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An Evening of Hope and Entertainment

March 2005
An Evening of Hope and Entertainment

GATS fundraiser

Whether in rhythm, style, tune or tempo, the cultural show, "Samarpan" ? An Evening of Hope" was unique indeed. Organized by Greater Atlanta Tamil Sangam (GATS), the show on February 19th at Meadowcreek High School combined many different art forms of India. It was a richly entertaining conglomeration of classical Indian dances followed by a light music concert by local Atlanta artistes

The opening, "Thodayamangalam" was a classical Bharatnatyam piece performed by Preetha Sayekrishna, and Bhavini Subramani. The next classical item was a Kathak dancr set to the Devdas song, "Kaahe Ched Mohe," with elegant and florid outfits. Andhra Pradesh's traditional dance, Kuchipudi, was the final classical piece of the evening. This segment titled "Dasavataram" awed the audience. The dancers' maintained poise, with vivid expressions to portray the ten forms of Lord Vishnu. The Nagarajan sisters, Meghna and Movina, emceed the event, and kept the audience engaged during acts with Tsunami-trivia questions.

The most-awaited for segment came with the light music program featuring many of Atlanta's local and upcoming talents. Many of the artistes had earlier performed at the Shivoham Dance Ballet. They performed many popular songs in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi. The invocation piece was "Krishna Nee Begane" from the Colonial Cousins album followed by many popular Hindi tunes including "Maa Tujhe Salaam", "Yuhi Chala Chala", and "Lift Karadhe."

The young and aspiring Anjana Joseph beautifully rendered "Humko Humise Chura Lo," from Mohabbatein, with Anand Srinivasan. Her second and final piece of the evening with Satish Menon was simply outstanding as the two soulfully performed the classical piece "Sa Ri Ga Ri" from Shankarabarnam.

The ongoing "South Indian" vs. "North Indian" war captured the audience's attention with Subra Vishwanathan, and Anand Srinivasan's "Ek Chatur Naar," from the movie Padosan. Their excellent stage presence and involvement in the song led the piece to be almost dubbed a mini drama.

Radhika Sundaraghvan displayed her talent with flawless renditions of many old favorites including the evergreen "Dum Maro Dum." Narayan Subramanian, Chetan Vyas and Abhijeet Panse added to the power of the music with their impeccable tabla renditions.

Menon continued to enthrall the audience by singing a very difficult, carnatic-based, Malayalam song titled "Pramadhavanam." Although, the artistes Hindi and Tamil medley had popular songs, it could have been restructured to include some of the other national songs. Gayathri Vasanth gave it her best with "Ennai Konjam" from the Tamil movie Kaakha Kaakha. Although some of the karaoke pieces experienced technical difficulties, the power of the singers' voices won the audiences' appreciation. However, the singers' voices often became too loud, with probably the sound system to blame.

Due to time constraints, many of the songs towards the end of the program had to be cancelled. Overall, the concert proved its purpose by uniting the Indian American audience with a "ray of hope" and helping collect donations for the Tsuanmi victims. The organizing committee should be applauded for putting together a show on a relatively small time frame.

- Archith Seshadri

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