Thiruvananthapuram: Utsavam 2018, conceived as an attempt to rejuvenate the traditional folk art forms of Kerala, will be organized by the Kerala Tourism Department from January 6 to 12, 2018, across all 14 districts of Kerala, said Kadakampally Surendran, Minister for Tourism, Cooperation and Devaswom, today.
The festival, organised in all districts by the respective District Tourism Promotion Councils (DTPCs), will get underway in 28 venues this time around, compared to the 14 venues where the festival was organised last year. Also, an amount of Rs 2,32,00000 has been earmarked to be spent for the festival this year, the Minister said, adding that Rs 1 crore (10 million) has been added this year to the amount set aside last year.
The state-level inauguration of Utsavam 2018 will be held at the Kannur Town Square by Minister for Tourism, Cooperation and Devaswom, Kadakampally Surendran at 6 PM on January 6. The inauguration function, to be presided over by Minister for Ports, Museums, Archaeology and Archives, Ramachandran Kadannappally, will also honour 10 traditional folk arts exponents.
The Folklore Academy will bring on to the stage a programme titled Navadhwani, which strings together 264 artists who are experts in as many as 20 different ritualistic folk art forms. A number of dignitaries from the cultural and political scene in Kerala will be present.
Around 150 art forms, 350-plus folk arts shows and more than 5000 artists will come together for Utsavam 2018, which will be a grand display of Kerala’s traditional and ritualistic art forms, the Minister said.
Ustavam will showcase various art forms, including Kolkali, Theyyam, Irulnritham, Ganabali, Paanaporatt, Kaakirinaatakam, Bhoothanum Thirayum, Thidambnritham, Poorakali, Poopadathullal, Dharika Mayooranritham, Chimmanakali, Kothamooriyattam, Tholpaavakooth, Ayyappan Theeyaat, Nokkupaavavidya, Naadanpaattu, Kanakanritham, Mayilaattam, Koratttunritham, Sanghakali, Udukpaat, Badrakaali Theeyatt, Seethakali, Ashtapathiyattam, Kandaakarnanthira, Pakkanaaraattam, Cheruneeliyaattam, Charadupinnikali, Thiri Uzhichil, Pulluvanpaattu, Vilpaattu, Oottam Thullal, Chavittunaadakam, Kalamezhuthum Paattum, Mudiyaattam and Kethaarattam.
Utsavam will be staged at three venues in Thiruvananthapuram, while Thrissur will have one, and the rest of the 12 districts will have 2 venues each.
While the venues in Thiruvananthapuram will be Shanghumukhom, Kazhakoottam and Varkala Helipad, in Kollam the festival will go on stage at the Childrens Park and Kollam Beach. The other venues are: Pathanamthitta (Adoor Chennambally temple ground, and Kadamanitta Padayani Gramam); Kottayam (Kumarakom Kavanattinkala and Chaganassery Perunna Bus stand); Alappuzha (Marari Beach and Alappuzha Beach); Ernakulam (Fort Kochi Vascodagama Square and Durbar Hall Ground); Idukki (Vagamon Town and Munnar Town DTPC Park); Thrissur (Guruvayoor, Municipality Ground); Palakkad (Rappadi Open Auditorium and Sreekrishnapuram, Bapuji Childern Park); Kozhikkode (Main Beach and Mananchira ground); Kannur (Town Square and Payyambalam Beach); Wayanad (Pookkod Lake and Collectorate Garden, Kalpetta); Malappuram (Kottakkunnu Park and Beam bridge Ponnani); and Kasargod (Bekal Beach and Neeleswaram).
Traditional folk artists of the likes of PP Kunjiramaperuvannan (Theyyam); P K Kariyan (Gadhika); K Nanu (Poorakkali, Kolkali, Nadanpattu); K Sivakumar (Kolkali); Sasi Janakala (exponent and manufacturer of Mazhamooli, a Bamboo based musical instrument); Sheeba Krishnakumar (Ashtapadiyattom); Britto Vincent (Chavittu Natakam); Prabalakumari (Kakkarissinatakam, Charadupinnikkali); Latha Namboodiri (Thiruvathirakkali, Oppana, Margam kali); and Thankaswamy (Paakkanaaraattam) will be the 10 artists who would be honoured at the inaugural function.
Utsavam 2018 being organised during the tourism season would also mean more visibility and mileage to Kerala Tourism and this is expected to add more charm to the department’s activities, the Minister said.
According to Kerala Tourism Director P Balakiran IAS, by increasing the number of venues to 28 from last year’s 14, the department wanted to expand the scope of staging folk arts shows not just in district centres but also in more places in Kerala. Utsavam 2018, which will have more than 5000 artists performing in various venues, is expected to provide more fillip to the Kerala Tourism scenario, he added.