THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Over the next six days, Kanakakunnu Palace grounds in the capital would reverberate with the sounds of anklets and musical instruments as curtains went up on the state’s prestigious cultural event - the Nishagandhi Dance Festival - on Saturday.
Governor P Sathasivam inaugurated the fete at a gala event organised at the Nishagandhi Auditorium. The Governor also presented the prestigious Nishagandhi Puraskaram 2018 to renowned Bharatanatyam dancers V P Dhananjayan and Shantha Dhananjayan at the function. The award includes a cash prize of Rs 1.5 lakh, a statuette and a citation.
Congratulating the legendary dancing couple, the Governor said the duo has been grooming and contributing several performers to the international art arena since 1968 when they established Bharata Kalaanjali in Chennai. “I am certain that this award would be special to both of them, since it comes from their own state,” the Governor added.
Accepting the prestigious Nishagandhi Puraskaram 2018 from the Kerala Governor, Dhananjayan remarked that it is a moment of pride for him and Shanta Dhananjayan that they have been chosen for this award by their home state.
Inaugurating the dance festival, the Governor said the event has evolved over the years to be known nationally as a mark of Kerala’s commitment to the promotion of arts. “This year, we are fortunate to have the presence of an array of India’s best performing artistes in this festival,” he said.
Pointing out that classical art forms have gained larger acceptance among the tourists, he reminded that the folk arts and artistes remain relatively ignored. Greeting all the noted artistes who have come to perform at Nishagandhi, he also appreciated the audience for their genuine interest in making the festival a success. He also showered appreciation on the Tourism Department and Minister Kadakampally Surendran for organising the festival in a manner befitting the global image of Kerala.
Kadakampally Surendran said the Nishagandhi Dance Festival has gained a status on a par with the internationally renowned dance festivals like the Khajuraho, Mahabalipuram and Konark Dance festivals. Though the event had started as a dance and music festival, the Nishagandhi festival was made into a dance-focused event so as to make it a much sought after dance event, he said.
A music festival, by the name of ‘Monsoon Raga’, was also initiated and the music festival has now become a well-known cultural event. An award, on the lines of the Nishagandhi Puraskaram, will be presented to renowned musicians as part of the Monsoon Raga musical event every year, the Minister said.
Guv: Violence has lowered state’s image
T’Puram: Referring to the recent incident of violence in Kannur where an RSS worker was hacked to death allegedly by SDPI activists, Governor P Sathasivam said such murders and clashes have lowered the image of the state.Sathasivam was delivering the inaugural address at the Nishagandhi Festival.