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Usha Suresh Balaje decided to pursue Mohiniyattam only after learning Bharatanatyam, folk dance and even light music. One of the few performers to have won awards at the Kerala State Youth Festival for six consecutive years, Usha is also the recipient of several other awards including the Naatya Druma Puraskar for Mohiniattam by National Naatya Kousthubh Nrithyothsav, and National Excellence Award for Mohiniyattam by Parichay Foundation. "Mohiniyattam is Kerala's traditional art form and as a Malayalee, I feeel it's my duty to promote it. Bharatanatyam and other forms of dance are popular already, I want the same acknowledgement for Mohiniattam too," says Usha, who had recently performed a Vaaranamaayiram from Andaal Thirumozhi, which is the first of its kind for a Mohiniyattam piece. Usha took her first steps in dance when she was six under the guidance of Shyamala, and won the National scholarship for Mohiniyattam while studying in class six. She trained under Kalamandalam Saraswathy and later Kalamandalam Kshemavathy. She was in college when she had completed many successful group and solo performances, and won awards and recognitions. Soon after graduation, Usha got married and she took a long sabbatical from dancing and performing. "I never thought I would come back to dance after so long. Though in between, I was continuing to perform Bharatanatyam at home along with H....
The curtain came down on another unforgettable Nishagandhi festival with a splendid display of dance & music on the final day. Icing on the cake was that the event also witnessed the first Nishagandhi award. The official closing ceremony was dropped off owing to the house boat tragedy @ Punnamada.Kerala Chief Minister Sri. Oommen Chandy presented the maiden 'Nishagandhi award' instituted by Kerala Tourism for excellence in classical dance. The recipient of the award Mrinalini sarabhai could not make it to the function because of health issues. Mrinalini's daughter Mallika Sarabhai received the award on her mother's behalf. Kuchipudi by Manju warrier was a crowd puller. Mallika presented the memento to Manju Warrier after the performance. Manju said to the media that she has not yet decided anything about her way back to movies/acting but will definitively continue with the dance performance. Padmashree Penaz Masani performed Ghazal on the final day of the fest. It went down well with the audience too.
Nishagandhi Festival 2013 started off in great style on a promising note here at the Nishagandhi open-air auditorium, Kanakakunnu Palace. Popular actor Suresh Gopi was the Chief Guest. Shri.K. Muraleedharan MLA presided over the function. Shri A.P.Anilkumar (Minister for Welfare of Scheduled Castes & Backward Classes and Tourism) inaugurated the Fest by lighting the lamp. In his inaugural address honorable Minister stressed the importance of the expansion plans of the festival of making it more appealing with an Indian touch. The announcement of introducing Nishagandhi awards for the artists in classical dance & music field was well received by the audience. Dr. Omanakutty, Mayor, Adv. K. Chandrika, Kalamandalam Kshemavathy, Tourism secretary Suman Billa and Tourism Director Smt. Rani George were present at the dais and spoke about the importance of this fest during their addressing. Chief Guest Suresh Gopi was silent because of some voice therapy and conveyed his message through a written note which the anchor Thara Kalyan read out to the audience. The ambience was terrific at Kanakakunnu palace premises as it was the inaugural day of 7 days music & dance night. Nishagandhi Kathakali festival also started today. It seemed Thiruvananthapuram is more likely to be called as the cultural capital of Kerala. Naman a unique blend of five classical dance forms The cultural g....
Nishagandhi Festival is one of the most prestigious cultural fests held in the capital city of Kerala, Thiruvanathapuram . It provides a wide platform for the Indian artists to showcase their art forms in its true colour with the proper blend of tradition & culture. It’s conducted as an annual fest held consistently during the month of January. It is held at Kanakkakunnu Palace premises where the events are staged at the Nishagandhi Open Air Theatre. Many popular artists consider this platform as one of its kind owing to the exposure provided to the public during such a vibrant event conducted in its full glory. True art lovers will get an opportunity to experience the dance performances of artists who have excelled in Bharathanatyam, Mohiniyattam, Kathak, Manipuri, Odissi , modern ballet and other folk forms. It’s organized by the able guidance of KTDC (Kerala Tourism Development Corporation). During the fest, another events runs in parallel to showcase the traditional handicrafts of Kerala, highlight the traditional food items and also some musical experiments. Overall the event provides an insight to the traditional scenery of India. It could be viewed as a elate conglomeration of the popular classical art forms. Nishagandhi Festival 2013 will start from Jan 20 @ Nishagandhi Auditorium and below are the few attractions of this year’s event. ‘Naman’ Special....
The Classical concert by Dr.K.J.Yesudas on Oct 1st, 2012 at Anathapuri Auditorium (Jagathy) was a dream come true for many when the Celestial Singer came down heavily with his musical Midas touch to please all the serious musical lovers at the capital city. It was indeed a special occasion for the singer too who was performing for the 36th successive year in Soorya festival. Adding to the glory was yet another feat of his completion of 50 years in playback singing. The event marked the opening ceremony of the dance & music festival. The event started off with an address by the organizers reading out a special note handwritten by Lata Mangeskar congragulating Dr K.J.Yesudas for his glorious 50 years of musical expedition. The singer got a standing ovation when he entered the scene though it’s nothing more than a cliche for a singer with this stature. With an introduction and a humble note to the audience Dassettan reminded that he is still a student in the ocean of music. He praised Soorya Krishnamoorthy for conducting the events for more than three decades in an elegant manner. Yesudas was accompanied by Mahadeva Sharma (Violin), Changanassery Harikumar (Mridangam) and Thripoonithra Radhakrishnan (Gadam). Started off with the Om sthuthi and Sree Ganeshanatha keerthana. Then it was purely a divine experience for all. With the perfect backing from the accompanied musi....
