KERALA TOURISM NEWSLETTER
Nishagandhi and Utsavam
It is literally a festival of dance and music. The annual Nishagandhi dance and musical festival is Kerala's premium one in that segment and a coveted one by leading artists of India. The next edition of this cultural treat would commence in January 20 to 26. Seven fascinating evenings, marked by different genres of dance and music is destined to have the audience captivated.
The Nishagandhi dance and music festival is a grand occasion for art lovers in Kerala to get familiar with some of the best and upcoming talents in India and also to enjoy the magical performances of masters. Odissi, Kathak, Bharatanatyam, Manipuri, Mohiniyattam, Chhau, and Kuchipudi are some of the dance forms staged regularly as part of the festival, which also features sessions of Hindustani and Carnatic music renditions.
The dance and music festival is also an occasion for travellers to Kerala to witness a cross-section of some of India's best and renowned streams of dance and music and the personalities who are performing them.
The seven-day cultural fiesta is held in the open-air venue Nishagandhi, in the majestic premises of the lush green Kanakakkunnu Palace in the heart of Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala. The occasion would also enable visitors to explore the historic city of Thiruvananthapuram, noted for its regal landmarks and tourist destinations like the world renowned Kovalam beach.
The festival will have added attractions in the form of a food and crafts festival, which further makes the whole event a crowd puller. Admission to the Nishagandhi dance and music festival is free-of-cost.
'Utsavam', meaning 'Festival', is a unique initiative by Kerala Tourism to promote the traditional performing art forms of Kerala. The event has been conceived to feature a wide range of tribal, classical and folk arts, which would be performed by seasoned artistes in their authentic styles. It is an event on a grand scale, which is also aimed to sustain and popularize the traditional art forms of Kerala, some of which are on the verge of decline.
The first edition of 'Utsavam,' that took place from December 2007 to March 2008 attracted domestic as well as international travellers and turned out to be a phenomenal debut. The very concept of the event fetched it the Pacific Asia Travellers' Association (PATA) Gold Awards 2008 in the heritage and culture category.
For the sake of visitors to Kerala during the period of the event, the programmes of Utsavam are staged in different venues, spread across the fourteen districts of Kerala. This year, Utsavam would be held from December 05 2009 to February 28 2010. It would be yet another occasion for the local people, travellers and art lovers to be part of an exciting cultural treat of this magnitude.