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Boston Sargam Crowns 2012 Champions - Celebrates Super Success With A Sold Out Show!

Shuchita Rao
Photos: Shashank Bellary & Venu Challa (celebrity segment)


Snazzy costumes, upbeat songs, high-energy dancing and theatrics engaged Boston area audiences in a fast-paced talent competition and musical extravaganza organized by Boston Sargam on Oct. 13 at Littleton High School in Littleton, Mass. The Bollywood-style music and dance competition was the heart of the event, but it also included special features ‘Jhalak Dikhlado’ and a ‘Bollywood Hits’ performance by celebrity artist and playback singer Anuradha Palakurthi.


Nonprofit organization Boston Sargam has been organizing annual singing and dancing competitions for juniors and adults for the past few years with a view to encourage local talent. This year, the competitions attracted participants from California, Michigan, Virginia, Nevada and from the New England states. Careful planning and execution, as well as enthusiastic and engaging commentary by emcee Swathi Subramanian, provided non-stop entertainment for over six hours.


The show opened with ‘Jhalak Dikhlado’, which featured local artists and teachers Neha Parikh and Tripti Kakkar, as well as All India Radio musician and TV personality Bhavadhaarini Anantaraman. Special presentations by Durgesh Vaidya who mimicked famous Bollywood stars such as Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor, Shatrughan Sinha and Paresh Rawal drew a chuckle from the audience. A whistle performance featuring Shankar Mahadevan's ‘Breathless’ song by Charun Thattai and a special performance by Anuradha Palakurthi that paid homage to the extraordinary acting careers of several Bollywood actresses such as Hema Malini, Waheeda Rehman, Sridevi, Rekha, Preety Zeinta, Aishwarya Rai and Nargis Dutt entertained event attendees after the competitions.


A spacious stage featured five vertical copper panels with long, flowing cream drapes that reflected multi-colored lights. A rotating crystal ball suspended from the ceiling in the auditorium created special light effects to the delight of the young members in the audience. Two large televisions mounted on the sides of the stage showed short videos about competition participants, profiles of the folks who helped put the show together and film clips featuring Indian actresses featured in Palakurthi’s presentation. Most competitors spoke about where they came from, their background and training, as well as their music and dance heroes in candid interviews projected on large screens. Christy Mathew's catchy background score added to the overall effect of the presentations. Playback singer Palakurthi was introduced by reputed local area music teacher Geetha Murali, dance teacher Sridevi Thirumalai, as well as music directors from India. Palakurthi's melody soaked singing was enhanced by dance presentations by Mouli Pal, Isha Phadke and Shivani Shrivastava. 2011 Boston Sargam winners Nalini Krishnan, Parag Joshi, Sahana Srinivasan, Sharayu Mahale, Shrvani Balaji also sang and danced for the audience at the event. Krishnan created an authentic middle-eastern atmosphere with her ‘Mayya Mayya’ song rendition.


Solo songs and dances ranged from traditional classical to modern and contemporary.  Sad songs, happy songs, romantic songs — a range of human emotions were portrayed in the variety of song choices made by participants. Group dances featured innovative themes such as a procession by dancers carrying a participant dressed in Lord Ganesha's costume and head mask from the audience to the stage. Large, painted cardboard train carriages as stage props for the famous ‘Chaiyya Chaiyya’ song brought to mind visuals of actor Shah Rukh Khan dancing on top of a moving train carrying passengers.  The judges were a team of six local celebrities and prize winners were announced at the end of the show. The audience was also invited to text in the artist of their choice for an audience award. High levels of preparation to compete in the final show were shown by semi-finalists who were selected in auditions held earlier in the month. As with the nature of competitions, the results boosted the spirit of winners and disappointed the competitors who did not win. All participants were invited to the stage at the end of the show to celebrate the spirit of participation.

The event also included a raffle with several prizes, a vendor led Mela featuring clothing and jewelry, henna painting on hands and a sumptuous dinner offering allowed for social mingling among attendees during intermission. According to organizers, the show and Mela was sold out and attended by approximately 800 people. Several members of the Palakurthi family flew in from different parts of the country to attend the Boston Sargam show.

"I am enjoying the show because I like seeing new showcase of talent every year," said Harshini Joshi, resident of Lexington, Mass.

