Shankarananda Kalakshetra’s senior student Krupa Ravi received the YUVA RASIKA SITARA title and award from RR sabha, Ghatkopar, Mumbai, on November 12, 2017. Her guru Ananda Shankar Jayant was awarded the title of NATYA RATNA



Jiva Performing Arts (NY based Sonali Skandan) is one of the inaugural grantees of the Dance Advancement Fund of Dance/NYC, made possible by the Ford Foundation. The purpose of the Fund is to address the inequitable distribution of resources in the dance field by supporting dance makers and companies with budgets of less than $1 million.




Ananya presented the ANANYA AWARD to Bharatanatyam dancer Bragha Bessell on completion of 50 years of dedicated contribution to the dance field on October 29, 2017 at Seva Sadan, Bangalore.




Milapfest Selection Committee chose Narthaki.com and Dr. Anita Ratnam as its Founder Director, for the first International Arts Award VISHWA KALA RATNA established by the Trust for the year 2017. The award celebrates and acknowledges the sterling contribution made by dynamic, well established individuals /organizations towards promoting and strengthening Indian Arts globally. Milapfest conferred the award in London’s Bhavan Centre on October 25, 2017.
In her acceptance speech, Dr.Anita Ratnam said:“Delighted and honoured to be the first awardee of the GLOBAL INDIAN ARTS AWARD conferred by #MILAPFEST at #TheBhavan in London. Selected for the pioneering initiative and impact of www.narthaki.com, the evening was made sweeter by the presence of a colleague I admire, Naheed Siddiqui who was awarded the LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT for her art and teaching.
Thank you, DANCE! Thank you Prashant and Alok Nayak and the Milapfest Selection Committee. Gratitude to all who have shared this moment with me - Lalitha, Sumathi, Raksha.”




D.S. Aiyyelu, legendary master dance costume designer, passed away (Oct 1, 1930 - Oct 22, 2017) at Chennai. A true pioneer in designing traditional Indian dance costumes (Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Odissi and Mohiniattam), he was much sought after in India and internationally. He will always be remembered in the history of Indian classical dance for his artistic vision in creating innovative costume designs. Aiyyelu’s costumes have dressed almost all legendary dancers, celebrity dancers and budding dancers for many decades. Aiyyelu received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for 2005 in New Delhi from President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. 

As a 12-year old boy, Aiyellu accompanied by his uncle Narayanaswamy joined Gemini Studios (Chennai) as assistant ‘Kaaja Boy’ to the costume master Ambedkar Ramamoorthy. In 1946 retrenchment forced them out of the studio and then he found an employment in Ambedkar’s own costume shop. Between 1950 and 1969 he became a personal costumer of actor Vyjayantimala and accompanied her wherever her performances took place. Once Vyjayantimala settled down at Chennai, he set up his own shop in Bharathidasan Road for nearly 40 years then shifted his shop to Nandanam. His son V.J.Sivakumar joined him in 1996 and has taken all the responsibilities from his father to take the business globally.
More info




Gurus Kiran Subramanyam and Sandhya Kiran were conferred the NRITYA RATNA AWARD by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Coimbatore, for their contributions to the field of Bharatanatyam, on October 20, 2017 at the Bhavan premises, Coimbatore.




Dr. S.P.Balasubramaniam, Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam and Dr. Nalli Kuppuswamy received the KALA PRADARSHINI GHANTASALA PURASKAR on October 15, 2017 at Chennai.




Sri Raja Rajeshwari Bharatanatya Kala Mandir and Sri Shanmukhananda Fine Arts and Sangeetha Sabha celebrated the birth centenary of Guru T.K. Mahalingam Pillai (1917 - 2017). A special cover was released by Dr. HC Agrawal (Chief Post Master General, Maharashtra Circle) on Nov 1, 2017 at Mumbai.




For their contributions in their respective fields, three eminent Delhi dancers Bharati Shivaji, Deepti Omcherry and Geeta Chandran, were honoured by the Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha, P.J. Kurien and Kerala Minister Ramachandran Kadannappalli (Ports/Museums/Archaeology/Archives) with the KERALA DELHI CULTURE HERITAGE AWARD at a gala ceremony arranged at Delhi's Central Park in Connaught Place, on October 15, 2017




Justin McCarthy received Natyanjali’s NARTAKA AWARD for 2017 on 28 October 2017 at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mylapore, Chennai.



KARNATAKA NRITYAKALA PARISHATH AWARDS were given to Bala Vishwanath (Tumkur) and Sudhir Rao (Udupi) on Oct 13, Rupashree Madhusudan (Bangalore) and Poornima Bhagawat (Davanagere) on Oct 14, Sahana Bhat (Hubli) and Balakrishna Manjeshwar (Mangalore) on Oct 15, 2017 during the Ankura Festival at Shukra Auditorium, Bangalore.



