The ‘Sadguru Sri Thyagabrahma Aradhana Kainkarya Trust’ presented the first ever Nataraja Samman in a glittering ceremony recently. The five legends of the Indian classical dances namely Vyjayantimala Bali, Birju Maharaj, Yamini Krishnamurthy, Sonal Mansingh and Bharati Shivaji received the award of Rs one lakh each, a gold medallion and shawl.
The awards were conferred by V R Gowrishankar, CEO and administrator, Sringeri Sharada Peetham; Captian Gopinath, Vani Ganapathy, Usha Veerendra Kumar of Mathrubhumi and Lalitha Reddy of Namrata Venkatram Reddy Foundation.
The evening began with a dance tribute to the maestros with Endaro Mahanubhavulu.
The dancers were Sathyanarayana Raju, Poornima, Subhashini and Soundarya. The award ceremony ensued.
The performances of the maestros began with Bharati Shivaji presenting a Tallattu - Lullaby while Sonal Mansingh presented the Dasavatar, a Jayadeva composition.
Yamini Krishnamurti presented a part of her masterpiece Swami Rara - Krishna Sabdam and a short excerpt based on Satyabhama Kalapam.
Pandit Birju Maharaj took the audience through some traditional gats and parans and also performed a beautiful abhinaya piece. The performances concluded with the divine recital of Vyjayantimala Bali. She presented a shloka.
The evening culminated with a charity dinner Smarana to raise funds for pediatric cancer in the memory of Late Namrata Venkatram Reddy.
The event was conceptualised and organised by Usha R K and Venkatram Reddy.