BHUBANESWAR: Eminent Odissi and Bharatnatyam dancer Sonal Mansingh will be honoured with the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship, also known as Akademi Ratna, for her contribution in the field of performing arts.
This was announced by Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi, on Tuesday.
The Rajya Sabha member along with three more exponents in the field of performing arts, Zakhir Hussain, Jatin Goswami and K Kalyanasundaram Pillai, have been selected for the coveted fellowship by the general council of the Akademi for 2018.
Since inception of the Akademi in 1952, only 40 performing artistes have been provided the fellowship so far.
“I feel honoured for being selected as Akademi Ratna. My work in the field of performing arts is not just limited to Odissi or Bharatnatyam but also includes the numerous folk and tribal dance and music forms present in our country. I will continue working towards preservation and propagation of these art forms”, says Mansingh, also a scholar and social activist.
Odissi danseuse Surupa Sen will be felicitated with Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for excellence in and contribution towards the dance form. Surupa currently heads Nrityagram, the famed dance gurukul on the outskirts of Bengaluru set up by renowned Odissi exponent, late Protima Bedi, along with dancer Bijayini Satpathy.
Bengaluru-based Odissi dancer Madhulita Mohapatra would receive Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar for 2018.
Madhulita, a student of Guru Gangadhar Pradhan, Guru Aruna Mohanty and Guru Pabitra Kumar Pradhan, heads the Nrityantar Odissi Dance School in the Silicon City. She is the brain behind ‘Naman’ which is perhaps the only dance festival in the country dedicated purely to Odissi.
However, no guru or artiste of Odissi music made it to the list of Sangeet Natak Akademi awardees this year.
The honour of Akademi fellowship carries monetary reward of Rs 3 lakh and Akademi award carries Rs 1 lakh besides a ‘tamrapatra’ and ‘angavastram’.
The Yuva Puraskar carries a cash reward of Rs 25,000. The Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards will be conferred by the President of India at a special investiture ceremony.