Livermore temple witnessed diwali of a different proportion on the night of Nov 5th. The audience of well over 600 was lighted up with the blazing performances of BATA volunteers while the cheers from the audience served as the crackers on the festive night. The audience comprised of local bay area members as well as ardent supporters from far away places such as Los Angeles, Merced, Los Banos, Berkeley, Concord, San Bruno, San Mateo etc. The traditional costumes, the fragrance of the flowers, the sumptuous food and the smiles on the faces of everyone gave an impression of one big happy family – as they say “Vasudaika Kutumbam”.
The auditorium was very well decorated depicting the festive mood. The “Muggu” art in the front of the entrance was stunning and very colorful. Created using vegetables like cabbage, spinach, red cabbage, flowers like roses and multicolored rice, the muggu was a treat to the eyes of aesthetic lovers. The registration and hospitality team, dressed in traditional wear, ensured that the ticketing process was seamless and greeted the audience into the auditorium.
Despite the traffic problem on the way to the temple, the auditorium was packed by about 6:15PM. After the prayer song, the program kicked off with “Radha-Krishna Ramaneeyam” where little kids in the age group of 6 months to 10 years dressed as Krishna and gopikas displayed their histrionics in a cute way. This was followed by “Sastriya Kadambam” – a beautiful and versatile rendition of classical dance ballets. Sringara lahari, a tale about Krishna gopika rasa keli, was presented by students of Suneeta Pendekanti. Krishna mahima, another beautiful dance about Krishna’s naughty antics directed by Suneeta Pendekanti, was very vibrant and lively. Brindavani saranga was a tillana presented by Sri Krupa Dance Company. This piece is about the pure love between Radha and Krishna expressed in an attractive way
Alokaye and Krishnam Kalaya sakhi, performed by 5 - 10 yr old kids, was a beautiful presentation of the rift between two groups of gopikas who want to spend idle time with Krishna. Mesmerized by the sound of his flute, the gopikas unite and dance together realizing Krishna treats them all the same. This stunning piece was excellently choreographed by Vijaya Aasuri, Srilu Veligeti and Sirisha Duggirala left the audience spellbound.
Karra Katha, a cricket based burra katha, performed by Kalyan, Kiran, Chakrapani and directed by Kalyan Kattamuri provided a comical variation to the program flow. This fictional story is about how India managed to win chasing 321 against England. The subtle variation in narrating England’s dominance in batting, Irfan’s heroic comeback with his bowling, India’s excellent batting start, Sachin’s injury and Indian middle order collapse took the audience through a series of emotions. The climax where Sachin scores six of the last ball had the audience at the edge of their seats and was received with thunderous applause. Innovative concept, comprehensible narration and flawless execution left audience in peels of laughter.
Doboochulatelara, a compelling semi classical dance choreographed by Srilu Veligeti and Sridevi Krishnan, looked into the hide and seek game that Krishna played with gopikas and how gopikas wanted to see him more and shower their love. Alai pongera kanna was another semi classical treat narrating how gopikas hearts were poured with love for Krishna. The beautiful expressions, costumes and the amazing choreography made this dance a colorful treat to the audience. This was choreographed by Srilu Veligeti and Vijaya Aasuri.
Raju Iduri, Sridevi Poduri, Ravi Gudipati the well known singers from the Bay Area rendered some classic, old melodies as well as some upbeat new numbers in “Ragalahari”.
Americalo Aparichitudu - an adaptation of Aparichitudu character against the corruption backdrop of some US consulting companies was hilarious. Relatable situations and the amusing manner in which it was presented had the audience whistling. The climax was the icing of the cake and was received with thunderous applause. Kalyan, Sridhar and Vijay acted in this entertaining piece directed by Kalyan Kattamuri.
Jaya Krishna mukunda, a 11 minute classic masterpiece directed by Vijaya Aasuri and performed by 30 kids in the 5-14 range, narrated and depicted beautifully the life of
Krishna – his antics, kaaleeya marthanam, his leelas with gopikas etc.
The momentum of the program reached the pinnacle with Natyaravali – a foot tapping rendition of folk songs. Venugaana sammohanam, an exciting folklore, showcased youthful exuberance of BATA volunteers. The celebrations in Repelle, land of Krishna, were demonstrated with the colourful costumes, excellent choreography, and superb synchronization. The piece where the dancers had lights in their hands received roaring appreciation. It was in fact a befitting finale.
The event culminated with the audio and video interactive musical tambola. Keeping the base rules of Tambola, this fun event had audience participate in audio/video quiz of telugu melodies and then a sing along karaoke session. Despite being late, the full crowd stayed back and participated in this event. This was organized by Kalyan Kattamuri and Srilu Veligeti.
The overall program was a perfect blend of classical and folk dances, songs and comical skits. Intersperse of Comedy Tapasulu, comedy tidbits performed by Kalyan Kattamuri, provided the right balance to the whole program. The audience not moving a bit throughout the event only reflects the quality of the program that BATA organized.
Certificates were presented to all the participants of the event. Ramesh Mandalapu, President of BATA, thanked audience for their valuable support and thanked volunteers for their tireless efforts. Special thanks were rendered to Sri Lakkireddy Hanimireddy, Jayaram Komati (TANA Secretary) and Dr.Peraiah for their long lasting support to BATA.
The broad smiles on the audience at the exit showed only proved yet again that Bay Area Telugu Association put up yet another
colorful, joyful and cultural signature extravaganza.