Bharathanatyam Competition FAQ

Here is a list of answers to frequently asked questions about the Bharathanatyam competition at the Cleveland Festival. Please read through this list to see if your questions have been answered, before you e-mail the organizers.


Which competition categories will be held on which days?

We schedule the categories based on the number of entries in the competition. Since we won't know that till after registration closes, we recommend you plan on being in Cleveland for both days.

On both days, please plan on a start time of 9:00 am. But you will have a detailed time for your specific category before the actual event, so you can plan when to be ready at the auditorium.

We will have a full program of performances by professionals (music and dance) that will be happening at the same time in adjacent auditoriums for you to enjoy.

Can we use purchased music from a CD for the performance? Are there any rules related to music?

There are no rules on using your own music vs. purchased music.

In the choreography category it is mentioned that "One stanza of a varnam (sahityam) and one jathi will be provided the evening before the competition." Can participants get help from anyone to get meaning of the sahityam?

We will have advisors that the dancers can speak to in order to get the meaning, message of the sahityam. We understand this is not the first language for most participants, so we want to make this experience as comfortable as possible, while still challenging the dancers to the next level.

Are there no prelims and finals for the traditional categories anymore? Will that be the case even if you get 50 participants?

Due to the new format, we will not be doing prelims and finals and only 1 round/category. Even if there are 50 participants, we will be using this format, similar to what we have been doing for the music competition all these years.

Are there any restrictions around how we edit the music to fit the 5 minute time limit? Do we have to perform from the beginning until 5 minutes of the audio and stop abruptly?

We ask that you edit the song and use a 5 minute portion you think will best represent all aspects of dance for the judges. It does not have to be from the beginning.

Would it be possible to see previous years competition recordings?

The finals from 2017 were broadcast on Kalaignar TV and on the Ragamalika TV YouTube page. You can view all the finals: subjuniors - seniors on this page.

Is it okay to have same piece for performance category and Varnam category?

Yes, it is okay to have the same piece for performance and varnam.

Is there any other mode of payment other than Amazon pay?

Our only form of payment is Amazon.

Will I get a confirmation email once I have registered?

If you received payment confirmation from Amazon - that is your confirmation. We will only be reaching out after registration is closed.

Can we change the song selected for the competition?

You can change the song up until the registration deadline. At that time, the song selection will be fixed.

In the traditional category, how long is the song supposed to be?

For all the Traditional Categories, including Varnam, the time limit is 5 minutes.

When and what time is the rehearsal?

We do not conduct rehearsals. You are expected to be ready to compete when you are in Cleveland.

Can participants perform two dances in same category?

Each participant can only have 1 (one) entry per category. They cannot enter two songs in the same category. But they can enter as many categories as their age and experience allows.

Are there any guidelines with respect to costumes for girls participating in the Sub-Junior categories?

They can come in a traditional practice costume (half saree with pyjama) or in full costume. Based on past years most participants come in full costume.

We recommend they all come in full makeup since some competitions will be on the big stage and we want to make sure the judges can see the eye movements and expressions.

I am turning 26 this year, but before March 1. Can I still participate?

Unfortunately we are strict about the March 1 deadline just to be fair for all participants.

In the Keerthanam category, are sabdams and tillanas allowed?

Sabdams and tillanas are not allowed for keerthanam category.