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    Kanhailal Singhajit to receive Akademi awards
    NEW DELHI, October 3 (MIC): The President of India Pranab Mukherjee will confer the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowships and Akademi Awards for 2011 at a special ceremony on October 9 at 1200 hours at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi . This year eleven eminent personalities will be conferred with Akademi Fellowships and thirty six artists will receive the Akademi Awards.

    The Akademi Fellowship (Akademi Ratna) and Akademi Award (Akademi Puraskar) are recognized as the highest national honours conferred on performing artists, gurus and scholars of the performing arts and have come to stay as the most coveted honour which the artistes aspire to. These honours are decided by Akademi`s General Council, the apex body consisting of eminent artistes, scholars and nominees of Government of India and of different States and Union Territories of the country.

    Manipuri dance personality Rajkumar Singhajit Singh and theatre personality Heisnam Kanhailal are among eleven personalities who will receive the Akademi Fellowship, the highest honour of Sangeet Natak Akademi. Other Akademi fellows are Mukund Lath, Hariprasad Chaurasia, Shivkumar Sharma, Amjad Ali Khan, Umayalpuram Kasiviswanatha Sivaraman, Mohan Chandrasekaran, Shri Kalamandalam Gopi , Padma Subrahmanyam, and Chandrasekhar Basavanneppa Kambara. They will receive purse money of Rupees three lakhs , besides an Angavastram and a Tamrapatra. The Fellowship of the Akademi is the most rare honour, which is restricted to a limited number at a given time. Presently there are only 40 living Fellows of the Sangeet Natak Akademi.

    The eminent representatives of Music , Dance and Theatre to be honoured with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for 2011 will receive purse money of Rupees one lakh, Angavastram and Tamrapatra.

    In the field of Music, nine eminent artists, namely Shruti Sadolikar Katkar and Marathe Venkateshkumar for Hindustani Vocal Music , Tota Ram Sharma (Pakhawaj) and Pushpraj Ramlal Koshti (Surbahar) for Hindustani Instrumental Music , J Venkatraman for Carnatic Vocal Music, Ellapulli Mahadevaiyer Subramaniam (Ghatam), Ayyagari Syamasundaram (Veena) and Seshampatti T Sivalingam (Nagaswaram) for Carnatic Instrumental Music, and Gopal Chandra Panda (Odissi Music) for Other Major Traditions of Music, will receive the Akademi Award 2011.

    In the field of Dance, nine eminent practitioners, namely Narthaki Nataraj (Bharatanatyam), Manjusree Chatterjee (Kathak), Thonnakkal Peethambaran (Kathakali), Priti Patel (Manipuri), Alekhya Punjala (Kuchipudi), Ramli Ibrahim (Odissi), V K Hymavathy (Mohiniattam), Tanusree Shankar (Creative & Experimental Dance) and Karaikudi R. Krishnamurthy (Music for Dance – Mridangam) will receive the Award for 2011.

    In the field of Theatre, eight eminent persons who will be receiving the Akademi Awards are Kirti Jain for Direction, Amitabh Srivastava, Vikram Chandrakant Gokhle , Neena Tiwana and A R Srinivasan for Acting, R Nageswara Rao for Major Traditions of Theatre Company Theatre, Andhra Pradesh and Kamal Jain for Allied Theatre Arts (Lighting).

    For their contribution to Other Traditional/Folk/ Tribal Music/ Dance/ Theatre and Puppetry, eight artistes – Thrippekulam Achuta Marar for Traditional Music (Kerala) , Hemant Rajabhai Chauhan for Folk Music (Gujarat), Gurmeet Bawa for Folk Music (Punjab), Kashi Ram Sahu for Folk Theatre (Chhattisgarh), Mipham Otsal for Traditional Theatre (Jammu & Kashmir) , Belagallu Veeranna for Togalu Gombeyatta, Puppetry (Karnataka), Gopal Chandra Das for Putul Nach (Tripura) and Qasim Khan Niyazi for Making of Musical Instrument (Delhi) will be conferred with the Akademi Award for the year 2011 .

    Shrivatsa Goswami will receive the Akademi Award 2011 for Overall Contribution /Scholarship to Performing Arts. Alakhnandan (Theatre-Direction) and Sundari Krishnalal Shridharani (Overall Contribution) were also selected for Akademi Awards 2011. Due to their demise the said Award will be conferred on them posthumously.

    The Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowships and Awards 2011 presentation ceremony will be followed by a Festival of Music , Dance and Drama featuring Fellows and Awardees of the year from 9-16 October 2012 at FICCI Auditorium, Tansen Marg, Meghdoot Theatre, Copernicus Marg, Shri Ram Centre, Safdar Hashmi Marg and Kamani Auditorium,Copernicus Marg, New Delhi . The festival will be inaugurated by Kumari Selja, Minister of Culture and Minister of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation at FICCI Auditorium on 9 October 2012 at 6 pm.

    Memoirs of Africa directed by Heisnam Kanhailal of Kalakshetra , featuring Heisnam Sabitri will be staged on October 11 at 6 pm at Meghdoot Theatre. Priti Patel’s Manipuri dance performance will be held at FICCI Auditorium on October 15 at 6 pm and Nayika Mala choreographed by Rajkumar Singhajit will be staged on October 16 at 6 pm at FICCI Auditorium.

    The Sangeet Natak Akademi, established by the Government of India on 31 May 1952, is the National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama. It was created as the apex body in the country for the task of preservation and promotion of the performing art tradition of India . One of the important activities of the Akademi has been to give recognition and honours to artistes for setting standards in performing arts and restoring the art and artists to their rightful place in independent India .


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