President Ram Nath Kovind, presented the Sangeet Natak Akademi's Fellowships (Akademi Ratna) and Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards (Akademi Puraskar) for the year 2016 at a function held at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi today.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said that art connects people with culture. It also links people. While singing or listening to the national anthem, every citizen rises above his/her personal aspirations. Artists should use this power of art in the interest of our society and country.
The President appreciated the Sangeet Natak Akademi for honouring artists who in the field of tribal music, dance, theatre and traditional folk arts. He said these folk arts have kept the traditions of our country alive.
The Sangeet Natak Akademi’s Fellowships and Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards are recognised as among the most coveted national honours bestowed on performing artists as well as teachers and scholars of performing arts.
The Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowships (Akademi Ratna) and Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards (Akademi Puraskar) are national honours bestowed by the Republic of India on performing artists as well as teachers and scholars in the field of performing arts. The recipients are selected by the Akademi’s General Council, consisting of musicians, dancers, theatre artists and scholars in these disciplines, and nominees of the Government of India and of the States and Union Territories of the India Union.
The four Fellowships (Akademi Ratna) this year will be conferred on Shri Arvind Parikh, Smt. R. Vedavalli, Shri Ram Gopal Bajaj and Shri Sunil Kothari. The Fellows receive a purse of three lakh rupees, an angavastram, and a tamrapatra. The artists to be honoured with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards for 2016 receive one lakh rupees, an angavastram, and a tamrapatra.
In the field of Music, eleven eminent artists received the Akademi’s Awards this year: Smt. Padma Talwalkar and Shri Prabhakar Karekar, Hindustani Vocal Music, Shri Arvind Mulgaonkar, Hindustani Instrumental Music -Tabla, Smt. Kala Ramnath, Hindustani Instrumental Music –Violin, Smt. Neela Ramgopal and Smt. K Omanakutty, Carnatic Vocal Music, Shri J Vaidhyanathan, Carnatic Instrumental Music – Mridangam, Shri Mysore M Manjunath, Carnatic Instrumental Music – Violin, Shri Ningthoujam Shyamchand Singh, Other Major Traditions Of Music – Nata Sankirtana, Manipur, Smt. Ratnamala Prakash, Other Major Traditions Of Music – Sugam Sangeet, Shri Ahmed Hussain & Mohd. Hussain, Other Major Traditions of Music – Sugam Sangeet (Hussain Brothers) (Joint Award).
In the field of Dance, nine eminent artists received the Akademi Awards this year, Smt. Geeta Chandran for Bharatanatyam, Shri Jitendra Maharaj for Kathak, Shri Kalamandalam Ramachandran Unnithan for Kathakali, Shri Maisnam Kaminikumar Singh for Manipuri, Smt. A B Bala Kondala Rao for Kuchipudi, Shri Ratikant Mohapatra for Odissi, Shri Haricharan Bhuyan Borbayan for Sattriya, Shri Gopal Prasad Dubey for Chhau, Smt. Anita R Ratnam for Contemporary Dance.
In the field of Theatre, nine eminent artists received the Akademi Awards this year: Smt. Kusum Kumar for Playwriting, Shri Satyabrata Rout for Direction, Shri Bipin Kumar for Direction, Shri Rajkamal Nayak for Direction, Shri Gireesan V for Acting, Shri Oinam Biramangol Singh for Acting, Shri Mohan Joshi for Acting, Smt. Anjana Puri for Allied Theatre Arts – Music for Theatre, Shri K Govind Bhat for Other Major Traditions Of Theatre – Yakshgana
In the field of Traditional/Folk/Tribal Music/Dance/Theatre and Puppetry, ten artistes received the Akademi Awards this year, Smt. Annabattula Lakshmi Mangatayaru And Smt. Leela Sai (Joint Award) Traditional Theatre (Kalavantulu) Andhra Pradesh, Shri Yogesh Gadhavi, Folk Music, Gujarat, Shri Vidyanand Saraik, Folk Music, Himachal Pradesh, Shri Somnath D Chari, Traditional Music, Goa, Shri Laxmidhar Raut, Pala, Odisha, Shri Chiranji Lal Tanwar, Mand, Rajasthan, Shri Gulzar Ahmad Ganie, Folk Music (Chakri), Jammu & Kashmir, Shri Braj Kishor Dubey, Folk Music, Bihar, Shri Prabhitangsu Das and Shri Dattatreya Aralikatte for Puppetry.
Pappu Venugopal Rao and Avinash Pasricha received the Akademi’s Award for their overall contribution in the performing Arts.
The Fellowships and Awards ceremony for 2016 is followed by a festival of music, dance and drama scheduled from 18 to 21 January 2018, featuring Fellows and Award-winners of the year. The festival will be held at the Meghdoot Theatre Complex, Copernicus Marg and Mavalankar Hall, Rafi Marg from 18th January 2018 onwards.
The Sangeet Natak Akademi established by the Government of India in 1953, is India’s National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama. It is responsible for the promotion and preservation of the performing arts of the country, and works to achieve these goals by means of specially designed programmes in various fields. One of the important activities of the Akademi is to recognize the contribution of outstanding musicians, dancers and theatre artists, bestowing on them its Fellowship and Awards. The ultimate aim of the activity is to create benchmarks in the practice of the performing arts.