Musician Vikku Vinayakam, Bharatanatyam Artiste Guru Vazhuvoor Radha and Actress Vadivukkarasi were given Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Provoke Arts Festival held in Chennai

Musician Vikku Vinayakam, Bharatanatyam Artiste Guru Vazhuvoor Radha and Actress Vadivukkarasi were given Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Provoke Arts Festival held in Chennai.
The second day of the Provoke Art Festival commenced with a breathtaking interpretation of the epic Mahabharatha, seamlessly fused with the traditional art form of Bharatham, curated by the visionary choreographer Narendra and his dedicated team. Their presentation was a mesmerizing fusion of storytelling and dance, painting the canvas of the ancient tale with contemporary strokes.
Therukoothu, a vibrant and immersive folk art form, was brilliantly performed by the talented artist Palani, transporting the audience to the heart of the Mahabharatha’s narrative. This unique combination of Bharatham and Therukoothu breathed new life into the timeless story, evoking profound emotions.
Actress Aditi Balan, in her portrayal of Draupadi, illuminated the ongoing debate surrounding the safety and self-respect of women. Her performance was a powerful reminder that we, as a society, still grapple with issues that question the dignity and security of women. The absence of a divine protector like Krishna in our contemporary world highlights the collective responsibility we all bear to stand up for each other.
The second day of the festival left an indelible mark, urging us to reflect on the significance of these age-old tales in our modern lives and inspiring us to champion the cause of respect and safety for all.
*Trilogy of Melody: Ranjani and Gayathri’s Divine Tribute*
In the heart of the Provoke Art Festival, the enchanting strains of classical music filled the air, drawing the audience into a world of divine harmony. The spotlight fell upon the most sought-after duo of classical music, the illustrious Kalaimamani Ranjani and Gayathri, as they embarked on a musical odyssey like no other.
Their theme, *THRAYEE*, was a profound exploration of seeking the blessings of the three Goddesses of Navrathri. With unwavering dedication, they embarked on this spiritual journey, and the eve of Saraswathi Pooja marked a celestial highlight. The soul-stirring rendition of “Saraswathi Namostuthe,” a perennial favorite among music aficionados, resonated through the hearts of all in attendance. The duo’s melodious tribute to the Goddess of Knowledge was nothing short of a divine treat for the senses.
As their musical journey unfolded, Ranjani and Gayathri presented a mesmerizing *ragam thalam pallavi* that transcended boundaries. The trio of ragas invoked in *THRAYEE* unfurled like a tapestry of emotions, each note a brushstroke in the grand painting of their performance. The rapturous audience found themselves transported to a realm where music was the universal language, connecting hearts and spirits.
Ranjani and Gayathri’s performance was not merely a concert; it was a transcendent experience that left an indelible mark on the soul. Their reverence for the divine and their dedication to the art of music made this evening an unforgettable one. The Provoke Art Festival continues to be a platform where artists like Ranjani and Gayathri shine, lighting the path to artistic excellence.
*Honoring Legends: A Night of Art and Celebration*
The Provoke Art Festival, in its grandeur and glory, created an unforgettable evening as it bestowed lifetime achievement awards upon legendary contributors in the world of art. This prestigious recognition was a testament to their unwavering dedication and invaluable contributions to their respective fields. The audience watched in awe as each luminary was honored for their artistry.
*Vikku Vinayakram*, a Grammy Award-winning maestro of music, graced the stage with his presence. His percussion skills had enthralled audiences around the world, making him a true legend in the realm of rhythm and melody.
*Guru Smt. Rhadha*, the foremost exponent of the Vazhuvoor tradition of Bharatanatyam, was honored for her exceptional dance choreography and her extraordinary role as a teacher. Her profound understanding of the art form had enriched the lives of countless disciples.
*Actress Vadivukkarasi*, a powerhouse of talent in the world of cinema, stood as a shining example of brilliance in acting. Her performances had touched the hearts of audiences far and wide, making her a legend in her own right.
The chief guests who graced this grand occasion included *Dr. Radhakrishnan IAS* and his wife Krithika Radhakrishnan, *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.
While addressing the award-winning Actress Vadudiukkarasi, she said that she was shocked to think that she was given the award on the same stage with great artists like Viku Vinayakram and Guru  Vazhuvoor Radha. She also said that it was a great honor to receive the award with these great artists in this award ceremony.

Chennai Corporation Commissioner Radhakrishnan while addressing said that the program was very different and he was very impressed. He also said that the comments made through the art programs were very enjoyable

The stage was set for a night of pure artistic brilliance, and it indeed did not disappoint. The award ceremony fell right between two breathtaking performances – *Bharathakoothu* and *Ranjani-Gayathri*. The timing was impeccable, providing the audience with a captivating blend of artistry, both traditional and contemporary.
The Provoke Art Festival had a profound mission – to take art to the people. As the evening unfolded, it was evident that the audience deeply appreciated this noble endeavor. The festival had successfully bridged the gap between art and its enthusiasts. The applause, cheers, and the gleam of admiration in the eyes of the attendees were a testament to the success of this vision.
The closing sentiments echoed through the hall as people acknowledged the brilliant minds behind the festival. Everyone present wished them the best for bigger and more glorious events in the future, with the hope that they would continue to bring art to the masses.
Amidst this celebration, a unique moment unfolded as *Paulsons*, in conjunction with the Provoke Art Festival, felicitated the hardworking employees of their 500th outlet. It was a heartfelt gesture that showcased the importance of acknowledging the dedicated souls who make the wheels of a business turn.
*Ashwini Viswanathan*, a professional Bharatanatyam dancer with over two decades of experience, brought her profound expertise to the heart of the Provoke Art Festival. Her dedication to the world of classical dance, her love for the arts, and her passion for sharing its beauty with the world played a pivotal role in shaping the festival. With a deep understanding of the intricacies of Bharatanatyam, Ashwini Viswanathan’s vision seamlessly aligned with the festival’s goal of celebrating art in its purest form.
*Sam Paul*, the driving force behind taking art to the masses, shared a similar vision. His commitment to making art accessible to all strata of society became the catalyst that turned this vision into a reality. Sam Paul’s unwavering dedication to democratizing art created a perfect synergy with Ashwini’s artistic perspective, ultimately making the festival’s first edition a resounding success.
The partnership of Ashwini Viswanathan’s artistic insights and Sam Paul’s democratization of art is a harmonious blend that defined the Provoke Art Festival. The festival’s success and the appreciation it garnered from the attendees were testaments to their remarkable collaboration. It was a celebration of art that went beyond boundaries, and it was a vision that came to life in all its splendor.
The Provoke Art Festival had not only celebrated art but also the human spirit and the connections it fosters. It was a night where legends met legacy, and the spirit of art reigned supreme.
Former Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who was unable to attend the event, congratulated Sampal and Ashwini through video. He also wished that the current level of 500 Tony and Guy branches should increase to 700 soon.