The Festival of India in Malaysia 2015 is organised by the High Commission of India and Indian Cultural Centre Kuala Lumpur in conjunction with the 2015 Malaysian Year of Festivals, to showcase the best of Indian arts and culture to local audiences. The festival which has 50 events will take place in the Klang Valley, Ipoh, Penang, and other major towns.
The programme runs from mid-March to June, and includes folk dances, bhangra, classical performances, photo exhibitions, Islamic art, calligraphy exhibitions, food fairs and film showcases.
The inaugural show in Ipoh, on March 14, was a performance by renowned Kalakshetra Academy, a bharathanatyam ballet, Kannappar Kuravanji, led by academy director Dr Priyadarshini. The ballet tells the story of a hunter-prince who finds salvation through faith. Presented in classical and colloquial Tamil, the dance represents the aspiration of the soul to merge with the divine.
Transcript of the performance was displayed on big screens on either side of the stage. This made it easy for the audience to follow and appreciate the ballet.
His Excellency Mr T.S. Tirumurti, Indian High Commissioner who officiated the event said that the Indian Cultural Centre was started five years ago to showcase India’s rich heritage and promote multi-layered cultural exchange between the peoples of India and Malaysia. The theme of the programme is Culture of the Heart and will bring some of the best aspects of Indian arts and culture here.
The second programme was Bharathanatyam performance, on March 20, by Alarmel Valli who has evolved a distinctive dance style that is noted for being classical and traditional. The theme of her dance was Scent of Earth, tribute to nature. Since her renderings were in Tamil, the audience could understand and enjoy. She was accompanied by a live orchestra which is not common in this country.
The forthcoming programme is a photography exhibition curated specifically for Malaysia which will be held at Rayan Cultural Centre, Jalan Tun Razak (Connolly Road) from April 17 to 24. It features photographs and panels from Chola temples, which are part of UNESCO’s list of heritage sites. These famous houses of worship are described as “Great Living Chola Temples” of the Chola Empire which stretched over all of south India and the neighbouring islands. The site includes three great 11th- and 12th-century temples. The exhibition includes photos of Chennai City which offers a perspective on the people, customs, quirks and life of Chennai city.
For further details of the programmes call: Sutha 010 399 9073 or Mahen 015 597 6481.