Amjad Ali, Shivkumar Sharma among 11 given Akademi fellowship

Amjad Ali, Shivkumar Sharma among 11 given Akademi fellowship

Sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan and Santoor exponent Shivkumar Sharma were among the recipients of Sangeet Natak Akademi fellowship and awards given to 47 eminent persons by President Pranab Mukherjee here today.

A total of 11 eminent persons in the field of music, dance and theatre were nominated for the Akademi fellowship for 2011, which included along with Khan and Sharma, flute legend Hariprasad Chaurasia, who could not make it to the function due to his prior engagements.

Besides this, 36 eminent personalities and artists, including well-known film and television actor Vikram Gokhle, were conferred the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards.

Those conferred with the highest honour of Akademi fellowship received Rs 3 lakh, an angavastram and a tamrapatra.

The eminent representatives of music, dance and theatre, who received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards received Rs one lakh, an Angavastram and a Tamrapatra.

Two of the Akademi Awardees Sundari Krishnalal Shridharani, an eminent threatre personality, who set up Triveni Kala Sangam in Delhi and director and playwright Alakhnandan were given the award posthumously.

Their family members received the awards on their behalf after the ceremony was over. Both of them passed away earlier this year after they were named for the awards.

The oldest living artist to receive the award was Kerala musician Thrippekulam Achuta Marar (91), who came on a wheel chair. Mukherjee got down from the stage to offer him the award. The youngest to get the award was 48 year-old Bharatnatyam dancer Narthaki Nataraj.

Khan, who received the Sangeet Natak Akademi fellowship this time had earlier got the Akademi Award in 1989. He is a recipient of many prestigious awards, including Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan and the UNESCO award.

Mukund Lath, a leading thinker in cultural history, Mridangam artist Umayalapuram Kasiviswanatha Sivraman, famed Kathakali artist Kalamandalam Gopi, outstanding Bharatnatyam dancer Padma Subramanyam were also awarded the fellowship.

Others, who received the prestigious fellowship of the Akademi included Mohan Chandrasekaran for Carnatic violin, Rajkumar Singhajit Singh for his contribution to Manipuri dance, Karnataka dramatist Chandrasekhar Basavanneppa Kambara and a voice in contemporary Indian theatre Heisnam Kanhailal from Manipur.

The list of Akademi awardees included Shruti Sadolkar Katkar, who had given music in Amol Palekar's movie Paheli, Marathe Venkateshkumar (both in Hindustani vocal), Gopal Chandra Panda (Odishi music), Pakhawaj artist Totaram Sharma, Pushpraj Ramlal Koshti (Hindustani Instrumental Music), J Venkatrama (Carnatic Vocal music), Elappulli Mahadevaiyer Submramaniam, Ayyagari Syamasundram and Sheshampatti T Sivalingam (all three Carnatic Instrumental Music).

In the dance category, the awardees included Narthaki Nataraj (Bharatnatayam), Manjusree Chatterjee (Kathak), Thonnakkal Peethambaran (Kathakali), Priti Patel (Manipuri), Alekhya Punjala (Kuchipudi), Malaysia born Ramali Ibrahim (Odissi), V K Hymavathy (Mohiniattam), Tanusree Shankar (Creative and experimental dance) and Karaikudi R Krishnamurthy (music for dance- Mridangam).

In the theatre category, three actors, including the noted theatre and film personality Vikram Gokhle got the award. The other two included Neena Tiwana and A R Srinivasan.

Apart from Alakhnandan, who was awarded posthumously, another threatre director to get the award was Kirti Jain besides actor, director and stage designer R Nageswara Rao of Andhra Pradesh.

Kamal Jain of the Allied Theatre Arts got the award for lighting. Jain had designed lighting for more than three hundred plays including Vijay Tendulkar's legendary play "Ghasiram Kotwal".

Sundrai Krishnalal Shridharani, the founder of Triveni Kala Sangam in the national capital, was bestowed upon the award posthumously for her overall contribution to performing arts.

Started in 1950 with two students and a donation of a hundred rupees, the institution quickly blossomed into one of the capital's prestigious cultural venues and a hub of artistic activities in the city.

Srivatsa Goswami was given the award for his contribution in the field of Braj studies.
In the traditional, folk, tribal dance, music, theatre and puppetry categories, the awardees included Kerala musician T A Marar, Hemant Rajabhai Chauhan (fold music of Gujarat), Gurmeet Bawa (Punjab folk music), Kashi Ram Sahu (Folk Theatre of Chhattisgarh), Mipham Otsa (Traditional Theatre of Jammu and Kashmir), Belagallu Veeranna (Puppetry, Karnataka), Gopal Chandra Das (Putul Natch of Tripura) and Qasim Khan Niyzi.

Niyazi, a reputed maker of Tabla and other percussion instruments from Delhi, was given the award for his contribution to the art of instrument making.

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