Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana

On Easter weekend I went to the Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana. My folks and I drove there early Friday morning and got there around lunch and went to see the competition. The music competition this year was huge. When I was a kid it took a few hours and was in one room. This year, it took all day, there were over 300 participants and about 4 rooms in which the judging occurred. Amazing!

I think what made it even more memorable was the freak snowstorm! The poor visiting artists were not prepared for it. No one owned any boots or proper winter coats as you can see in the picture.
My sister organized a raffle and I helped sell tickets. The prizes were 2 violins autographed by all of the artists attending the festival. I was not a very good sales person and kept accidentally asking he artists to buy tickets....oops! The winners were chosen after the Harikatha performance and they both ended up being violinists!
Two very famous dance teachers, Rhadha and Savithri Jaganatha Rao were giving a workshop and I got to spend some time with them. Savithri Aunty was so cute and started calling me 'namesake'! It seemed even more appropriate once we found out we were related. Kanchana and I had a great time and I loved watching them teach their workshops. They gave a wonderful lecture demonstration on the second weekend of the festival.
They were also judges of the dance competition. This is the first year of the dance competition and it was so good. I was really amazed at how talented many of these young teens were! They had come in from all over the US to compete. It is supposed to be broadcast on Jaya TV. If you have that channel you should definitely check it out.
Shankar's cousin Nithya along with some of her family friends, Bala and Hari, had come from Australia. They tried to teach us how to speak with an 'ozzy' accent but it didn't really work out. I just ended up looking foolish when trying to imitate. I think one of my favourites was "t'boo" instead of taboo.
Despite serving freshly prepared South Indian food to all of the attendees we somehow ended up eating Rascal House pizza like every other day....it is a very popular Cleveland chain. Don't worry, we would follow it up with thairu sadam.
Don't you love the flower in Nithya's hair? Shankar said she looked like a Hawaiian dancer and then proceeded to attempt a Hawaiian dance....that was priceless! Here is Divya looking adorable. We are so proud of her for getting accepted to Harvard in the fall! Way to go Divy!Here is Kanchana with Chitra Visweswaran who was the feature dance performance on the first weekend.
Lavanya took me to this awesome outlet with a great GAP store and Bath and Body Works! I got some awesome deals:) She also treated me to a delicious Auntie Anne's Pretzel. We need to get that in Canada. Soo yummy. Both weekends in Cleveland were really fun. If you get a chance to attend, you should go.


amma said...

I am sooooo glad we have a picture of Savithri JaganathRao plus others!It was so busy all through this absalutely wonderful festival and meeting so many talented world renowned artists I forgot about taking pictures. Thank you for posting it , now I can send the link to everyone!

marriedtoadesi.com said...


I had a great time with you! You did a super job helping out with the dance competition!


subha said...

Glad to hear that you balanced the festival weekend with a bit of shopping :)

I'm sorry that I didn't get to see you at the Toronto festival...the one night you went, I couldn't go :(
Any chance we can get together for some serious bonding time in May? I'm done most of my major commitments by the 7th.

Latha said...

Hi Savithri,

This is my first time to your blog via Kanchana's. And what a surprise! I saw my aunt, Savithri's picture:) I'm so delighted. She's my father's cousin (maama ponnu). I'll send a link to your blog right now... so are we relatives too then;)

neha said...

I don't see Dance workshop this year .What happened???

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