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Detroit Telugu Association seems to be rewriting history as it breaks its own records of putting up out of the norm events. This was evident last Saturday night when DTA welcomed and celebrated the Telugu New Year “Vijaya Nama Samvatsaram”. The celebrations were kicked off with much gaiety and enthusiasm on May 4th 2013, at West Bloomfield High School. The evening began with a feast of traditional food provided by the local Aahar Restaurant including the unique and savory “Ugadi Pachadi”.

DTA president Raghu Ravipati started a new chapter in DTA history where tradition and technology integrated seamlessly to deliver a spectacular evening. Sri Venkateswara Temple Priest Sri.Rajagopalachari garu delivered a message explaining the significance of the New Year through digital telecast after which he offered prayers in person on the stage. The programs that followed were sensational in appearance and outstanding in effect. Each item was nothing short of a mini theatrical production with ever changing backdrops of panoramas displaying the names and photos of the performers, and item specific sceneries. The audience were in awe at the dramatic setting on the stage decorated by Sirisha Uppalapati, Sirisha Ravipati, Ramesh Gogineni that included a typical yet nostalgic village scene from India complete with a hay hut, bullock cart and a mango tree full of ripe mangoes (peratilo mamidichettu), emblematic of the season in which Ugadi is celebrated.

The attendance exceeded the auditorium capacity prompting organizers to provide additional seating in the aisles. The spectators were spell bound as 275 talented individuals performed 32 items over five and half hours. Even though the performances went into the late hours of the night, the sense of “you move, you lose” was very evident as everyone stayed glued to their seats witnessing the exceptional talents of American born Indian kids dancing away to the traditional and classical notes as well as energetic and scintillating Tollywood beats. The evening was just not dance and music, brilliant kids who excelled in Chess, Robotics, and other competitions were also recognized and honored, and volunteers were acknowledged and appreciated.

President Raghu Ravipati appreciated the efforts of his executive committee members Venugopal Suraparaju, Jithendra Bondada, SrinivasRaju Dhenuvakonda, Venkat Adapa, Sridevi Gogineni, Ramesh Peddeti, Praveen Jettipalle, Karan Poreddy, Kishore Tammineedi, Ajai Kodali. Mallikarjun Padukone and Harsha Anche for helping in raising the membership levels to create a history in DTA. Dr. Sai Kumar Lingam, Dr. Hanumaiah Bandla and Dr. Srinivas Kodali presented mementoes to the sponsors showing appreciation for their support.

Well organized and coordinated efforts by Cultural Secretary Sridevi Gogineni, Student Coordinator Leela Prasad (Chichu), Youth Coordinator Anurag Koduri, Stage Coordinator Sirisha Uppalapati and Audio Video coordinator Vamsi Devabhaktuni maximized the evening’s entertainment which ended with the grand finale of an extravagant dance drama depicting Tollywood love story performed by the gorgeous girls and handsome boys of the youth committee and choreographed by Priya Adusumalli, Yamini Mada and directed by talented young chap Leela Prasad Pamidimukkala (Chichu). The 35 minute production with 40 teenagers was all encompassing with punch dialogues, elaborate dance routines, synchronized movements, and costume changes for every scene.

All in all, Detroit Telugu Association’s 2013 Ugadi celebration was an exhilarating event that mesmerized the audience for hours and will be talk of the town for months to come.

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