keralamuseum

Deśaj - SNA Folk and Tribal Arts Festival at the Museum Amphitheatre by Aditi Nayar

At the top of the Museum hill lies nestled a most beautiful Open Air Amphitheatre, that for 3 evenings, became the venue for a brilliant display of the folk and tribal forms of our country.

Designed by architects Raj and Arundhaty Nayar, the stage has received appreciation from none other than Smt Leela Samson for its size, proportions and viewing angle. It has seen numerous classical and contemporary artists perform at the Museum’s own annual flagship event Museum Fest.

The Chenda team of Kalamandalam Ratheesh Bhas and Group from Shoranur opened the Deśaj Festival at the feet of the statue of Parasurama in front of the History Museum

The Chenda team of Kalamandalam Ratheesh Bhas and Group from Shoranur opened the Deśaj Festival at the feet of the statue of Parasurama in front of the History Museum

The month of December was a special one at the Kerala Museum.

The Deśaj Festival in its 18th edition at Kochi, organised by the Sangeet Natak Akademi and its constituent unit Kutiyattam Kendra Thiruvananthapuram, hosted 7 folk performances on each day, the 20th, 21st and 22nd of December 2018.

A rare opportunity to experience the energy of the folk performers, with their resounding drums, live music and feats of bravery, the amphitheatre was packed to the brim every evening with Kochiites showing up in good numbers to enjoy the show.

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Curated and executed with perfection, the elegant and minimal stage and set were designed by award winning lighting designer Sreekanth Nair whose work is par excellence.

The show was presented by RJ Karthik.

For more on each dance form and to watch clips of the performances showcased at Deśaj Kochi 2018 check out our Instagram feed @keralamuseum

Music of Santiniketan by Aditi Nayar

An enlightening evening of music with Dr. Santana Dutta, tracing the evolution of Rabindra Sangeet from its roots in Bengali folk music and Brahmho Sangeet to the present day. What was Santiniketan before it became Santiniketan, before ViswaBharati and Tagore? 

The music of Tagore took the music that preceded it and gave it structure, gave it a framework and prescribed ways in which it must be taught and performed. The sheer volume of work makes it monumental. The fact that there is a composition on every topic, makes the music universally appealing. And it is what Tagore desired… that his songs and poetry must be sung and recited in every Bengali household.

When we first planned this event as an exploration of the Bengal School and Santiniketan paintings in our Gallery of Contemporary Indian Art, we had no inkling that there would be so many enthusiastic participants, ready to brave the storm and the traffic to join us on a Saturday evening because of how much they love the music of Bengal. 

A big thank you to everyone who came to the Kerala Museum tonight to partake in pure unadulterated music in an intimate setting!

If you’re interested, you can see more of Dr. Santanu’s artworks on his Instagram page, @santanumira is his Instagram handle.

Vijayadashami Celebrations for the Museum Academy students by Aditi Nayar

Lighting the lamp with Shri K Rajesh, our Carnatic music teacher

Lighting the lamp with Shri K Rajesh, our Carnatic music teacher

Ever since the Music, Art and Dance Academies were started in 2013, we have had an enthusiastic bunch of parents bring their children to the museum on weekends for their classes. Now in it’s 5th year, the Museum Music and Art Academy has grown to .

The Sandhya Nritya Natak Dance School has

It is every parent’s dream to see their child perform on stage, master a skill and hone it to perfection.

In South India, the Hindu goddess Saraswati, the Goddess of knowledge, learning, music and arts, is worshipped, along with one’s instruments. During the festival, people maintain, clean and worship their instruments, tools of work and implements that support their livelihood. It is considered an auspicious time for children to embark on learning.

This year we celebrated Vijayadashami at the Museum with the lighting of the lamp by the students, beautiful solo and group performances by our existing students followed by prasadam. We also had time for a quick first class by each teacher.