The Sangeet Natak Akademi has named four eminent personalities in the field of performing arts - tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain, dancer 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 Akademi decided on the names at its meeting held on June 26, at Guwahati, Assam. The Fellowship of the Akademi is the most prestigious and a rare honour, which is restricted to 40 numbers at any given time, it said in a press statement on Tuesday.
The General Council also selected 44 artistes 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.
In the field of theatre, nine eminent artists have been selected: Rajiv Naik for Playwriting; Laltluangliana Khiangte for Playwriting; SanjayAUpadhyay 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, 10 artistes have been selected: Malini Awasthi, Folk Music, Uttar Pradesh; Gazi Khan Barna, Folk Music - Khartal, Rajasthan; Narendar Singh.
Negi, Folk Song, Uttarakhand; 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 in the field of Overall Contribution/Scholarship in the Performing Arts.
The Akademi Awards, conferred since 1952, not only symbolize the highest standard of excellence and achievements, but also recognize sustained individual work and contribution, it said.
The honour of Akademi Fellow carries a purse money of Rs 3 lakh while the Akademi Award carries Rs 1 lakh, besides a Tamrapatra and Angavastram.
Awards will be conferred by the President of India at a special investiture ceremony.
The 44 artistes include three joint awards.
In the field of music, 11 eminent artistes were selected: Mani Prasad - Hindustani Vocal; Madhup Mudgal - Hindustani Vocal; Tarun Bhattacharya - Hindustani Instrumental - Santoor; Tejendra Narayan Majumdar - Hindustani Instrumental - Sarod; Alamelu Mani -ACarnatic Vocal; Malladi Suribabu - Carnatic Vocal; S. Kasim and S. Babu (Joint Award) - Carnatic Instrumental - Nagaswaram; Ganesh and 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.
In the field of dance, nine eminent artistes have been selected: Radha Sridhar for Bharatanatyam; Ishira and 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.