Nan Melville won the Best Documentary Short Film award for her film ‘Nrityagram: For the Love of Dance’ at the Five Continents International Film Festival in Venezuela, in August 2017.




MITHAS founder George Ruckert and New England’s Kathak dance pioneer Gretchen Hayden Ruckert will be 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.




Senior Odissi dancer Ritha Devi, aged 92, passed away at 2.30am on September 12, 2017 at Sancheti Hospital, Pune. A great grand-niece of Tagore, she trained in many dance styles - Manipuri from Howbom Athomba Singh at Kolkata, Bharatanatyam from Pandanallur Chokkalingam Pillai in Chennai, Mohiniattam from Kalamandalam Lakshmi and Kathakali from Karunakaran Panikkar in Mumbai, Odissi from Pankaj Charan Das in Puri and Kuchipudi from Vempati Chinna Satyam besides learning Kathak and Sattriya. She is however most renowned as a pioneer in the revival and international projection of the Mahari tradition of the Odissi style. She is known for her revival of the ‘Panchakanya’ solo dance-dramas about the tragic lives of Ahalya, Draupadi, Tara, Kunti and Mandodari from the traditional Mahari repertoire, and presenting all five of them in a marathon four-hour performance in Mumbai in August 1971. 

She was a contemporary of Yamini Krishnamurthi and Indrani Rehman. She performed extensively in India and abroad and lived in the US for a few years. She received many honours and awards from reputed cultural organizations of Bombay and Orissa, and research grants from the Central Government Sangeet Natak Akademi, which has also video-taped some of her dances, both traditional as well as those choreographed by her, for their archives. Ritha Devi has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from Guru Pankaj Charan Das Odissi Dance Academy (2005) and Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Academy of Dance (2009).
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On 11 September 2017 at the ICCR Auditorium in New Delhi at an event organized by AKS, an initiative led by Odissi dancer/actress Dr. Chandana Raul, Delhi’s top dancers Madhavi Mudgal, Shovana Narayan, Geeta Mahalik, Ranjana Gauhar, Sharon Lowen, Prathibha Prahlad, Geeta Chandran and Nalini-Kamalini were honoured with the KABI SAMRAT UPENDRA BHANJA SAMMAN.  Santoor maestro Bhajan Sopori also received the award.



Mala Gaur, Goa's prime Bharatanatyam dancer and teacher, passed away on the night of 8th September 2017 of cancer.




The Government of West Bengal conferred on Kathak dancer and teacher Prof. Amita Dutt the SHIKSHA RATNA AWARD for 2017 for her outstanding contribution to higher education, on the occasion of Teacher's Day, on September 5, 2017 at Nazrul Mancha, Kolkata. The Award was given by Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal.




The 'NALCO Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award 2017' carrying a purse of Rs.1 lakh each and citation, was presented to two eminent personalities Guru Dhruba Charan Biswal in the field of dance and Shyamamani Devi in the field of music. The 'NALCO Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Yuva Pratibha Samman 2017' with a cash prize of Rs.25,000 each was presented to Lingaraj Pradhan (Bhubaneswar) and Namrata Mehta (Mumbai) for Odissi dance, Jyotsna Jagannathan (Bangalore) for Bharatanatyam and Jateen Kumar Sahoo (Mumbai) for Odissi music. The award ceremony took place on September 9, 2017 at Rabindra Mandap, Bhubaneswar.



At the America Kuchipudi Dance Convention, gurus Rathna Kumar, Mrinalini Sadananda and Sumathi Kaushal were awarded as Pioneers of Kuchipudi in America on September 2, 2017 at Dr. Hamireddy Lakireddy Bhavan, Milpitas, CA




Dr. Sunil Kothari received the LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD from Ranjana Gauhar’s Utsav Odissi Dance Academy on August 17, 2017 at New Delhi.




The 10th KV SATHYANARAYANA EXCELLENCE AWARD will be given to Kuchipudi dancer/guru Veena Murthy Vijay on Sept 26, 2017 at Eluru. The awardee will receive citation, silver crown, shawl and Rs.10,000.




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.




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


Highlights  ; Obituaries