Kalamandalam an Icon of nation’s cultural renaissance: PM
By Dhinesh Kallungal - THRISSUR
13th September 2012 09:11 AM
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday laid the foundation stone for the proposed 40,000-sq ft South Indian Performing Arts Museum at Kerala Kalamandalam Deemed University for Art and Culture, in the presence of hundreds of art connoisseurs, at Cheruthuruthy in Thrissur.
During his inaugural speech, Manmohan Singh said that, once established, the museum would preserve and promote the rich and varied performing arts of the four South Indian states. “It will reinforce the country’s pluralism and harmonised co-existence of diverse cultures and sub-cultures,” he said.
“The proposed museum of South Indian performing arts is expected to lead to a greater and renewed interest in the art and culture of this region. The South Indian canvas is endowed with a wide variety of traditional performing art forms, including ritual, folk and classical. Unfortunately, some art forms have vanished, while some others need to be protected and supported,” he said. While emphasising Kerala’s religious tolerance and respect for diverse philosophies, the Prime Minister said it was not thus a coincidence that the earliest mosque, church and synagogue in India were all established in this blessed land.
Praising the performing arts of the state, Singh said that, while kutiyattam, the unique Sanskrit theatre, and mudiyettu, the ritual dance drama, found a place in the UNESCO representative list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity, kathakali and mohiniyattam had been acclaimed across the world.
Noting the Kalamandalam’s special place in the cultural map of the state and the country, he said: “I understand that this organisation is the first public institution to impart training and organise performances in the traditional performing art forms of Kerala, especially kathakali, mohiniyattom, kutiyattom and thullal. From its humble beginning, it has today established itself as a symbol of Indian cultural renaissance and has acclaimed global fame. Praising the institution’s tie-ups and collaborations with major universities and colleges abroad, he said all these would go a long way in spreading the richness of Indian culture far and wide.
Manmohan Singh concluded his speech by saluting the memory of great men like Vallathol, Tagore and others, who immortalised the nation’s glorious heritage of art, dance, drama, music and literature. He also watched a Kathakali performance, based on ‘Gitopadesam’, by two celebrated artistes of the state, Padmabhooshan Madavoor Vasudevan Nair and Padmashri Kalamandalam Gopi.
Governor H R Bharadwaj presided over the function, while Chief Minister Oommen Chandy delivered the keynote address at the function. Cultural Affairs Minister K C Joseph welcomed the gathering while Kalamandalam Vice-Chancellor P N Suresh proposed a vote of thanks.
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