The European leg of the Kalashram Kathak competition held on 18th November, in Wembley, got its first winner. Sonia Chandaria Tillu came first in the 21-30 years category. Sonia will now represent the Indian diaspora at the televised Grand Finale in Mumbai, India, on 21st December, alongside the winners from various Indian cities.
Initiated by Kalashram – the world leading Kathak exponent Padmavibhusan Pandit Birju Maharaj’s Indian Institute of Kathak, the competition aims to provide a public platform for young, upcoming Kathak dancers to showcase their talent to a more mainstream audience.
The London competition was judged by a panel of knowledgeable and experienced exponents of the field including Padmavibhusan Pandit Birju Maharaj himself, Saswati Sen, Mira Kaushik and Pratap Pawar among others.
Judge Mira Kaushik says she is “delighted that one of Akademi's NAVODIT stars, Sonia Chandaria Tillu, has won the Kalashram Kathak contest in the UK. She wholeheartedly deserves this award and I look forward to following her progress in the next round of the competition in India. I am sure Sonia will shine on the international stage and make London proud.”