The South India Cultural Association (SICA), one of the oldest cultural associations of the twin cities, is organising its 51st Annual Festival Of Music & Dance
, from 9th to 17th March, at the Ravindra Bharathi auditorium. The 9-day festival will feature several renowned performers - T M Krishna, P Unnikrishnan, Ravi Kiran, Sankaran Namboodiri, Priya Sisters, M Chandrasekharan and danseuse Anita Guha.
P Unnikrishnan will be performing a Carnatic vocal recital on the second day. Unnikrishnan started learning Carnatic music at the age of 12 from V L Seshadri, and subsequently underwent the tutelage of Sangeetha Kalanidhi Dr. S Ramanathan, Savithri Sathyamurthy and Calcutta K S Krishnamurthy. He attended a special workshop for 6 months on Veena Dhanammal Bhani under Sangeetha Kalanidhi T Brinda and Sangeetha Kalanidhi Dr T Vishwanathan. He is currently training under Vidwan P S Narayanaswamy.
He has performed all over India and in places abroad such as USA, the Middle East, UK, the Far-East, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Unnikrishnan has received several awards, including Isai Peroli by Karthik Fine Arts, Yuva Kala Bharathi by the Bharath Kalachar, Nada Bhushanam by the Shanmukhananda Fine Arts New Delhi and the Kalaimamani by the Government of Tamil Nadu.
He also renders playback for films in south Indian languages. His songs in Kadalan and Pavithra fetched him the National Award for the Best Male Playback Singer in 1994. He is an A-grade artist of the All India Radio.
Unnikrishnan is a cricket enthusiast, too, having played for the Tamil Nadu senior division league as a top order batsman and wicket-keeper, but sacrificed the game to devote himself full-time to music. At present, he is a member of the Madras Cricket Club and a Life Member of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association.
SICA was founded in the year 1959, by Dewan Bahadur Aramuda Iyengar, patron of Carnatic music and Finance Minister of Hyderabad's Nizam. The association has since organised more than 1,000 concerts. It has provided a basic platform for upcoming artistes amongst whom are U P Raju and Nagamani, Mandolin Srinivas and the Malladi Brothers. It conducts workshops, felicitates artistes, and provides both moral and financial support to upcoming artistes. Dr. S Chakravarthy (IAS, former Chief Secretary to Govt. of AP) is the present president of the association, and R Chakrapani is the General Secretary.
Entry is by donor passes. Season passes cost Rs. 400 / Rs. 300 per head and are valid for for all the 9 days of the festival. Daily passes cost Rs. 100 / Rs. 50 / Rs. 30 per head. Please contact R Chakrapani at 98491-24675 for further details.