Andaman & Nicobar Islands: 5-day Island Tourism Festival from Dec 27

Aerial view of Andaman Nicobar Island.Photo:P Venkidesh

Port Blair: The five-day ‘Island Tourism Festival’ will be held from December 27 in Andaman and Nicobar Islands after a gap of four years, an official said on Tuesday.

The festival will be held from December 27 to 31 at 15 venues in the archipelago. The Department of Information, Publicity and Tourism in association with the Department of Art and Culture will be organising the festival, the official said.

This year the star attraction will be the performance of renowned percussionist Thetakudi Harihara Vinayakram popularly known as Vikku Vinayakram and Indian classical dancer Madhavi Mudgal on December 29.

Vinayakram is also known as the ‘God of ghatam’ (an earthen pot musical instrument) was awarded the Padma Shri in 2002 and Padma Bhushan in 2014, while Mudgal received the Padma Shri in 1990.

Speaking to PTI, Nandini Maharaj, Special Secretary, Department of Information, Publicity and Tourism, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, said, “We are truly excited about hosting the Island Tourism Festival after four years. This year, we have tried to curate performances that appeal to a wide range of audiences.

“Along with classical stalwarts like Vikku Vinayakam and Madhavi Mudgal, we are inviting fresh-on-the-block artists. Overall, a great mix of dance and music awaits all those who will attend the Island Tourism Festival, 2023. We welcome all to come and participate in making the island tourism festival a grand success,” she said.

The opening ceremony of the ITF 2023 is scheduled for December 27 at 4.30 pm at ITF Ground in Port Blair. Lieutenant Governor Admiral D K Joshi (Retd) will be the Chief Guest and MP Kuldeep Rai Sharma will be present as Guest of Honour on the occasion.

On the opening day, the artists will pay tribute to the families of the 2004 tsunami victims and their spirit of resilience.

Shohini Dutta, a choreographer known for her work in Bollywood films like Tamasha, Highway, Rockstar has choreographed dance of students of Port Blair and conceptualised ‘Resilient Waves’ (a story of islands before and after the tsunami and the unwavering human spirit that ultimately triumphs).

One of the highlights of ITF 2023 is the performance by ‘We Are One’ (a dance troupe of differently abled artists). They will be presenting an interpretative dance show on the 2004 tsunami, among other performances. Kuan Panam, a band of musicians from Nicobar and SPIC MACAY will also be performing at the event.

On December 30, the closing ceremony will be graced by the famous Qawwali group, Warsi Brothers from Rampur. PTI

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