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Carnatic vocalist – dancer Smitha Madhav performs for
TAMA to benefit Vegesna foundation

Ravi R. Ponangi

Atlanta: Smitha Madhav, a popular Carnatic vocalist and Bharatanatyam dancer will be on a tour of US cities giving performances of her twin pursuits of Bharatanatyam and Carnatic music. She will be accompanied by a distinguished orchestra consisting Kumbakonam Atma Rao Gajendran, Nagai S Narayanan and Kanakam Chandra Rao. Smitha says she feels privileged to be traveling and is grateful for the opportunity of assisting the noble cause espoused by the Vegesna Foundation.

Vamsee Rama Raju, managing trustee of Vegesna foundation will accompany Smitha Madhav and her troup. Vamsee Rama Raju says that the foundation utilizes Smitha Madhav’s performances in various cities of US as awareness campaign to tell Non-Resident Indians about the foundation’s work and to reach out to them and showcase India’s rich culture and traditions.

Vamsee Rama Raju needs no introduction as he is well known to most of the NRIs in different countries and he is a friend of NRIs here. He is always on the forefront to help the needy. Vamsee Rama Raju started Vegesna Foundation in 1988 with the help of NRI friends to serve the rural differently able children. During the past 18 years he has created awareness among the parents for the rehabilitation of their “differently able” children; he has made many crawling children to stand and walk on their legs, he has created self-confidence and esteem in the “differently able” able children.
Vamsee Rama Raju's centre for the disabled aims to give them a new lease of life. Vegesna foundation picks up the kids or adults from bus-stands, road centers and hamlets. “It's painful to know that most of them are made professional beggars by their own parents”, says Vamsee Rama Raju.

Vamsee Rama Raju is also well known in cultural and literary circles as the architect of Vamsee Art Theatres and Vamsee-Berkley film fare awards. He is the founder of Vamsee Art Theaters International. It was established 32 years ago in Hyderabad and it has honored several people and institutions.

Smitha Madhav’s work has been widely acknowledged, and she is the recipient of various prestigious awards. She started receiving awards since her childhood. Smitha played the lead role of Seeta in the feature film Ramayanam produced by M.S. Reddy and directed by Gunasekhar. Unique in that its entire cast comprised children between 10 and 12 years of age, the film won the National awards. As a performer, Smitha's concerts are well received by the connoisseurs and the lay viewers. Smitha currently has, under her wing over 30 students of Bharatanatyam at the Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad center of the Sruthi Laya Kendra Natarajaalaya. Smitha regularly gives music and dance recitals at the December Festival in Chennai and has also performs for audiences at a number of other centers in India and abroad. Smitha has spent years being trained in Carnatic vocal music and Bharatanatyam by leading Gurus. She brings tremendous energy and dedication to promoting these arts. Smitha has acquired a repertoire that has spellbound diverse audiences in cities and towns all over India. She regularly performs in several prestigious dance festivals and cultural events.

Smitha has found that her twin pursuits of Bharatanatyam and Carnatic music have complemented each other greatly. She seeks to excel as a dancer and as a singer by drawing on a variety of cultural influences and marrying them to the elaborate traditions.

Smitha Madhav with her live archestra will visit Atlanta, GA, South Carolina, Saylorsburg, PA, Orlando, FL, Ft Lauderdale, FL, Denver, CO, San Jose, CA, Los Angeles, CA, Washington, DC, New Jersey, Philadelphia, PA, New York, NY. Chicago, IL, Temple, TX, Houston, TX, San Antonio, TX and Dallas, TX. Her first concert starts from Atlanta on September 23rd and concludes at Dallas, TX on November 6th.