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17-year-old Bharatnatyam dancer won the BBC Young Dancer award

Adhya Shastri a 17-year-old from Reading specializing in classical Indian dance has been crowned the winner of the BBC Young Dancer award.

Adhya Shastry impressed the judges with her brilliant Bharatanatyam performance, a style originating in the south of the country that is considered to be one of its oldest traditional forms. Adhya who started dancing Bharatanatyam at the age of nine fends off competition from nine other dancers between the ages of 17 and 24 at London’s Roundhouse venue. The young performer has also trained in contemporary and ballet at The Place CAT scheme since 2019 and is a member of the 2021-22 National Youth Company.

Adhya Shastry, who is also studying for her A-Levels, said: “I am honoured to have won BBC Young Dancer 2022. I have learned so much from (artistic director) Emma Gladstone and the choreographers and mentors, and I now have a better understanding of who I am, what I stand for, and how I like to dance. “I now want to be more involved and immersed in the creative world – I feel like it’s only just the beginning and there are endless possibilities and things I want to learn and do! “Also, through this experience, I have met the most incredible dancers who have become friends and have inspired and pushed me to be a better version of myself; people who have shaped me into the person and dancer that I am today, so there truly has been a domino effect on my life because of the BBC.”

The final aired on BBC Two on Saturday and also featured a performance from 2019 winner Max Revell. The dancers performed solos and premiered duets and trios choreographed by Kristina and Sade Alleyne, Gianna Gi, Dickson Mbi, and Seeta Patel, as well as a group performance created by dancer, choreographer, and filmmaker Ivan Blackstock. Presented by Clara Amfo, the main prize was judged by an independent panel of figures from the UK dance industry.

Vinod Nair

V VInod Nair. Film Critic, Writer, Designer, Blogger, photographer Former Visualiser with Indian Express Newspapers Ltd, former Special Info-Graphic Designer with The Times of India. Contributor, film critic The TImes of India. Freelance journalist.

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