Bharathanatyam Competition

The annual Bharathanatyam competition at the Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival is conducted over the two days of the second weekend. Dancers from across the globe convene in Cleveland for this prestigious competition, hoping to win the top prize in their category.

For 2018, the competition will be held on April 7th and 8th. The results will be announced, and prizes will be distributed on Sunday April 8th at 5:15pm.

Competition Format

This year, we have a brand new format for the competition. We will have three Traditional categories and two Advanced categories. All dancers will participate directly in these categories without going through a preliminary round.

Participants are welcome to enter more than one category. Past winners are also invited to compete.

Traditional Categories

The entry fee for the traditional categories is $75 per category. Each participant is given 5 minutes to perform one item of their own choice for the category. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners in each category will receive a trophy.

Category 1: Invocation

  • This category is open to participants age 9–14. Age should be calculated as of March 1
  • Dancers are to perform one of the following: Pushpanjali, Kauthuvam, Mallari, Thodaya Mangalam, Allarippu, Jathiswaram

Category 2: Keerthanam

  • There will be three age groups in this category: Sub-Junior (9–14), Junior (15–19), and Senior (20–25). Age should be calculated as of March 1
  • Padams or javalis are not allowed in this category

Category 3: Varnam

  • There will be two age groups in this category—Junior (15–19), and Senior (20–25). Age should be calculated as of March 1
  • All performances must showcase both nrittha and abhinaya

Advanced Categories

The entry fee for these categories is $140 per category. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners in each category will receive a trophy.

In addition to their trophy, the first place winner in each advanced category will receive a 1-hour performance slot at the 2019 Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival, a performance slot in Chennai and a cash prize towards travel to India.

All prize winners will be invited to take part in future Aradhana Committee dance productions.

Category 1: Performance

  • This category is open to participants age 15–25. Age should be calculated as of March 1
  • Each dancer will have 12 minutes total to perform an excerpt of a varnam (7 minutes max.) and an excerpt of a padam/javali (5 minutes max.)
  • Participants will submit two options for the varnam and two options for the padam/javali in advance. At the competition when the participant is on stage, the judges will select which items are to be performed

Category 2: Choreography

  • This category is open to participants age 15–25. Age should be calculated as of March 1
  • Each dancer gets 10 mins total, 8 minutes to perform and a maximum of 2 minutes for live Q&A with the judges
  • One stanza of a varnam (sahityam) and one jathi will be provided the evening before the competition
  • Participants will need to choreograph a complete jathi and 5–6 variations minimum for the sahithyam as well as showcase sanchari

Application Process

  • Your application is a two step process. The first step is to create a profile, register, and make your payment online.
  • The registration and payment deadline is March 15
  • The second step is to send in the music for your entries. We will reach out to you after the registration deadline with instructions.
  • The deadline to receive your music is March 23 extended to March 26
  • We will send you the schedule of events, including dates and times for each category, a few days before the competition
  • The results will be announced, and prizes distributed for all categories, on April 8, as the grand finale of the Festival

If you have any questions, please contact Radhika Balasubramaniam at radhika@aradhana.org

Registration for the competition will open in late January