Ex-student, Shyam Dattani, has won the South Asian dance final of the BBC’s Young Dancer 2017 competition, beating another five aspiring dancers competing for the category title! The annual dance competition which has been running since 2015 is a search to find the UK’s most gifted and dedicated dancers aged 16-20 in four categories; Ballet, Contemporary, Hip Hop and South Asian Dance.
The finalists in this South Asian Dance category showcased two of the most popular classical Indian dance styles – Kathak and Bhatanatyam. Judging them was a panel of three of the UK’s top dance experts: the choreographer, performer and academic, Chitra Sundaram; performer, teacher and leading exponent of Kathak dance, Kajal Sharma; and general adjudicator – judging across all four BBC Young Dancer categories – the critically acclaimed choreographer and dance producer, Shobana Jeyasingh.
Shyam Dattani studied at Brampton 2013-15 and achieved A*A*A and a place at Kings College to study Dentistry. However, he began his dance journey within Kathak at the age of two. As he progressed, his interest in South Asian dance grew, exploring other disciplines briefly. Kathak has remained his strength, whilst undergoing vigorous training under different teachers, including Abhay Shankar Mishra at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. His love for performing has driven him to take up full-time training, working towards vocational qualifications. Being a passionate dancer, who is developing into a well-versed and all rounded young artist under the guidance of his Guru Urja Desai Thakore, Shyam aspires to challenge himself, performing pieces of established choreographers. Alongside inspiring other young people to pursue their passions, he also hopes to pass on his love for dance through teaching, in the near future.
We wish Shyam all the very best of luck for the grand final which will be aired at 8pm on BBC 2 on Saturday, 22nd April