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Chicago Tamils celebrate ‘Pongal Vizha’

February 10
22:30 2015
Kummiyattam by audience

Kummiyattam by audience

CHICAGO: Pongal festival falling on the first day of the month in Tamil Calendar is much more than a ritualistic celebration and open to everyone with no barriers of religion and creed. Representing the Tamil community, Chicago Tamil Sangam (CTS) hosted its Pongal Vizha “Festival of harvest” celebrations showcasing its affinity towards rich Tamil culture, on January 31 at Hemmens Cultural Centerin Elgin, a northwest suburb of Chicago, with over 500 members and guests attending despite inclement weather.

CTS President Somu Thiru inaugurated the event by introducing organizers Mrs Lakshmi Anandan and Kamala Babu, who then chivalrously welcomed the patrons and the Special Guest Dindigul I. Leoni. This was followed with Kavithai (poem) renditions by Mrs Devi Annamalai and Sivakumar Murugesan.

Then came the stunning presentations by beautiful women and the charming men of Chicagoland area displaying the rich performing arts: traditional, contemporary, classical and folk. The variety transported the audience to the streets and lush fields of Tamil Nadu, from foot tapping to soulful strains of Tamil songs. The whole program was emceed by Mrs Manimekalai Praveen, Mrs Rukmani Sivakumar and Surendar Babu.

A folk dance presentation by Anu, Geetha Jagdeesh, Karthiga Kumaravel and Lavanya Mohan was a real impetus to the group. A semi-classical dance performance by the teens was a real ecstasy for the audience. Followed by that, an assembly of five ladies presented a medley dance performance. The dancers’ elegant footwork, fluid movements, and facial expressions beautifully in sync with the melody of the song, made the dance seem almost effortless.

Between colorful dances came “Silambattam” by children from “American Parai Team”, St. Louis. Performances by three different dance groups comprising the elegant ladies of Chicagoland truly brought the house down, rather, up, on the stage, with their lively rendering of the latest Tamil film numbers.

For the first time, CTS patrons have organized a special presentation that paid a tribute, “Pushpanjali” to Iyakkunar Sigaram (literally The Director who scaled the peak) K. Balachander. A team of dazzling 16 brought in the characters that were ever relished by the Tamil community. With the traditional and appropriate attire conveyed by perfect synchronization of music and dance, the performers kept the audience spellbound.

The list of performances came to an end with “Paraiyattam” (an authentic dance form of Tamil Nadu) and “Kummiyattam” by “American Parai Team” from St Louis. N. Chandrakumar, Seeni Guruswamy, and Anand S. Anandan honored the performers.

Socrates Ponnusamy announced the recent developments of CTS website and thanked the generous sponsors – Professional Mortgage Solutions Inc., Sunshine Services Inc., Motherland Day Care and T.R Viswanathan, RE/MAX.

Somu Thiru introduced Chief Guest Dindigul I. Leoni, who was honored by the previous Presidents of CTS Veera Venugopal, Muthusamy Selvaraj, Ram Raghuraman and M. Bhaskaran. Encompassing eight local talents this show was an intellectual and joyful treat for the audience and for the participants

Asian Media USA & Tamil Sangam

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