Jasraj, Amonkar, Yamini among 6 Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellows

File photo of Pandit Jasraj.
File photo of Pandit Jasraj.

Renowned classical vocalists Pandit Jasraj and Kishori Amonkar, Bharata Natyam dancer Yamini Krishnamurti, Carnatic violinist Lalgudi Jayaraman, actor Shreeram Lagoo and eminent Sanskrit scholar and theatre personality Kamlesh Dutt Tripathi have been chosen as Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellows.

The Akademi is India's national academy of music, dance and drama and the fellowship is a rare and prestigious honour, restricted to a very limited number of personalities in the field of performing arts at a given time.

At present, there are 32 Fellows of the Sangeet Natak Akademi. The decision was taken by the General Council of the Akademi at its meetings held here on January 29 and February 12.

The council also selected 33 artistes from the fields of music, dance and theatre for the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards (Akademi Puraskar) for the year 2009.

In the field of music, those chosen for the awards are Abdul Rashid Khan and Vasundhara Komkali for Hindustani Vocal Music, Lachman Singh Seen (Tabla) and Ali Ahmad Hussain (Shehnai) for Hindustani Instrumental Music, Parassala B Ponnammal for Carnatic Vocal, U Srinivas (Mandolin) and Dandamudi Sumathi Rama Mohan Rao (Mridangam) for Carnatic Instrumental Music, and L. Ibohalmacha Singh (Nata Sankirtana) for Other Major Traditions of Music.

In the field of dance, the awards have gone to Ananda Shankar Jayant (Bharatanatyam), Prerana Shrimali (Kathak), Kalamandalam Rajan (Kathakali), L. Bino Devi (Manipuri), Geeta Mahalik (Odissi), Vyjayanthi Kashi (Kuchipudi), Daksha Sheth (Creative & Experimental Dance) and Kala Krishna (Other Major Traditions of Dance – Andhranatyam).

The winners in theatre are Shankar Narayan Navre (Marathi) and Vayala Vasudevan Pillai (Malayalam) for Playwriting, Sudha Shivpuri and Neeta Mohindra for Acting, and Joy Michael and Dinesh Thakur for Direction. For Allied Theatre Arts, Kamal Arora (Make-up) and Kuldeep Singh (Music for Theatre) have been selected.

For their contribution to Other Traditional/Folk/ Tribal Music/ Dance/ Theatre, Musafir Ram Bhardwaj, Folk Dance (Himachal Pradesh); Vilayat Khan Ragi, Dhadhi Folk Music (Punjab); U K Kunjirama Panicker, Theyyam (Kerala); Jaganath Behera, Pala (Orissa); Shanti Jain, Folk Music (Bihar); Vithal Gangaram Umap, Folk Theatre (Maharashtra) and Bhikhudan Govindbhai Gadhvi, Folk Music (Gujarat) have been selected.

Moinul Haque has been selected for the award for his contribution to Mime and Leela Venkataraman has been selected for her overall contribution to Performing Arts, an official press releae said.

The Akademi Fellow (Akademi Ratna) and Akademi Award (Akademi Puraskar) have been conferred since 1952, which not only symbolize the highest standard of excellence and achievements on a national basis, but also recognize sustained individual work and contribution to the practice and appreciation of the arts through performance, teaching and scholarship.

The honour of Akademi Fellow carries purse money of Rs 3,00,000 and Akademi Awards carry Rs 1,00,000, besides Tamrapatra and Angavastram.


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