Ancient South Indian art form Villupattu arrives at Expo 2020 Dubai

Bharathi Thirumagan and his team to bring Villupattu art form to Dubai
Image Credit: Provided

Dubai: Are you ready to experience an ancient performance of traditional South Indian folk song? Then you should watch Bharathi Thirumurugan’s Villupattu, accompanied by her husband and son, at the India Pavilion Amphitheater at Expo 2020 Dubai on January 14th.

The term Villupattu means telling stories through song, embellished with a lot of drama and accompanied by the music of a stringed instrument, which acts more like infotainment in a traditional form. The performance in Dubai will focus on the importance of the Tamil festivals Bhogi, Pongal, Mattupongal and Kanumpongal, which are also celebrated between January 13 and 16.

“Pongal is not a public holiday, but it is a holy day. What is in the holy day will be wrapped and presented as a sweet Pongal dish, ”said Bharathi, who was introduced to folklore by her legendary father Padmashri Subbu Arumugam at the age of seven a few decades ago.

“My father’s message was to share a story and help people become good human beings, and I follow his path. Music will make a person happy, but sowing good thoughts will help them grow, ”said the multi-talented artist who can play veena and harmonium musical instruments, and compose and sing songs.

“Villupattu is an art form, which is used to spread humanity and carry messages on important topics to various strata of people across the spectrum,” she added.

The theme of the performance varies according to the need of the hour. The uniqueness of Bharathi’s performance, which stands out from other Villupattu exhibitors, is that it “contains life” as she designs and writes her own screenplay and songs.

“It could be to raise awareness about blood donation, eye donation, diabetes, cancer, AIDS and more recently the coronavirus and the importance of vaccination against COVID-19,” Bharathi said. .

She will be accompanied by her husband, Dr Thirumagan Srinivasan, holder of an MA in Philosophy in Mathematics and Director of the Hindustan College of Arts and Science in Chennai, and her son Kalaimagan, holder of an MA in Philosophy of Music and currently in doctorate. at the University of Madras.

Speaking about his performances, Bharathi says that his themes are flexible and changed in such a way that they immediately form a bond with the audience.

“Theater is a key part of Villupattu, that’s why I have to play all the roles during a program, only then will it have the desired effect. And I mix it up with a bit of Tirunelveli comedy mixed in with some satire, which won’t hurt anyone, but straighten everyone’s mind, ”she said.

Villupattu’s art rose to prominence thanks to actor Kalaivanar NS Krishnan and has continued with musician Subbu Arumugam for many years since the 1940s. Thanks to Meenakumari Pathmanathan, Pathmanathan and the Dubai Tamil Ladies Association , Dubai fans will have the chance to see the third generation of the Arumugam family perform at Expo 2020 Dubai. Bow down.


Bharathi Thirumagan told the story of an interesting performance performed for a single member of the audience – who was none other than the former President of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam.


APJ Abdul Kalam.
Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan / Gulf News

Subbu Arumugam, a legend of Villupattu, was in New Delhi in 2009 for a performance and planned a 15 minute program at Kalam’s. After putting everything in place, Kalam came to the point to see the performance.

Arumugam, Bharathi, her husband Dr Thirumagan Srinivasan and their son Kalaimagan were all seated on the floor for the performance, and what happened next left the whole team in awe.

Without any hesitation, Kalam didn’t sit on the many sofas that were present, instead he sat on the floor with them to listen to the performance.

Don’t miss it!

Bharathi Thirumagan and his family will perform at the India Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai on January 14 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Buy your Expo 2020 Dubai tickets here

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