Soorya Festival returns after pandemic

The capital city is hosting the 44th edition of the Soorya Festival, a cultural fiesta for art enthusiasts and artists across the state and beyond.
File pic
File pic

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The capital city is hosting the 44th edition of the Soorya Festival, a cultural fiesta for art enthusiasts and artists across the state and beyond. The fete, which is touted to be the longest arts festival in the world, will begin on Tuesday at the Ganesham auditorium at Thycaud. On Monday, a curtain-raiser for the 111-day festival was held at Tagore Theatre in Vazhuthacaud which was conceptualised and directed by the art connoisseur Soorya Krishnamoorthy. 

The mega show featured around 40 artists including singers and dancers and was a visual treat for the onlookers. Singers like Zia Ul Ha, Manacaud Gopan, Gayathri, and many more took part in this  show. Roopa Raveendran, Nandana Joson, Roshan Nazar danced to the tune of Ronnie Raphel, the music director of ‘Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham’. The dance piece was choreographed by Sreejith Shivanandan and Lithi Sreejith. 

According to the organisers, the new edition of the fest that comes after the pandemic is a relief for the artists across the country. “The annual fete was paused last year due to the pandemic. This year, it was launched as a mode to inspire more artists to take up art and come up with their creative output. Agni 2 was coined to inspire young artists in our society,” says one of the organisers of the event.

 In the coming days, the fest will pay tribute to late musicians Raveendran, Johnson, S P Balasubramaniam, and R D Burman. The event will kick off on Tuesday with Sugatham, in memory of late poet Sugathakumari. The ten-day tribute segment will include sessions on poetry, music, memorial lectures, talk festival, dance tribute, an exhibition of Odissi handicrafts, a short film on Sugathakumari and a Ramayanam session. The five-day Ramayana session will be moderated by CPI leader Mullakkara Ratnakaran and start on December 21. Oru Thai Nadam, a Mohiniyattam performance by Vidya Pradeep will be part of the memorial event on December 26. 

K Jayakumar, M G Sasibhushan, Alamcodu Leelakrishnan and Justice Kemal Pesha will deliver memorial lectures. The dance festival as part of the Soorya Festival titled Parampara will see classical dance performances in Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathak etc. Parshwanath Upadhye, Sruthy Gopal, Pratheeksha Kashi, T Reddi Lakshmi, Harita Thampan, actress Swasika Vijay and many more will perform at the fest. 

A ten-day dance and music fete dedicated to Travancore sisters Lalitha, Padmini and Ragini is also on the cards. Artists Neena Prasad, Shobhana, Rama Vaidyanathan, Janaki Rangarajan, Divya Unni, Stephen Devassi Umayalpuram and many more will be part of this. Other segments highlighted in the fest are Jalsa Ghar a Hindusthani and Ghazal concerts, Mohiniyattam festival, spiritual talks, short film festival, etc. 

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