Bringing alive Kerala’s rich and diverse folk and art traditions before a wider audience, the Kerala Tourism Department will kick off the 7-day annual cultural festival ‘Utsavam 2021’ on Saturday (February 20). The cultural festival will be held simultaneously in over 30 venues across the state.
The festival will see hundreds of artists, representing a wide variety of folk, tribal and ethnic traditions that flourished in different parts of Kerala. They will perform during the 13th edition of the event, being organized by Kerala Tourism together with Kerala Folklore Academy, Bharat Bhavan and District Tourism Promotion Councils.
Kerala Minister for Co-operation, Tourism and Devaswoms Kadakampally Surendran will inaugurate the festival at Nishagandhi Auditorium at Kanakakunnu Palace grounds here on February 20, at 6 pm.
The event will be attended by Kumari Arya Rajendran, Mayor of Thiruvananthapuram Municipal Corporation, Dr Shashi Tharoor MP, M Vijayakumar, Chairman KTDC, Dr Reena KS., Councilor, Rani George, Principal Secretary, Tourism, P Bala Kiran IAS, Director Tourism and Krishna Teja IAS Managing Director KTDC.
At the inaugural, the state department will launch the Utsavam Signature song sung by singer Kavalam Sreekumar. The song is written by BS Sreerangam, has been set to music by Mathew Itty. The Inaugural function will be followed by an audio-visual presentation of folk dance and ‘naadan paattu’ led by Dr. CJ Kuttappan, and performed by “Thayillam”.
Famous artists like T K Baby (Onamkali Pattu), Pramod TA (Pattu & Kaalakali), Padmanabhan TR (Ambatheeradikalari), Sudarshanakumar T (Padayani), Bindu Pazhur (Mudiyettu), Malathi Balan (Uralikoothu), Rajamma A (Pooppada Thullal), K Kunhi Koran (Poorakkali), Dineshan Thekkankooran Peruvannan (Theyyam) and Umbichi K (Mangalam kali) will be honoured for their role in keeping the folk art alive in the state.
The festival is aimed to provide a platform to performers of folk arts, many of which are on the verge of being forgotten. The latest edition of the event assumes added significance as it comes as a big support to artists hit by the sweeping recession triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had its adverse impact on the cultural domain as well.