In March 2008, ten young bharatanatyam dancers from the Shri Krupa Dance Foundation in the San Francisco Bay Area competed in the Barcelona Dance Award 2008, one of the largest international amateur dance gatherings in Europe. 1200 performers from 20 countries across five continents converged in Barcelona for the competition; 285 dances were performed and judged over a period of three days.

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Shri Krupa Dance Foundation has been a center for excellence in bharatanatyam teaching for 30 years. Founder and Artistic Director Vishal Ramani was unable to join the team for scheduling reasons. She prepared two short dances for the competition and sent the students off with their guru’s blessing.

Lights-camera-action! As the music started, the dancers transformed themselves into the roles they played in a timeless classic from Hindu mythology, where a young Krishna vanquishes a multi-headed serpent. The dancers conveyed the complex tale of emotion and elation. The final scene of deliverance from a venomous serpent was depicted in a beautiful mural of dancers on stage as the performance came to end. An awed silence and a dark stage greeted the dancers as they made their exit.

Shri Krupa won the Classical Folk Custom category as well as Third Place in the Global Ethnic dance category. The ten Shri Krupa dancers who brought Bay Area bharatanatyam to Barcelona were Nadya Agarwal, Anjana Bala, Priya Banerjee, Soumitha Bose, Pooja Chirala, Geeta Bharathi, Krithika Krishnamurthy, Vinodhini Lakshmanan, Anu Ramachandran, and Laxmi Sastri.

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