It was indeed fascinating to witness all seats occupied at Horniman Circle grounds on the 14th of January 2012 on the eve of the Keli Rhythm Festival which religiously takes place on an annual basis over a period of three days.
Sponsored by Union Bank, the event started off well on time with the twelve percussionists starting off with a slow, pacing rhythm which then progressed and developed into myriad variations with the cymbals adding to the glorious sound of the drums.
Some of the rare styles presented were the ‘Chempada Kooru’, an eight-beat Thayambaka style that developed in Madayikkavu village in North Kerala and ‘Lakshmi Thalam’, a 20-beat style used in the traditional Sanskrit theatre Koodiyattam and ‘Pathinja Champa Kooru’, a five-beat rhythm variety known for its slow tempo.
Artists who were a part of the festival were Panamanna Sasi, described as a rising star of Thayambaka and a disciple of stalwarts like his father, Panamanna Appu Poduval, Pookkattari Rama Poduval, Kalamandalam Chandra Mannadiar, Kottakkal Kuttan Marar and Kottakkal Krishnan Kutti Asan; and Sukapuram Dileep, a student of distinguished Thayambaka exponent, the late Pookkattiri Divakara Poduval.
The festival has been taking place since 1999.