Report 

An array of rhythms, resonances and brilliant performances 
Annamacharya's Anniversary celebrations in Great Britain 
 
November 5, 2007 

With the co-operation of Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam (TTD-India) and in association with Department of Culture, Government of Andhra Pradesh, the 600th birth anniversary of Saint Tallapaka Annamacharya was celebrated in the UK by European Telugu Association at Stourbridge Town Hall in West Midlands on 28th October 2007. European Telugu Association gets the distinction of bringing an extravaganza to the British audiences. 

It was an aural and visual delight to the audience and a great tribute to the saint composer, with a marathon of cultural programs including Harikathas, songs and traditional dances based on Annamacharya Sankeerthanams. About 40 top artistes, doyens, connoisseurs, aces and aficionados in music and dance exhibited their artistic talents during these celebrations. Students of natya guru and Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee Dr Uma Rama Rao - also distinguished in having composed and choreographed more than 150 Annamacharya keerthanas - Dr Shobha Naidu, Usha Gayatri and stalwarts like Dr Dwaram Lakshmi, Dr Medasani Mohan and Dr Shobha Raju captivated the audience with their spell-binding performances.  

After conducting Srinivasa Kalyanam, the celebrations were inaugurated by the Chairman of TTD, B Karunakar Reddy while Executive Officer, KV Ramanachary (IAS) unveiled the portrait of Annamacharya. Various Keerthanas were melodiously sung by Shobha Raju, Gurajada Madhusudhan, Uma Devi, Seshulata and Ramaprabha. The unique attractions of the day were the items rendered by whistle artiste Siva Prasad accompanied by Srinivas on tabla. 
 

Kalyanam
Ragasudha Vinjamuri
Dr Shobha Naidu began the dance medley wonderfully with a Vandana Stuti to Annamacharya while revered Shobha Raju alluringly chanted. This was followed shortly by the series Alamelu Manga Maangalya Leela which started with Ragasudha Vinjamuri's dance presentation "Gandhamu poose veley" in Kanada Raga, a lyrically rich composition of Annamacharya on Goddess Alamelu Manga.  

In this composition, Annamacharya, in his sublime devotion towards the Goddess, narrates how unequalled her graceful eyes are (even lotuses have less significant beauty), how unparalleled her radiance is (even the luminous gold is less bright) and how unsurpassed her fragrance is (even the scented sandal-wood is less aromatic). Describing the beauty of the Goddess admirably, Sudha engaged the audience with this item quite well. 

Rendering solo dances continued on finest Annamacharya compositions like "Inni Raasula yuniki" by Vanaja Uday, "Kaladinti Maata" by Sarvepalli Madhavimala, "Aadaro Paadaro" by Malavika - all disciples of guru Uma Rama Rao. 

Shobha Naidu gave a stellar performance on "Cheri Yashoda ku" and "Oka pari oka pari" which left the audience spell-bound. Her disciples from USA presented "Kulukuga Nadavaro." 
 

Mangalam
Karpoora Neerajanam
Guru Usha Gayatri's presentation "Alarulu kuriyaga" was adept and delightful and her disciples' presentation "Chakkani Talliki" was enchanting. Mangambudi on Lord Hanuman presented by Jayalakshmi stood out among all the items.  

All the dance artistes joined in the transcendental finale of Shobha Naiduís "Karpoora Nirajanam" to Lord Venkateswara to the majestic Adigo Alladigo sankeertanam in Hindola Raga, sung by Shobha Raju. This in particular left the audience elevated. 
 

Sanmanam
The Chairman of Venkateswara (Balaji) Temple of UK, Dr. VP Narayana Rao was felicitated on the occasion by the Chairman of ETA Dr. Rajasekhar Reddy, followed by the felicitation to all the participants. The artistes have also been given honors at the Balaji temple the previous day in the presence of its Chairman Dr. Narayana Rao, Trustee Dr. KS Rajah and other committee members, including Ragasudha Vinjamuri who is on the Editorial Board. 

The function was covered entirely by Mana Telugu TV Channel in the UK.