The Sangeet Natak Akademi has selected 128 performing artistes from various fields for its regular annual awards for 2019-21. The artistes come from the fields of music, dance, theatre, traditional, folk, tribal music, and puppetry. Apart from that, the Akademi has also bestowed special one-time awards on 86 artistes for their overall contribution to the performing arts under Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, commemorating 75 years of India’s independence.
The 86 awardees for the one-time prizes, named Sangeet Natak Akademi Amrit Awards, include artistes who are above the age of 75 years and haven’t been received any national honour in their career so far in the field of the performing arts. The award carries a purse of ₹1,00,000.
At a meeting on November 6-8, the general council of the Akademi also selected 10 eminent personalities as fellows. The prestigious fellowship is restricted to 40 at any given time. At present the number stands at 39, including those who have been selected this year.
Saroja Vaidyanathan, Sadanam Krishnam Kutty, Darshana Jhaveri, Channulal Mishra, A.K.C. Natarajan, Swapan Chaudhuri, Malini Rajurkar, T.V. Gopalakrishnan, Teejan Bai and Bharat Gupt are among those selected as fellows.
Five special one-time awardees from Tamil Nadu
The Amrit awardees are from across the country. They include five from Tamil Nadu: R. Ramani (Carnatic veena), V.A.K. Rangarao (dance music), Sundaresan Ramamurthy (theatre), Purusai Subramanuim (Terukoothu) and Achalapuram Chinnatambi (nagaswaram). The awardees also include five artistes each from Karnataka and Kerala and four from Telangana.
“The eminent artistes cover the entire gamut of the performing arts, such as vocal music, both Hindustani and Carnatic, instrumental music, both Hindustani and Carnatic, including flute, sitar and mridangam; Sugama Sangeetha as well as harikatha; the the major forms of Indian dance such as Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Kathakali, Kuchipudi, Odissi, Sattriya, Mohiniattam as well as contemporary dance; the different specializations of theatre such as playwriting, direction, acting, make-up, lighting, stage design; major traditions of theatre like Isai Natakam; the folk and tribal arts as well as the arts of puppetry and instrument making,” a press release by the Culture ministry said.
Apart from that musician Bickram Ghosh and spiritual singer Anup Jalota has won the award for 2020, while Carnatic vocalists Charumathi Ramachandran and Pala C K Ramachandran has won the award for 2019.
Eight awardees from Karnataka
Bharatanatyam danseuse Vasundhara Doreswamy, veteran Carnatic vocalist R K Padmanabha, and music composer-singer Garthikere Raghanna are among the eight awardees of the Sangeet Natak Akademi awards from Karnataka who have been selected for the awards.
The awardees from Karnataka for 2019 include Vinayak Torvi (Hindustani Vocal) and Manju Bhargavi (Kuchipudi). The 2020 awardees from the state include H G Lakshmidevamma (folk) and Arathi Angkalikar (Hindustani music). Awardees for 2021 include Ravindra Yavagal (tabla), H R Leelavathi (Sugama Sangeetha), Garthikere Raghanna (Janapada) and D Balakrishna (veena).
The one-time award was bagged by Gauri Kuppuswamy (Carnatic Music), Anusuya Kulkarni, Lalita Srinivasan (Bharatanatyam), A S Jayatheertha (Theatre) and Marappa Das (folk).
While the Akademi fellowship carries a purse of ₹3,00,000, for the Akademi Puraskar it is ₹1,00,000. The Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards will be conferred by the President of India at a special investiture ceremony.