The Sangeet Natak Akademi has named four eminent personalities in the field of performing arts – Zakir Hussain, Sonal Mansingh, dancer and choreographer Jatin Goswami and Bharatnatyam exponent K. Kalyanasundaram Pillai – for the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellow or Akademi Ratna awards. The decision was taken on June 26.
In a press release, the Fellowship of the Akademi is the most prestigious and a rare honour, which is restricted to 40 numbers at any given time.
The General Council also selected forty-four (44) artists from the field of Music, Dance, Theatre, Traditional/Folk/Tribal Music/Dance/Theatre, Puppetry and Overall contribution/scholarship in the Performing Arts for the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards (Akademi Puraskar) for the year 2018. These forty-four (44) artists include three joint awards.
The Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards will be conferred by the President of India at a special investiture ceremony.
In the field of Music, eleven eminent artists, namely Mani Prasad – Hindustani Vocal, Madhup Mudgal – Hindustani Vocal, Tarun Bhattacharya – Hindustani Instrumental – Santoor, Tejendra Narayan Majumdar – Hindustani Instrumental – Sarod, Alamelu Mani – Carnatic Vocal, Malladi Suribabu – Carnatic Vocal, S.Kasim & S.Babu (Joint Award) – Carnatic Instrumental – Nagaswaram, Ganesh & Kumaresh (Joint Award) – Carnatic Instrumental –Violin, Suresh Wadkar- Other Major Traditions of Music – Sugam Sangeet, Shanti Hiranand – Other Major Traditions of Music – Sugam Sangeet, H.Ashangbi Devi – Other Major Traditions of Music – Nata Sankirtana, Manipur, have been selected for the Akademi Awards 2018.
In the Field of Dance, nine eminent artists have been selected for the Akademi Awards 2018, namely, Radha Sridhar for Bharatanatyam, Ishira & Maulik Shah (Joint Award) for Kathak, Akham Lakshmi Devi for Manipuri, Pasumurthy Ramalinga Sastry for Kuchipudi, Surupa Sen for Odissi, Tankeswar Hazarika Borbayan for Sattriya, Gopika Varma for Mohiniattam, Tapan Kumar Pattanayak for Chhau, Deepak Mazumdar for Contemporary Dance.
In the field of Theatre, nine eminent artists have been selected for the Akademi Awards 2018, Rajiv Naik for Playwriting, Laltluangliana Khiangte for Playwriting, Sanjay Upadhyay for Direction, S.Raghunandana for Direction, Suhas Joshi for Acting, Teekam Joshi for Acting, Swapan Nandy for Mime, Bhagawat A.S.Nanjappa – Other Major Traditions of Theatre – Yakshagana, A.M.Parameswaran Kuttan Chakkiyar – Other Major Traditions of Theatre – Kutiyattam.
In the field of Traditional/Folk/Tribal Music/Dance/Theatre and Puppetry, ten artists have been selected for the Akademi Awards 2018, they are Malini Awasthi, Folk Music, Uttar Pradesh, Gazi Khan Barna, Folk Music – Khartal, Rajasthan, Narendar Singh Negi, Folk Song, Uttrakhand, Mohd. Sadiq Bhagat, Folk Theatre (Bhand Pather), J&K, Kota Sachidanand Shastry, Harikatha, Andhra Pradesh, Arjun Singh Dhruve, Folk Dance, Madhya Pradesh, Somnath Battu Folk Music, Himachal Pradesh, Anupama Hoskere, Puppetry (String), Karnataka, Hem Chandra Goswami, Mask Making, Assam.
Diwan Singh Bajeli and Puru Dadhich have been selected for the Akademi Award 2018 in the field of Overall Contribution/Scholarship in the Performing Arts.
The honour of Akademi Award has been conferred since 1952. These honours not only symbolize the highest standard of excellence and achievements, but also recognize sustained individual work and contribution. The honour of Akademi Fellow carries a purse money of Rs.3 lakh and Akademi Award carries Rs 1 lakh, besides a Tamrapatra and Angavastram.