Boston Sargam plans to present Anuradha Palakurthi again and also bring Indian Idol television show winners from India to Boston audiences in the 2013 extravaganza.  


For future event details visit: www.bostonsargam.org/home.php

LIKE Boston Sargam on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Boston-Sargam/132130533488080


2012 Boston Sargam Bollywood Music & Dance Competition Winners

Solo Song (Age 10-16)        1st Place:     Anusha Anand
                                             2nd Place
:    Harini Shanmugam

Solo Song (Age 17-30)        1st Place:     Debaleena Bandopadhyay
                                              2nd Place
:   Noura Khan

Solo Song (Age 31 & Up)   1st Place:     Valentino Almeida
                                              2nd Place
:   Amit Arora

Solo Dance (Age 10-16)      1st Place:     Manasi Danke
                                              2nd Place
:   Isha Laad

Solo Song (Age 17 & Up)   1st Place:     Nagaraju Cemitathollu
                                              2nd Place
:   Sreyashi Kanjilal

Group Dance

1st Place: Aangikam Dance Academy
Choreographer: Jasmine Shah
Dance Title: "Entertainment Entertainment Entertainment"
Group Members: Priyanka Ram, Pooja Jhaveri, Manvi Sharma, Rachel Madhur, Vishruti Shah, Hetal Patel, Nikita Patel, Ria Manwani, Isha Laad

2nd Place: Chidambaram Nritya Kala Academy
Choreographer: Neha Parikh
Group Members: Shrvani Balaji, Sahaja Surapaneni, Madhumita Kaushik, Aamuktha Porika, Kuhu Wadhwa, Harika Talluri, Mounika Talluri

Aap ki Awaaz  People's Choice Award:   Saloni Singh





Solo Song:   Juhi Lalwani, Kriti Badola, Rajesh Gopinath, Kedar Risbud, Ashutosh Patel

Solo Dance: Neha Panke, Saloni Singh, Aashita Shekhar, Jai Kishan


Group Dance: 

Shaila School of Dance (Bollywood Fusion) – Choreographer Shaila Verma

Group Members: Damini Chelladurai, Abhimanyu Gupta, Akshara Thejaswi, Rohit Suresh, Akila Narayanan, Ilakya Senthilkumar,  Shaila Verma


Nashua Angels (Jeans: Kehta Hai Mera) – Choreographer Meena Unni

Group Members: Parvathy Sreekanth, Meera Kurup, Kavya Sebastian, Navya Sebastian, Devika Nair, Anna Mathew, Namratha Sajeev, Namitha Nair, Sumedha Rajesh


Aangikam Dance Academy (Deva Sri Ganesha) – Choreographer Jasmine Shah

Group Members: Harnisha Radia, Nikhaar Shah, Anika Sriram, Dimple Gandhi, Anika Talwar, Shivani Patel, Yamini Kumar, Roshni Sahoo, Komal Gandhi, Kajal Gandhi, Priya Kumari, Pooja Patel, Aashna Shah  


Meet the Crew

Song Category:  
Bhavadhaarini Anantaraman, Shyam Vai, Somen Saha 
Dance Category: Arsh Mehrotra, Urvi Pathak, Soumya Ramanathan
Song Category:   Uma Sankar, Ujjwal Parikh, Suzana Naik 
Dance Category: Isha Phadke, Anandini Sekhar, Swathi Subramanian
Boston Sargam Team 
Swathi Subramanian, Anil Chawla, Vaibhav Dabade, Raji Rajan, Bibek Das, Rajesh Bhutani, Himani Chawla, Jaya Asthana, Ashwini Mishra, Sudha (Lakshmi) Rao, Anu Chitrapu, Nikita Rao, Isha Phadke, Radhika Narayan, Arjun Rajan, Akash Narayanan, Shristi Bhutani, Sudha Bhutani, Madhumita Das, Manish Chawla, Kunal Chawla, Meenakshi Subramanian, Anit Gupta, Kavita Katti, Heena Parikh, Shikha Bajpai, Tushar Dabade, Avinash Agarwal, Bikas Verma, Sankar Gangaikondan, Parag Joshi and Shobha Shastry

Sound Engineer: Jawed Wahid
Background Score: Christy Mathew
Photographer: Shashank Bellary & Venu Challa (celebrity segment)

Media Partners
Lokvani, India New England, Sounds of India, Gunjan, Saptaswar 

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