Jayamala, Hema Choudhary, Kamal Haasan and Saroja Devi
The celebration to mark the 100 years of Kannada cinema was no starry night on Sunday in Chennai. The show started at 9.20 am, an unusual hour for the filmwallahs. But as they say, the show must go on and it did. Anu Prabhakar and Mythrie kicked off the event with a Bharatanatyam performance to the song Teredide mane oh ba athithi. As the dance recital was on, on one corner of the stage, senior actress Saroja Devi lit the traditional lamp along with Sa Ra Govind, Srinath, SA Chinne Gowda and B Vijaykumar, president, Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce.
This was followed by a devotional dance, Ekadantaya Vakratundaya, by actor Vijay Raghavendra. Actor and art director Arun Sagar did a Charlie Chaplin act, making appearances onstage several times through the event.
Old is gold and so can be said of this function as it was mostly seniors who performed. Despite her 75 years, Leelavathi surprised everybody when she took to the stage to enthusiastically dance to an old number Mellusire Savigana from the movie Veera Kesari. Jayanthi’s act was full of life and romance as she shimmied to Viraha Nooru Nooru Taraha from the film Edakallu Guddada Mele. She paid a tribute to ace director Puttanna Kanagal during her performance. Bhavya danced to the song Gaganavu ello bhoomiyu ello from Gejje Pooje. Dressed as a Lambani tribeswoman, Shruthi danced with gusto to Ararare Ginirama from Gandhada Gudi. This was followed by Tara performing to Banallu Neene from Bayalu Daari. Bharathi Vishnuvardhan mesmerised the audience with her performance to the song Baala Bangaara Neenu from Bangaarada Manushya. Not to be left out, Ramesh Aravind too danced to a couple of songs.
Not letting down the energy, the younger brigade of Shashikumar, Kitty, Amulya, Sanjana, Harshika Ponacha, Vinod Raj, Vijay Raghavendra, Rishika Singh, Pragna, Srimurali, Roopika, Pankaj and Soundarya put up feisty performances.
Supported by drummer Deva and his troupe, B K Sumitra and Rajesh Krishnan belted out some melodies. The five-hour long show had Jayamala, Hema Choudhary, K S Ravikumar, Hamsalekha, Rajendra Singh Babu, K Manju, Soorappa Babu, Ashok and Shivaram watching on intently from the audience.