American Telangana Association has conducted first global Telangana convention in Novi, Michigan from Jul 8-10th, 2016, showcasing Telangana greatness and culture to global Telugu community. "Nothing succeeds like success" comes to mind when it comes to writing about the convention.
Despite a small hiccup of food preparation delays, the banquet dinner was a super success with 3000 guests attending a well executed lineup of quality programs. Vinod Kukunoor, ATA Convention Convener welcomed all visitng dignitaries, artists and guests and articulated the goals for the conference. Karunakar Madhavaram, One of the Founding members of ATA Telangana talked about why the ATA Telangana organization was formed and reasons behind splitting up with the orignial American Telugu Association. RamMohan Reddy Konda, President ATA Telangana laid out the vision and goals for the organization. Nagender Aytha, Co-Convener talked about program lineup and went over convention logistics. ATA Telangana Advisory Council Sri Ramachandra Reddy received & accompanied many guests to the stage. After few dances by local youth, The Telangana State Govt. cultural ambassador, cabinet rank Minister, MLA and famous folk singer Sri Rasamayi Balkrishna and his team gave a spectacular performance highlighting Telangana spirit and culture. The performance was interlaced with high energy dances of Telangana art form and audiences were swinging to the Teen Maar beats and dances on the stage.
After few short speeches by visiting dignitaries from the New Telangana State, the banquet went to present gracious Kathak dance, the famous "Angrez" character Saleem Pheku. The banquet ended with a surprise, bing-bang Qawwali item by conference volunteers. The HIndi/Telugu medley of Qawwali movie songs and dances received standing ovation from one and all.
Sat Jul 9th - Conference Inauguration & day programs:
The inaugural dance by 150 local youth remains the highlight of the conference. Well choreographed ballet highlighting many aspects of Telangana culture and luminaries was dazzling. The great Telangana poet &l lyricist Sri Suddala Ashok Teja penned the lyrics for the the inaugural song. The iconic "Telangana Bonalu and Pothuraju" culture was presented on the stage.Telangana State Activist and Legislative Council Chairman Sri Swamy Goud, Telangana Dy. CM Sri Kadiam Srihari, Telangana Jagruti Founder and MP Smt. Kalvakunta Kavitha, Mahabubnagar MP Sri Jitender Reddy, Mahabubabad MP Sri Sitaram Naik, MLAs Sri Errabelli Dayakar, Sri Sudhir Reddy, TRS Karimnagar ZPTC Chairperson Smt Tula Uma, TTDP leaders Sri L Ramana, Sri PeddiReddy, Congress leader Sri Vinod Reddy along many leaders graced the occasion. The local restaurant Bawarchi catered authentic Telangana cuisine. Mouth watering Shrimp Curry and famous "Pachchi Pulusu" were favorites for all the guests. The afternoon programs focused on Agriculture, political forum, . "Palle Paata" music competition pre-finals, judged by Sri Suddala and Singer Parthu, for kids/youth from all states was tense & full of suspense. The unique "Telugu Cinema Thotalo Telangana Paata" program by lyricists Chandra Bose, Sri Suddala Ashok Teja and LMA Founder and Singer Ramachary and his students attracted standing crowds.
Sat Jul 9th - Prime-Time Finale program
Finale started with a sumptuous dinner arranged by 50 member food committee. The team flawlessly executed serving dinner with Chicken curry and world famous Hyderabad Biryani to 7000 guests. The local "Bawarchi" restaurant took extra care on quality to incite taste buds of all visiting guests. Nagender, Co-Convener thanked all committees for their contributions on stage. He specially recognized food committee members and local restaurants, who helped us at the last minute.
Rasmayi Balakrishna and team again presented popular Telangana dance numbers "Poddustunna Poddu Meeda" and "Golla Mallamma" on main stage. Famous "Vaggeyakarudu" Poet & Singer, Hamsa Award Winner Sri Goreti Venkanna enthralled the audiences with his heart touching songs and dances. Detroit based famous Neurologist and Actor Dr Haranath Policherla and team presented a colorful dance from Baahubali Movie. it was visual feast to see beautiful actresses dancing on the stage. Famous Kuchipudi Dancer Sri KV Sathyanarayana Garu and his team presented a superb ballet on stage. Vijay Bhasker Pallerla, ATA Telangana Convention Cultural Chair managed back stage planning & lining up of all artists effectively
Vinod Kukunoor recognized all National Telugu and local Telangana organizations from all the states on the main stage. Major convention donors from all Telugu regions were specially recognized for their support to ATA Telangana along with their families. Nagender said that the convention was successful only because of @350 strong and passionate Detroit Telugu volunteers from all regions & background of The Great Telugu land . They worked tirelessly 24x7 for past 2 months like brothers of one big Telugu family. . The convention proved, that despite State Separation, all Telugus can come together under one umbrella and work for a shared goal of upliftmentt of all Telugus abroad and back home.
Anup Rubens Show:
The boy who grew up playing keyboard/guitar in Ramnagar, Hyderabad churches is now a famous musician Anup Rubens. His is popular for mixing Telangana slang, rap, old hits into dance numbers. His melodies and theme music for movies are very soothing and touch everyone’s heart. His “guy nextdoor” stage presence is very unassuming. The barriers between performers and audiences are very thin as he mingles/dances with the crowds. The audiences are allowed to perform on stage while he pulls out his mobile takes selfies with them during concerts. The "kanipinchane maa amma" performed by local kids was the highlight. His other peppy numbers from Ishq, Temper drew audience to the dance floor. "Gunde jaari galanthayyindey" was my favorite. He obliged everyone's request and even danced with fans on the floor. The singers team Prudhvi, Ranina Reddy, Kausalya, Malavika, Dhanunjaya and Rolling Raida rocked the stage with high energy songs.
ATA Telangana BOD Venkat Manthena proposed vote of thanks thanking all guests, volunteers, performers and audiences for making the first global ATA Telangana convention a historic one.
The ATA Telangana spiritual team has put together a grand event of bringing "utsava murthies" from Yadagiri Gutta temple. It was a great experience to seek blessings from the Lord Laxmi Narasimha Swamy. ATA Telangana Sipirtual team has created a history to perform Yadadri Kalyanam in US
The convention has broken many myths about national conventions.
> we really do not need expensive movie stars to grace the conference
> we do not need years of planning for a national conference
> If we manage well, we can conduct a quality national conference during regular weekend rather than wait for a long weekend
> positions for a conference are secondary to finding volunteers based on their innate strengths
> small misses and conflicts can be seamlessly resolved by quiet discussions vs high pitched arguments on back stage.
> have a best in class crisis management.
For the maiden Global Telangana Convention, we got 100% voluntary and financial support from all Telugus, irrespective of region or background