Western Thaalam: Decennium 2016, definitely a night to remember for many reasons! The night was jam-packed with an outrageous amount of talent in all Arts. There was no lacking element of entertainment at the impressive Indigo 02 Arena. There was dance, music, comedy, a fashion show and more. The Tamil societies of Anglia Ruskin University, Warwick University, City University, St. Georges University and Middlesex University put together dance and music numbers for the competition segment of the evening. Some even borrowed sentiments from good old Tamil films and mixed both elements to put up a story for the audience. They were judged by a panel that comprised of the talented Prito Itiacandy, Shakthisree Gopalan and Charles Bosco. There was no doubt that they were the masters of their specific arts as they gave constructive and honest remarks and praises for the performances.
Each Tamil Society brought a different flavour to the evening, making the event a wonderful treat to the audience. The winners for the Dance competition was the dazzling Middlesex Tamil Society- who gave us an energetic performance from start to finish. Their energy and enthusiasm was impeccable. And the winners for the Music competition was Anglia Ruskin Tamil Society. With light instrumental, their beautiful vocals captured the audience. Congratulations to both teams!!
Not forgetting the independent performances that rocked the stage as well. There was Bhavalayam – which used Western and Tamil classical dance to portray a beautiful tragedy on forbidden love. Public Enemies, again performed a fusion of Hip-hop and Gaana, mixing the latest hip-hop trends with good old Tamil kuttu moves. A R Rahman Through Time managed to serenade us with most of A R Rahman’s hits. The crowd went crazy as they transitioned from one classic to another. In fact, the special guest and award winning singer, Srinivas, himself was amazed by the talented showcase of Yarlinie and Kobini. Another interesting performance of the evening was the fashion show, Andrum Indrum Endrum. Tamil fashion styles through the decades were showcased with classic songs of the golden eras leading up to the current time. The chemistry between the couples was effortless and intense. The night took a more comical tone with Ferrari, who teased everyday modern Tamil struggles, which left the audience in stitches. CJ Germany (violinist) and Kuruji (flutist) took over with their beautiful instrumental versions of Illayaraja classics and crowd favourites. The crowd was intently listening and picking up old favourites.
Finally, the performer that the audience was eagerly anticipating all night clearly did not disappoint, and that was none other than, Srinivas. He amazed us with his talent and enthusiasm. It is no surprise he is such a star, as it is clear he adores performing. This was followed by performances by the immensely talented judges. Shakthisree Gopalan a unique artist having sung in several Tamil blockbuster movie tracks with special performances for AR Rahman, took the stage and mesmerised the audience. Prito’s dance troupe ‘Collective Movement’ was set on a thunderous finale accompanied by the spontaneous works of DJ Mastermind from Malaysia. Of course, all these performances were introduced by our wonderful hosts for the evening: Braha Bala, Tharshia Ravindrakumaran and Snapchat King, Vithujan Arumugam.
The entertainment of the evening was a treat, but surely the cause for Western Thaalam should take precedence. UK Tamil Students Union aim to channel all proceeds from Western Thaalam to their media scheme for “Kumulamunai Maha Vidyalayam Est 1931”, a school based in Kumulamunai, Mullaitivu. Their media scheme aims to provide the 525 students with computers and other technological resources to gain a more holistic education in today’s globalised context. After all, it is education that empowers the people more than anything else. In the process of doing so, it is definitely commendable that UKTSU has brought together Tamil diaspora from all over the world in working together and putting up Western Thaalam Decennium 2016.