Dasara celebrations in Britain - a historic moment for Telugu Community 

October 25, 2008 
It was a historic moment for the UK Telugu Community as all Telugu organizations across the length and breadth of Britain from as far afield as Scotland, Wales, Midlands and North West, came together and conducted Dasara celebrations in London on 11th October 2008. European Telugu Association (ETA), Telugu Association of London (TAL) and Telugu Association of Scotland (TAS) supported by Milton Keynes Telugu Association, Andhra Association, Manchester Telugu Association (MATA) and UK Telugu Community (a network of youth and young students) conducted the joint event at Brent Town Hall.

The program started with the song "Maa Telugutalli ki" by Aishwarya and Yashaswi. 
The inaugural speech was given by Dr. Rajashekar Reddy, President of ETA, emphasizing on the importance of unity amongst Telugu community and sharing the joy of celebrations. Dr Ramulu, President of TAL, welcomed the gathering, TAS president Shyam, AA President Kasi Vishwanath, MKTS Sreedhar, Rasheed of MATA and others expressed solidarity and unity on the occasion.

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. 

The valedictory 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.
Mukthi Sri gave an appealing Kathak dance performance thereafter. The audience was happy to know more about Kathak. 

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.

Parthasarathi, '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.