BHUBANESWAR: Eminent percussionist Guru Banamali Maharana was honoured with the Upendra Bhanja Samman-2016 here on Saturday. Speaking on the occasion, Tourism and Culture Minister Ashok Panda said the State Sangeet Natak Akademi should now focus on digitising popular folk music, art and drama for next generation. "Digitisation is the only way to keep these art forms alive for posterity," he said.
A total of 15 artists from different fields of performing arts were also felicitated with the Akademi Samman. While singer Keshab Chandra Rout got the award for Odissi vocals, Madhumita Deb received the award in Hindustani vocals category.
Similarly, Beladei Harijan was awarded in Lok Sangeet, Binodini Debi and Golak Basi Gumaan Singh in acting and Narendra Prasad Parida got the award in Lok Natya category. Some of the other awardees are Kapilendra Sahoo (folk music), Keshab Chandra Rout (vocals), Subhas Chandra Das (Sugam Sangeet) and Narendra Kumar Nayak (instrumental music). Dola Gobinda Rath was awarded for his tremendous contribution towards developing theatre in the State.The awards are the highest honour for performing arts in the State.