CHENNAI: Sri Krishna Gana Sabha’s 59th Art and Nritya Festival, the 34th Natya Kala Conference and the 27th Pongal Nagaswara Isai Vizha, got off to a start here on Thursday. The festival, which will go on till January 18, will feature the leading exponents of classical vocal and instrumental music and dance.
The festival, conducted in memory of P Obul Reddy and P Gnanamba, honours artistes with ‘Nritya Choodamani’ awards and ‘Aacharya Choodamani’ awards instituted by P Vijaykumar Reddy and Preetha Reddy. The festival was inaugurated by Swami Dayananda Saraswati, who conferred the title of ‘SKGS Diamond Jubilee Nritya Choodamani Award’ on Ratikant Mohapatra and Sujata Mohapatra (odishi), Deepika Reddy (kuchipudi), Gayatri Kannan and Zakir Hussain (Bharatnatyam).
The ‘SKGS Diamond Jubilee Aacharya Choodamani Award’ was conferred on A Lakshmanaswamy (bharatnatyam). The Swami also inaugurated the ‘Yagnaraman Global Centre of Excellence.’
The Nritya Choodamani award carries a gold medal, a purse of `2 lakh and a citation. The Aacharya Choodamani Award carries a gold medal, a purse of `1 lakh and a citation.
Renowned actor and Bharatnatyam exponent Vyjayanthimala Bali was the chief guest. The function was followed by Dayananda Rasa — kritis of Sri Dayananda Saraswathi — Bharatanrityam by Gayatri Kannan and Mahathi Kannan.