Chicago Andhra Association Celebrates 3rd Anniversary

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Section of the crowd at the event. (Photo: Chicago Andhra Association/ Facebook.)

The Chicago Andhra Association (CAA), a non-profit, celebrated its 3rd anniversary on the auspicious day of “Sri Vikari Nama Samvstara UGADI”, the Telugu New Year Day, which fell on April 6 this year.

More than 1,000 people, including 300 participants, and 125 volunteers, enjoyed a variety of programs that involved kids, youth, and adults performing traditional Indian such as Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi dance, and folk dances, comedy and mythological plays along with some comedy entertainers.

The CAA founders, board members, volunteers and dance teachers have worked hard for 3 months to bring the best for this event, a press release from the organization said.

The venue was decorated to showcase the traditional Telugu New year under the leadership of Sree Chaitya Ponipireddy and coordinators Jayasree Somisetty, Savitha Yalamuri-Vernekar, Malleswari Pedamallu, and Raj Munaga.

The work of the Cultural committee team composed of Sahithi Adimulam, Ramakrishna Tadepalli, Samatha Peddamaru, and Pavani Kothapalli, was appreciated by many.

Sundar Dittakavi, Anvitha Panchagnula, Savitha Yalamuri-Vernekar, Kartheek Dammalapati kept the audience entertained while hosting the program, telling jokes and singing songs.

Illinois State Senator Ram Villivalam, a Democrat, and the first Indian-American to be elected to the state legislature, was the chief guest. His parents hail from Andhra Pradesh.

In his address to the youth he encouraged them to follow their dreams and shape their future better with hard work and commitment.

Dinakar Karumuri reminded the audience that Ram Villivalam was very active in Telugu organizations in his teens and today he is a standing example for future generations.

Chairman of Indian Community Outreach, Krishna Bansal, was the honorary guest and cheered the CAA team throughout the program.

Well known abstract expressionist painter, Padmashri S.V. Ramarao, was felicitated with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his exemplary work in lithography, cubist paintings, poetry and literature.

The CAA’s service wing APDFNA team’s executive director Vani Dittakavi, described the initiatives taken by it and the progress made, as well as future plans. undertakings that are in progress and explained upcoming future activities.

Known for its festive dinner during events, the CAA continued the tradition with Ugadi special Andhra items. Few of the items like, sweet Kaaja and Mango pickle were prepared by CAA women members, and received much praise and appreciation from guests, the press release said.

Modern Tollywood/Bollywood dances composed by Saumya Bojja, Nikitha Mattey, Shilpa Repala, Prashanthi Tadepalli, Maya Subrahmanyam, Sailaja Sappa, Savitha Munaga, Archana Shrigadi, Jayasree Somisetty were part of the entertainment.

Gajanana sthuti was rendered by students of Guru Srimathi Seshumamba Tellapragada; Krishnastakam by students of Guru Swetha Suresh Kumar, Muthuswamy ; and Dikshitar kritis were performed by students of Guru Rekha Vemuri.

Some of the highlights of the performances were Mallari by Guru Janaki Anandavalli students; Ananda Nartana and Prasanna – Jay Hanuman dances by Guru Asha Acharya students; and Geetha Dhuniku, a fusion of Bharatanatyam and Yoga by Guru Shoba Nataranjan’s students; Durga Devi classical dance students of Shobha Tammana; Ksheerabdi Kanyakaku dance skit by Guru Aruna Chandra.

Guru Jyothi Vangara’s dance illustration on Krishna River theme song and Ugadi special song by CAA lady volunteers, and the fusion medley by Dancing Diyas were additional highlights at the event.

Chakkera kalipina paata by students of Satish Chakilam, Bantureethi, a Tyagaraja kruthi by Anvitha Panchagnula, Kadile Bommalu and Namo Namo Bharatambe by Preetha Ganesh’s team has depicted the India culture.

Manabadi students under the leadership of Nagalatha Chelmeda, Jyothi Malla showcased their talent with a skit on Telugu language thru Telugu Pathashala. Parijathapaharanam directed by Saritha Gottoor and enacted by Manabadi students revealed their command of Telugu poetry and Indian Mythology.

A fashion show by Sushma Kora and Sushma Edupuganti displayed the latest Handloom styles and designs.

Sangeetha Sandhya singers, lead by Mani Tellapragada presented a film-songs medley
A WhatsApp skit, based on the repercussions of social media and tech gadgets in every household these days, was hilariously as obvious from audience reaction.

The food was catered by Bawarchi Biryanis restaurant.

The CAA President Padmarao Appalaneni attributed the success of the event to the team work and thanked all those who contributed.

President-elect and Vice President Dr. Bhargavi Nettem thanked the founders and all committee members for their tireless efforts to make this event. The program concluded with the singing of the national anthems of India and United States.

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