Padma Chebrolu – a dancer, teaching artist, and the artistic director of the Cultural Centre of India in Cincinnati – has been awarded the 2021 Ohio Heritage Fellowship Award for Performing Arts from the Ohio Arts Council.
“This recognition renews and strengthens my deep commitment to continue to present the majestic heritage dance art form to the vibrant Ohio community and create exceptional next-generational regional artists,” Chebrolu said. “My deepest gratitude to my parents, gurus, supporters, students, family and friends for being part of this wonderful artistic journey.”
Ohio Heritage Fellowships are awarded in recognition of the significant impact an individual or group has had on the people and communities of the state through their advancement and preservation of the folk or traditional arts. This $5,000 award is given in one of three categories: Performing Arts, Material Culture or Community Leadership.
“Padma is an exceptional artist, arts educator, and community leader whose life’s work has been astounding. As an internationally renowned leader in her field, Padma has had her tremendous impact on communities across the globe,” said Donna S. Collins, executive director of the Ohio Arts Council. “Her artistry showcases the beautiful tradition of Indian dance, and her dedication as an educator ensures that new generations have the opportunity to learn from a true master of the art form.”
Chebrolu grew up in the small town of Gunter, India. At the age of 3, she began learning dance. After completing her Bharata Natyam Arangetram (graduation) recital at the age of 11, she studied with several gurus and mastered Bharata Natyam, Kuchipudi, Andhra Natyam, Mohini Attam and other classical dance styles. She attended two colleges, one for dance and another for academics.
Chebrolu continues to share her passion of art as an artistic director of the Cultural Centre of India, a dance company and studio in Cincinnati where she has taught for more than 25 years. As part of her practice as an instructor, she incorporates an expansive knowledge of the music and costuming traditions of the art form, weaving a complete understanding of the heritage and tradition of classical Indian dances.