At the Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival, the following awards will be given on April 15, 2017:
Narthaki Nataraj: NRITHYA RATHNAKARA, Kishore Mosalikanti and Sujata Mohapatra: NRITHYA KALA SAGARAM, Sujata Srinivasan: NRITHYA KALA SEVA MANI, Pavitra Bhat: KALA RATHNA.

Rani Jayalakshmi Nachiyar, the dancer Pandanallur Jayalakshmi (1930-2017), a star disciple of Guru Meenakshisundaram Pillai, passed away in the second week of March.  She was married to the Rajah of Ramanathapuram who proposed to her after seeing her performance at the Rameswaram temple. She was known for her subtle abhinaya, sense of laya, the speed of her footwork and amazing grace.

Born in 1938 in Colombo, Srilanka, Bharatanatyam guru Neila Sathyalingam, founder director of Apsaras Arts, Singapore, passed away on March 9, 2017 in Singapore, in her sleep. She was 79.
At the age of 18, she enrolled in Kalakshetra, Chennai, under the tutelage of its founder Rukmini Devi Arundale, graduating with a first-class honours diploma in Bharatanatyam and she also completed the Post Graduate diploma with honours. Neila was appointed as one of the faculty members for dance at Kalakshetra and was cast in many roles in the six part Ramanyana series choreographed by Rukmini Devi Arundale and toured with Kalakshetra. Her association with Kalakshetra as a student and a faculty member was from 1955 to 1975. Together with her husband S. Sathyalingam, also a Kalakshetra graduate and faculty member in music, she founded Apsaras Arts in Singapore in 1977, for promotion of Indian traditional art forms in multiracial Singapore, with influences from South East Asia.
She worked as a dance instructor and choreographer with the People's Association for decades, choreographing dance segments for 13 consecutive Chingay parades from 1994 to 2007, and also taught at community centres. In 1989, Neila Sathyalingam received the Cultural Medallion, Singaporeís highest arts honour, for her contribution to the arts scene. She was inducted into the Womenís Hall of Fame in Singapore, and has been acknowledged as the Pioneer of the Arts in Singapore in 2015, in conjunction with the nationís golden jubilee celebrations. In 2002, Neila and her husband Sathyalingam handed over Apsaras Arts to Aravinth Kumarasamy as their succession plan appointing him as its Artistic Director. Apsaras Arts transformed into a premier professional performing company, employing full-time dancers, focusing on creating new works which are presented at international festivals around the globe.

Indo-British Intellectuals Forum and World Book of Records presented Mumbai based Bollywood choreographer Sandip Soparrkar with the INDO-BRITISH BALLROOM DANCE JEWEL AWARD 2017 for being the first Indian to promote Ballroom Dancing worldwide and his contributions in the field of dance and choreography. The certificate was given to Sandip on March 6, 2017 at the House of Commons in London.

On March 5, 2017 the NATYASHASTRA AWARD was conferred by Shambhavi School of Dance during its fourth edition of Kuchipudi seminar Nayika on Sumathy Kaushal, one of the senior gurus of Kuchipudi, at Seva Sadan, Bangalore.

ABHAI Annual Day will be celebrated on April 29, 2017, in collaboration with Utsav on International Dance Day, at Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Chennai. The awardees for 2016 and 2017:
NATYAKALANIDHI: Dr. Yamini Krishnamurthy & Indira Rajan
GANDHARVA NIPUNA: Khandadevi Vijayaraghavan (violinist) &Veda Krishnan Ram (mridangist)
NARTHAKA NIPUNA: Deepak Majumdar & Sheejith Krishna.
NRITHYAPERUNJYOTI: Radhika Shurjit (a new award from the year 2017 for female dancers above 45 years).

Among the Padma awards, only 2 dancers have been chosen for PADMA SHRI - 101 year old Chemanchery Kunhiraman Nair (Kathakali) and Aruna Mohanty (Odissi).

Milap Festival Trust, its Board and Staff Team, have chosen 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 will confer the award in England at the Awards Ceremony later in the year. ...Read more

Highlights  ; Obituaries