A 17-year-old from Reading who specializes in Indian classical dance has been crowned the winner of the BBC Young Dancer Award.
dhya Shastry impressed the jury with her interpretation of Bharatanatyam, a style that originated in the south of the country and is considered one of the oldest traditional forms.
In the final, Shastry, who started dancing Bharatanatyam at the age of nine, beat off competition from nine other dancers, aged between 17 and 24, at the Roundhouse in London.
In addition to her traditional training, the young performer has also been studying contemporary and ballet at The Place CAT since 2019 and is a member of the National Youth Dance Company 2021-22.
Shastry, who is also studying for her A-levels, said: “I’m honored to have won BBC Young Dancer 2022. I’ve learned so much from (Artistic Director) Emma Gladstone and the choreographers and mentors and now I have a better understanding of who I am, what I stand for and how I love to dance.
“I want to get more involved and immersed in the creative world right now – I feel like this is just the beginning and there are endless possibilities and things I want to learn and do!
“Also, through this experience I’ve met the most incredible dancers who have become friends and have inspired and pushed me to be a better version of myself; People who really shaped me into the person and dancer I am today, so because of the BBC it really had a knock-on effect in my life.”
The finale, which was broadcast on BBC Two on Saturday night, also featured a performance by 2019 winner Max Revell, who is currently dancing for the Akram Khan Company in their new production, Jungle Book Reimagined.
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The dancers performed solos and premieres of 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 Grand Prize was judged by an independent panel of British dance industry figures.
Artistic Director Emma Gladstone said: “Our goal for BBC Young Dancers this year was to open creative doors for dancers and support their artistic growth. It was a joy to see them step through those doors with such ownership.
“Adhya Shastry attracted attention right from the start with her confident presence on stage and her versatility in different styles.
“As the judges all commented, she is fascinating to watch and a most worthy winner.”
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/teenager-specialising-in-indian-dance-claims-bbc-young-dancer-award-41625963.html Teen specializing in Indian dance receives BBC Young Dancer Award