The first of its kind, Provoke presented an unparalleled experience of artistic excellence and profound emotions. Featuring a stellar lineup of accomplished artists, including renowned figures like Padma Shri Leela Samson, T.M. Krishna, Ranjani and Gayatri, L. Narendra Kumar, Palani Murugan, and Aditi Balan, the festival graced the prestigious Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao Concert Hall, (Inside Lady Andal School premises) on October 21st and 22nd 2023.
The Provoke Art Festival is more than just an event; it celebrates art in its purest and most provocative forms. This festival serves as a platform to showcase the diverse and dynamic talents of artists who have not only pushed the boundaries of conventional art but also transcended norms, redefining creativity. Throughout two unforgettable evenings, art lovers immersed in a symphony of music, dance, and thought-provoking performances that challenged perceptions and inspired new perspectives.
Two Nights of Mesmerising Performances
The festival commenced with an immersive exploration of diverse themes, captivating the audience’s imagination. On the first day, the spotlight was on the powerful presentation titled Agathee – The Inner Fire by the renowned Leela Samson and Spanda Dance Company featuring three pieces of performances i.e, Spandamaatrika by OS Arun, Ardhanaree in Kumudakriya and Thillana Medley in Ragams Revathi, Madhuvanthi and Kalyanavasantham.
The soul-stirring melodies of T.M. Krishna’s Samathuvam started with the soulful renditions. Then Amudhey Varuga took the rasikas through a wonderful journey of equality-based songs. His Vaishnav Jan to and Yaadhum oorey were a fitting finale to the amazing evening everyone witnessed.
The second day witnessed the unfolding of ancient tales through the seamless fusion of the epic Mahabharatha with traditional Bharatham, curated by the visionary choreographer Narendra and his dedicated team. Additionally, the vibrant and immersive folk art form, Therukoothu, brilliantly performed by the talented artist Palani, transported the audience to the heart of Mahabharatha’s narrative.
In a breathtaking performance titled Thrayee, the illustrious Ranjani and Gayatri took the audience on a divine musical odyssey. Their rendition of “Saraswathi Namostuthe” resonated through the hearts of all in attendance, leaving an indelible mark on the soul. Their performance was not merely a concert; it was a transcendent experience that showcased the universal language of music.
Honouring Artistic Legends
On the first day, the festival recognised distinguished art connoisseurs with the Lifetime Achievement Awards for Padma Bhushan – Alarmel Valli, Kalaimamani S Ve Shekher, Ganabhooshanam V A Aravindakshan, and D Radhakrishna Sthapathy. On the second day, the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards were bestowed upon legendary figures: Grammy Award-winning maestro of music, Vikku Vinayakram; Guru Smt. Rhadha, the foremost exponent of the Vazhuvoor tradition of Bharatanatyam; and the powerhouse of talent in cinema, Kalaimamani Vadivukkarasi.
On both days, Awards of Distinction was given to the employees who contributed to the growth of Paulsons Beauty and Fashion Private Limited for the milestone achievement of opening 500 outlets and the sponsors were felicitated.
For the first day the chief guests of the event included honorary dignitaries like Anbumani Ramadoss and Mrs Sowmya Anbumani, Avadi Commissioner Mr Shankar, Actress Kushboo, Mr Kasi Viswanathan and CEO of Chennai Super Kings. Cricketer MS Dhoni gave a video byte wishing the team for the Provoke Art Festival, which was screened at the event. Actress Aditi Balan, Piyush, Legendary dancers Gopika, Nithya and many more artists attended the event.
For the second day, the chief guests who graced this grand occasion included Dr. Radhakrishnan IAS and his wife, Shri V.V. Sundaram, and CSK CEO Mr. Kasi Viswanathan. Their presence added a touch of grace and grandeur to the evening. Also in attendance were Sam Paul and Ashwini Sam Paul Viswanathan, whose support was instrumental in bringing this event to life.
Provoke Art Festival 2023, the echoes of divine melodies, mesmerising performances, and heartfelt appreciations lingered in the air. The festival successfully bridged the gap between art and its enthusiasts, embodying the vision of taking art to the people. The Festival was made possible through the generous support of sponsors, whose unwavering commitment to the arts made this grand celebration possible. The applause, cheers, and the gleam of admiration in the eyes of the attendees were a testament to the festival’s triumph. The Provoke Art Festival had not just celebrated art; it created an enduring legacy of cultural richness, artistic excellence, and boundless creativity. In its grandeur and glory, the festival has become a beacon, illuminating the path for future celebrations of art and culture in Chennai and beyond.