Kathak dancer Shirin Vajifdar, aged 92, passed away in Mumbai peacefully on Sept 29, 2017. She trained in Kathak under Guru Sunder Prasad of Jaipur gharana.She further studied Kathak at Madam Menaka's Nrityalayam at Khandala. She was a pioneer among Parsi community to take to classical dancing. With her younger sisters Khurshid Chavada and Roshan they were popular dancers known as Vajifdar Sisters. Shirin was a dance critic for the Times of India. She was married to celebrity writer Dr. Mulk Raj Anand.




MITHAS founder George Ruckert and New England’s Kathak dance pioneer Gretchen Hayden Ruckert were honored with the LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD at the New England Choice Awards gala to be held at Westin Hotel in Waltham, MA, on October 27, 2017 by INE Multimedia, a non-profit organization devoted to promoting and supporting charitable organizations, art, culture, education and empowerment. George Ruckert, a performer, composer, arranger, author and a teacher of music at MIT, is the founder of MIT’s Heritage of the Arts of South Asia, known as MITHAS. His wife Gretchen Ruckert is a performer and teacher of Kathak dance, and is the senior-most disciple of late Pandit Chitresh Das.




K.Sarveshan (from South Africa), a disciple of the Dhananjayans, is to get the best dancer award for his performance at the 29th SPIRIT OF YOUTH festival of Madras Music Academy in August 2017. S Bhagyalakshmi gets the award for second best dancer. Dance Guru Award (for Guru of Best Dancer in Spirit of Youth) goes to Guru VP Dhananjayan. The awards will be given on 3rd January 2018 during Music Academy’s annual Naatya festival.




Divya Devaguptapu, Bharatakalanjali alumni and a prime disciple of The Dhananjayans is adjudged the outstanding dancer in the Music Academy Mid Year Dance Festival 2017. She will be awarded BEST BHARATANATYAM ARTISTE of the year 2017 on the inaugural day of the Academy’s Natya festival on 3rd January 2018.




The Music Academy awards for 2017 have just been announced.
SANGEETA KALANIDHI - Gotuvadyam and Chitraveena exponent N Ravikiran
NRITHYA KALANIDHI (previously Natya Kalacharya) - Bharatanatyam exponent Lakshmi Vishwanathan
SANGEETA KALACHARYA - veteran Carnatic vocalist and Guru Radha Namboodiri of Mumbai / veteran mridangam maestro Kamalakar Rao of Andhra
TTK AWARD - Bangalore based Ghatam artiste Sukanya Ramgopal and violinist Thiruvallur Parthasarathy
MUSICOLOGIST AWARD - Bangalore based musician and scholar T.S. Satyavathi




Dr. Sunil Kothari, Dr. Anita Ratnam, Geeta Chandran, Ratikant Mohapatra, Bala Kondala Rao, Jitendra Maharaj, Ramachandran Unnithan, Gopal Prasad Dubey, Dr. Pappu Venugopal Rao, Avinash Pasricha, Leela Sayi, Lakshmi Mangatayaru

General Council of Sangeet Natak Akademi at its meeting held on 24 May 2017 at Guwahati has selected the following awardees in the field of dance.
- SANGEET NATAK AKADEMI FELLOW (Akademi Ratna): Dr. Sunil Kothari
- AKADEMI AWARD (Akademi Puraskar) for 2016: Dr. Anita Ratnam (contemporary dance), Geeta Chandran (BN), Ratikant Mohapatra (Odissi), Jitendra Maharaj (Kathak), AB Bala Kondala Rao (Kuchipudi), Kalamandalam Ramachandran Unnithan (Kathakali), Maisnam Kaminikumar Singh (Manipuri), Haricharan Bhuyan Borbayan (Sattriya), Pt Gopal Prasad Dubey (Chhau).
Annabattula Lakshmi Mangatayaru & Leela Sayi (joint award, traditional theatre Kalavantulu), Prabhitangsu Das & Dattatreya Aralikatte (puppetry)
Dr. Pappu Venugopal Rao for scholarship and Avinash Pasricha for overall contribution 
- USTAD BISMILLAH KHAN YUVA PURASKAR: Jyotsna Jagannathan (BN), Sanjukta Sinha (Kathak), Sanjenbam Karuna Devi (Manipuri), Mruthyunjaya Keshava Prasad (Kuchipudi), Shashwati Garai Ghosh (Odissi), Usharani Baishya (Sattriya), Kalamandalam Rachita Devi (Mohiniattam), KJ Krishnendu (Koodiyattam)
Gurumayum Biseshwor Sharma (Thang-ta), Ravi Kumar (traditional theater Oggukatha, Telangana), P Thilagavathi (traditional theater, Kattaikoothu, Tamilnadu), Dushyant Kumar Dwivedi (Pandavani, Chattisgarh), S. Gopi & Rajeev Pulavar (puppetry)
The honor of Akademi Fellow carries a purse of Rs. 3 lakhs, Akademi Award carries a purse of Rs. 1 lakh, with tamrapatra and angavastram. The Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar carries a purse of Rs.25,000.



Highlights  ; Obituaries