has organised an extensive celebratory fare. As many as 29 venues have been set up across the capital including a new one at Vellayani where celebrations will be held. Over 5,000 artists are part of the cultural brigade, performing during the seven-day celebrations.
The official Onam celebrations will begin on Tuesday and continue till September 16 with a grand percussion ensemble led by Kalamandalam Sivadas and team on the eve of Thiruvonam at Nishagandhi Auditorium. This will be followed by the inauguration of the state-wide celebrations by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Actors Keerthy Suresh and Tovino Thomas are the chief guests at the inaugural ceremony which will also feature a music session by KS Chitra.
The city will be steeped in a glorious show of light as illuminations committee chairman C K Hareendran, MLA, switches on the display in the capital on Monday. Food festival committee chairman K Sabarinathan, MLA, will inaugurate the food fest. Swings will be set up at public spaces. ‘Athappoo’ and ‘Thiruvathirakkali’ competitions will be held at St Joseph School and Bharat Bhavan, respectively.
Venues and performances
The Greenfield International Stadium will play host to some cultural performances such as bamboo music, ghazal, kalaripayattu and panchavadyam. Dance performances will be held at Vyloppilli Samskrithi Bhavan, Bharat Bhavan and Theerthapadamandapam. Ganamelas (vocal concerts) are arranged at Suryakanthi, premises of Public Office and Poojapura grounds. Carnatic music concerts and dance performances will be held at Bharat Bhavan and Vyloppilli Samskrithi Bhavan. Kathaprasangam will be held at Gandhi Park. On all days, the premises of the museum will be witness to drama, yoga and kalaripayattu performances. Kerala art forms will be on display at Sopanam.
Music and dance fest
Over 20 percussion ensembles will be performed including panchari melam. Popular musicians M G Sreekumar, Vidhu Pratap, Sudeep Kumar, Rimi Tomy, Jyotsna, Karthik, Srinivas, Madhu Balakrishnan, Unni Menon, Ramesh Narayanan, Marcos, Jassie Gift and Kavalam Srikumar will perform across the various venues. A slew of cultural performances will be held in memory of musician Johnson and filmmaker Lenin Rajendran. Music band Thaikkudam Bridge will also perform. Along with this, a dance ensemble by actors Asha Sharath and Navya Nair will be held. Transgenders will also stage a cultural programme.
A grand cultural procession as part of the week-long celebrations will bring the curtains down to the Onam festivities. The procession will be held from Vellayambalam to East Fort from 5 pm on September 16.