Vasai Fine Arts presented 11 day long music and dance festival at the Ayyappa Temple premises in Vasai, it drew large crowds and some of the top performers of the country participated in the festival which was dedicated to Maharaja Swati Tirunal.
The performers who participated in the festival were M. Sankarankutty, Kalamandalam Gopalakrishnan, Prince Rama Varma, Mahalakshmi sisters, Neena Prasad, Rachana Narayanankutty, Lakshmi Gopalswamy, E.Anil, K.Janardhanan, Prasanna Warrier, Kalakshetram artists, Divya Unni, Kalamandalam Gireeshan, M Jayachandran, Kavalam Sreekumar and Abhirami Ajai, and the finale by the dynamic violinist Balabhaskar and his team.
Among the most unusual performances were that of Kalamandalam Gopalakrishnan and his troupe performing Kathakal and enacting the story of 'Kalyana Sougandhikam', which dramatises the episode as to how Druapadi is fascinated by the fragrance of the flower and asks Bhima to get some from the forest, Bhima encounters Hanuman but does not recognise him and as to how he ultimately gets the flower and recognises Hanuman, forms the crux of the story. Kalamandalam C. Gopalakrishanan plays the role of Hanuman with rare dexterity and characteristics along with Ranjesh Nair who dons the attire of Bhima with Draupadi being enacted by Priya. It was one of the highlights of the festival.
Among the solo performers Rachana Narayanakutty from Thrissur created a lasting impression with her brilliant performance. Rachana is presently doing her masters in Kuchipudi under the guidance of Dr. Vasant Kiran from Alliance University in Bangalore. Lakshmi Gopalswamy and Neena Prasad were the senior performers whose performances were well appreciated. Among the musicians, Padmashri Sankaran Kutty and youth icon Balabhaskar received thunderous applause from the audience. Kudos to the team of Vasai Fine Arts for organising a festival of such a magnitude.