Dasara celebrations in Britain - a historic moment for Telugu Community
started with the song "Maa Telugutalli ki" by Aishwarya and Yashaswi.
The evening was endowed with a rich cultural program. Anjali from Scotland enthralled the audience with classical songs. Eemani Kalyani (daughter of veena maestro Eemani Sankara Sastry) accompanied by Ravi Sharma on mridangam gave a sterling performance, followed by classical dances by kids of various ages, Uma Venkata Ratnam, Sai Neema and Pavani. 'Koya,' a rich folk dance of Andhra was showcased by young girls Nikhila, Ramya Sri, Yukta, Srihita and Aishwarya which was elegantly choreographed by Ragasudha Vinjamuri to instrumental music of popular Annamacharya Keertana "Tandanana Ahi." Tollywood dances by under 6 year olds Srinitya, Tanvi, Pranavi, Hashira, Kashifa and Hrudita were interesting.
program had felicitations to notable contributors to the Telugu community
in the UK. The chief Guest Cllr.Ralph Fox, Mayor, Brent Council was felicitated
by Peddi Nirmala Devi, General Secretary, ETA. Dr Ramulu introduced achievements
of Telugus to the chief guest. Hema Macherla, author of English novel "Breeze
of the River Manjeera" which was short-listed in the Richard & Judy
Show in the Channel 4 was hailed. Dr. Ragini Reddy, UKCS, presented a cheque
to HEAL, a UK based charity running orphanages and schools in India. Director
of Mana Telugu TV, Kumar Vuppalla was also hailed for his outstanding services
to the Telugu community through the only UK based Telugu TV channel.
Then came the
interesting piece 'A tribute to Black & White' by UK based dancer Ragasudha
Vinjamuri, starting with a tribute to the home-land, "Andhra maata neeku
vandanam." She dedicated her rendition to stalwart classical dancers of
yester years like Kamala Lakshman, Padmini, Vyjayanthimala etc. who stole
the hearts of the Telugu public through their silver screen performances
too. Ornate compositions like Kshetrayya padam "Makkuva Teerchara Muvva
Gopala," Jayadeva ashtapadi "Chandana Charchita" (dating back to 1950s
movies in some instances) once rendered by ace dancers by L Vijaya Lakshmi,
Geetanjali (Mani in Tamil films and Hindi Parasmani fame) and choreographed
originally by revered masters Vedantam Raghavayya, Vempati China Satyam
etc were chosen. The delightful dimension to it was the Jugalbandi of Kathak
and Bharatanatyam in a finale rendition of "Madhuramaina Guru Deevena,"
which Ragasudha dedicated to teachers, especially hers, Dr. Uma Rama Rao.
She was accompanied by Mukthi Sri on this piece which enthralled the audience
and sent them into pleasant nostalgia. Peddi Nirmala Devi, General Secretary
ETA commended the artistes and honored them with shawl and memento.
'Paadutha Teeyaga' mega finalist and a famous Tollywood playback singer,
wooed the audience with his mesmerizing voice and concluded the evening,
assisted by a young playback singer Hari from London. The stage turned
vibrant with music and dance.