- Published on Monday, 20 August 2012 13:35
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The three day Cultural Festival titled “Divine Ecstasy” (known as Theiveega Suga Anubhavam in Tamil Language) which was held in Jaffna from 16-18 August 2012, coinciding with the Annual Nallur Temple Festival concluded Saturday (18) late in the night with the stellar and outstanding performance by the famous Carnatic Classical singer Shri. P. Unnikrishnan from India.
The famous Sankilyan Thoppu, the open venue for the performance, was packed to capacity with more than 5000 music lovers. Shri P Unnikrishnan enthralled the Jaffna residents with his divinely gifted voice for over two hours and mesmerised the crowd.
Douglas Devananda, Minister of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development graced the occasion with his presence as the Chief Guest. In his remarks at the event, he recalled the roots that connect the people here with India and expressed his desire that more such cultural interactions are required to heal the wounds that has been festering over the last three decades. He profoundly thanked singer Unnikrishnan and his group for making the initiative to travel to Jaffna and enthral the people of Northern Province.
Saturday's event was the culmination of three days of cultural fever that had gripped the music loving residents of Northern Province as they never had the opportunity to see such high quality performance by internationally renowned artists from India during the last three decades or more due to the war that prevailed.
Invariably all the Provincial authorities of Jaffna and beyond who had participated in the three day Festival have all strongly supported the endeavour of the Government of India and Government of Sri Lanka in organising this Festival and they have shown a strong support to transform this event into an annual affair and covering a larger canvas.
The festival jointly organised by the Department of Cultural Affairs of Northern Province, Consulate General of India, Jaffna and the India-Sri Lanka Foundation was set in a unique format comprising of three Workshops for the students of the Ramanathan Academy of Fine Arts and school students of the Northern Province and two open air performances.
The festival began on Thursday (16) with an afternoon Workshop of three hours on Bharatanatyam by the renowned South Indian dancer Smt. Alarmel Valli at the Veerasingam Hall, Jaffna where she explained the intricacies of Bhartanatyam to an audience of more than 500 eager music and dance students and cultural artistes of the Northern Province.
The second day of the festival on Friday (17), the afternoon session saw the second Workshop on Carnatic music by Shri P Unnikrishnan at the Kailasapathi Hall, University of Jaffna. The 700 capacity hall was full with an audience spilling over even outside the hall who then had to be accommodated on the performance stage and walkways of the Hall. Shri Unnikrishnan in his inimitable style explained the nuances of Carnatic music and also invited questions from the audience to set the stage for an interactive session.
On Friday evening a scintillating Bharatnatyam performance from Smt. Alarmel Valli at the famous Sankilyan Thopu for over two hours kept the audience of more than 1500 spell bound.
Ashok K Kantha, High Commissioner, the Chief Guest of the evening was received by Illangovan, Secretary to Governor of Northern Province and Mrs. Yogeshwary Patkunarajah, Mayor of Jaffna.
Saturday (18) morning another noted Carnatic music exponent from India Shri T M Krishna, held a cameo performance for the music loving students and citizens of Jaffna at the Veerasingam Hall. The event which was scheduled to be held from 11.00 AM to 12.00 noon was extended on popular demand of the audience for another one hour. The artist received standing ovation during the performance. This was preceded by an excellent Workshop and interaction with the accompanying artists of Carnatic Music led by S/ Shri Nagai Sriram, B Ganapathyraman, Papanasam Sethuraman, Rithvik Raja and Shri Chandrasekhara Sharma, when the intricacies and role of the accompanying musicians was explained in great detail enlightening the very attentive audience.
The entire event could not have been possible without the untiring efforts of Chennai-based Sumanasa Foundation, led by Shri T.M. Krishna. This paved the way for conceiving the concept of Divine Ecstasy.
The Cultural Festival was a grand success with the active involvement of students and music loving people of Northern Province which has not only set a high standard for future events but also pushed the cultural relations between India and Sri Lanka, particularly with the Northern Province, to a higher level.