Winners of Cleveland Thyagaraja Festivalís 3rd Annual Bharatanatyam Competition 

 May 7, 2009 

The Cleveland Aradhana Committee announces winners from the 3rd annual Bharatanatyam competition. 

Twenty five dance finalists from all over the globe gathered in Cleveland, OH on April 19, 2009 for the 3rd Annual Bharatanatyam Competition held as the grand finale for the Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival, the largest Indian classical music festival in North America. The festival was first celebrated in 1978 and has now grown to a week-long event with more than 8000 attendees with 2,000 attending the opening weekend and the final day dedicated to Bharatanatyam.

The finalists were chosen from numerous entries in 3 age groups, sub-juniors (age 12-14), juniors (15-18), and seniors (19-23). Each applicant submitted an audition DVD and the finalists were chosen based on a rigorous selection process. This year the applicants were from all over the globe and reaching the competition is in itself an achievement.

Each finalist was given a time limit of 8 minutes to impress the judges, Bharatanatyam stalwarts Rhadha and Savithri Jagannatha Rao. 

The winners are as follows:

Sub-juniors: Prize- program slot during the 2010 Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival
Winner: Joshua Cherian George, student of Poonam Saswade, Illinois, USA
Runner up: Shivani Krishnamurthy, student of Padmini Krishnamurthy, Muscat, Oman

Juniors: Prize - program during the 2009 Music and Dance Season in Chennai
Winner: Shriya Srinivasan, student of Sujatha Srinivasan, Ohio, USA
Runner up: Ashina Nazerudeen, student of Padmini Krishnamurthy, Muscat, Oman

Seniors: Prize - program during the 2009 Music and Dance Season in Chennai
Winner: Shoba Narayanan, student of Shoba Sharma, Pennsylvania, USA
Runner up: Umesh Venkatesan, student of Praveen Kumar, New Jersey, USA 

"We are happy to see the enthusiasm and the high caliber of talent that each dancer exhibited in their competition piece," says Radhika Balasubramaniam, dance organizer for the Aradhana Committee. "The interest in the annual dance competition from talented young dancers from around the globe is raising the bar for all the applicants and we are excited to see this competition grow."

Next year's dance competition is scheduled for April 11, 2010 and will include a new category, nattuvangam. For application details and more information, please visit in late September 2009. 

For more information and details about the annual Bharatanatyam competition and workshop, please contact Radhika Balasubramaniam on