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Bhupen Hazarika, Sitara Devi to be conferred Akademi fellowships Tuesday

Bhupen Hazarika
Bhupen Hazarika
Renowned music composer Bhupen Hazarika and eminent Kathak exponent Sitara Devi are among the four personalities from the field of performing arts who will be conferred with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowships by President Pratibha Patil at a special ceremony here tomorrow.

The President will confer four fellowships and 33 Akademi Awards on distinguished artistes, scholars and others at the function.

The Akademi Fellowship (Akademi Ratna) and Akademi Awards (Akademi Puraskar) are recognized as the highest national honour conferred on practising artistes, gurus and scholars and have come to stay as the most coveted honour which the artistes aspire to.

This year, the honour of Akademi Ratna will also be conferred on well-known stage designer Khaled Chowdhury and, renowned scholar of performing arts R C Mehta.

The fellowship carries a purse of Rs 100,000, a citation, an angavastram and a tamrapatra. The fellowship is restricted to 30 living persons at any given point of time.

The General Council of the Akademi has also selected 34 practitioners of music, dance and theatre for 33 awards, including one joint award, for the Akademi Puraskar for the year 2008. The award carries a purse of Rs 50,000, a citation, an angavastram and a tamrpatra.

In the field of music, the eight awardees are Ulhas Kashalkar and M.R. Gautam for Hindustani vocal music; Ramesh Mishra (Sarangi) and Krishna Ram Chaudhary (Shehnai) for Hindustani Instrumental Music; Puranam Purushottama Sastri for Carnatic Vocal; B. Sasi Kumar (Violin) and Manrgudi A. Easwaran (Mridangam) for Carnatic Instrumental Music and Ningombam Ibobi Singh (Nata Sankirtana, Manipur) for Other Major Traditions of Music.

The nine dancers chosen for the award are Saroja Vaidyanathan, Bharatanatyam; Shashi Shankhla, Kathak; Kalamandalam Kuttan, Kathakali; Ramani Ranjan Jena, Odissi; M. Vasanthalakshmi & M.V. Narasimhachari (Joint Award), Kuchipudi; Kalamandalam Leelamma, Mohiniattam; Yogsunder Desai, Creative & Experimental Dance and Ramhari Das, Music for Dance (Odissi).

In the field of theatre, the eight awardees are Markand Bhatt and Arundhati Nag for Acting, S. Ramanujam and Probir Guha for Direction, Mudra Rakshasa (Hindi) and Narsingh Dev Jamwal (Dogri) for Playwriting, Amba Sanyal for Allied Theatre Arts (Costume Designing) and Bansi Lal Khilari (Khayal, Rajasthan) for Major Traditions of Theatre.

For their contribution to Other Traditional/Folk/ Tribal Music/ Dance/ Theatre, Shakuntala Nagarkar, Lavani (Maharastra); Birabar Sahoo, Gotipua (Orissa); Mangi Bai Arya, Mand (Rajasthan); L. Heramot Meitei, Thang-Ta (Martial Art, Manipur); Lakha Khan Mangniyar, Folk Music (Rajasthan); Hilda Mit Lepcha, Lepcha Music (Sikkim); Kartar Singh, Gurbani (Punjab) and Lakshman Das, Hari Katha (Karnataka) have been selected.

R. Satyanarayana of Karnataka has been selected for the award for his scholarship in Performing Arts, an official press release added.

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