Padma Subramaniam is a legendary Bharatanatyam dancer who is known for her performances in Indian & abroad. She also excels in other art forms.The popular dance recital known as 'Pushpanjali' was first created & enacted by her. Her Bengali music composition 'Varanam' is also well accepted. Sukha Lasya technique, which uses an entire piece of ballet is presented through music polishing it into a rhythmic & melodic form. With decades of experience in dancing circuit she does many researches in musical & dance field. She developed unique style and have introduced many dance pieces like Ramaya Tubhya, Namah, Krishnaya Tubhyam Namah, Jaya Jaya Shankara and Kuravanjis which are widely accepted. Some important awards which she garnered during her tenure are Padma Bhushan, PadmaShri, Kalaimamani and many more. She was felicitated by many foreign organisations too. She will be performing at Soorya festival on Oct 10th. Program | Bharatanatyam by Padma Subramaniam Venue | Vyloppilli Samskriti Bhavan Date | OCT 10 Time | 6.45 P M (Photo Courtesy | padmadance.com)
Dr Varsha Agarwal the sole female artiste from India who has received international recognition for her brilliant performance on Santoor will be in town accompanied by Lalit Mohant on Tabla to perform the jugalbandi at Soorya Festival on 9th Oct. Hailing from Jhalawar which is known for music Dr.Agarwal went on to carve out a niche for herself by becoming the only woman santoor artist. She is expert in Sopori Baj in which she is renowned for her improvisations. Program | Jugalbandi by Varsha Agarwal & Lalith Mohant Venue | Vyloppilli Samskriti Bhavan Date | OCT 9 Time | 6.45 P M
The Chennai-based Krishnakumar and Binni Krishnakumar with roots in Kerala are one of the very few male-female vocalist duos of Carnatic classical music. They were initially established as solo perfromes and gained more popularity after becoming a pair. Ever since their marriage in 1999, they planned to take the stage as a duo. Its been a decade since they established as a vocalist duo in Carnatic classical music. Right from the college days they both reaped gold in the classicak music competions. Its a great feat for them as rarely classical musical stages witness male-female duos performing as the higher octave and frequency factor varies for male & female usually. But they have been successfull in giving a proper blend with their musical experience for about 10 years as a duo. Binni is also famous in the cine-music industry for her award winning song 'Ra Ra..' in tamil movie Chandramukhi. The duo will be in Trivandrum to give a unique musical treat on Oct- 8th.The duo started performing in Soorya since 2008. Krishnakumar made his presence in Soorya since 1998 as a soloist. Program | Carnatic vocal by Krishnakumar and Binni Krishnakumar Venue | Vyloppilli Samskriti Bhavan Date | OCT 8 Time | 6.45 P M Photo Courtesy | The Hindu
Priyadarsini Govind is a renowned Bharatanatyam dancer who started giving rectials from her teen age has performed in numerous sabhas across the globe. She is known for stating "Every dancer should be a good soloist". Selection to the prestigious Festival of India in Paris, in 1985 at the age of 20 was a major breakthrough for her. Since then there was no looking back for her. The Swarna Samaroh, celebrating 50 years of Indian Independence organized by the Sangeet Natak Academy, the Khajuraho Dance Festival, Cultural Tour to Afghanistan, organised by the ICCR, Tour to South Africa, organsied by the Sangeet Natak Akademi, performances at the Narada Gana Sabha and many more add to her numerous performances. She has got to her credit the Kalaimamani award, Yuva Kala Bharathi award from the Bharat Kalachar, Chennai and Vasantha Lakshmi Narsimhachari award. She is known to try out in other art forms too like Kalaripayattu and Nattuvangam. On 7th Oct 2012,Trivandrum city will witness Priyadarsini performing at Soorya festival to give the audience a real feel on how abhinaya can transform the dance to an elate level. Program | Bharata natyam by Priyadarsini Govind Venue | Vyloppilli Samskriti Bhavan Date | OCT 7 Time | 6.45 P M (Photo Courtesy | Jayaraj Tp)
Alarmel Valli is one of the most consistent Bharatanatyam dancers on the Indian art scene. She is known for the Pandanallur style of Bharatanatyam. By the age of 10 she started performing and started receiving awards at international events from the age of 16. She often follows the three tined strategy in her recitals i.e to trigger the audience's visual imagination with poetic explanations, then to build the curiosity with good musical backing and finally dance to give the live visual treat. A film was made on Alarmel Valli for the Omnibus series, on BBC One. She founded 'Dipashikha', based in Chennai which remains as a center for fine arts. It was established in 1984. She got accolades from all spheres for her journey in the field of arts and many eminent personalities have made her the subject of many dance documentaries. She will be at the capital city Trivandrum for the Soorya Festival on Oct 6th 2012, to surprise the audience with capricious expressions in her own style. Program | Bharatanatyam by Alarmel Valli Venue | Vyloppilli Samskriti Bhavan Date | OCT 6 Time | 6.45 P M

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