A. Seshan passed away on January 7, 2018 after a long struggle with cardiac problems. He was 84 years old. He was an ardent follower of music and dance and has contributed articles on these subjects to many magazines and newspapers including narthaki.com. His interest in dance, Carnatic music and classical dances began in his teenage years and he followed his interest with serious study of science and technique of the subjects. Many dancers, musicians and artistes will miss his benign presence at performances in Mumbai.
He was well-versed in music and studied veena under Devakottai Narayana Iyengar. He was a scholar of Tamil and English literature. His son Dr. Ramaswami (Singapore) is married to Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi dancer Dr. Siri Rama. Professionally, he was an Economic Consultant, and was in charge of the Economic analysis and Policy of the Reserve Bank of India. Employed in the IMF he was advisor to the National Bank of Kyrgystan and Bank of Sierra Leone. He wrote extensively on the economic scene and his articles were frequently published in Business Line (The Hindu).
Prof S. Rajeswari, retired Principal of Tamilnadu Govt Music College, was awarded the title of ISAI SUDAROLI on 7th January 2018 by Sahana Fine Arts, Chennai. The chief guests Dhananjayans paid high tributes to Rajeswari as an all rounder - concert singer, excellent teacher, musicologist, composer and over and above, that she could handle with aplomb singing and conducting Bharatanatyam performances. In the golden days of Kumari Kamala, connoisseurs used to throng to listen to her music accompanying Kamala's naatyam.
Radha Viswanathan (1934 - 2018) passed away in Bangalore on January 2, 2018 aged 83.
The first student of Natyacharya Vazhuvoor Ramaiah Pillai in Bharatanatyam and the daughter / disciple of M S Subbulakshmi, she lived with grace and dignity in the shadow of her powerful mentors. She was one of the last few artistes who was a bridge between two generations in the world of arts and culture.
Jayanti Sharma (1924-2018) passed away on January 4, 2018. She was 93. Although ailing for last few years, she led a full life, with her rich artistic contributions as dancer, singer, costume-designer, stage-manager, and a collaborator to late choreographer and her illustrious life partner, Narendra Sharma, Bhoomika Dance Theatre.
On 6 January 2018, at the gala international NRI Summit in Manama, Bahrain, dancer Geeta Chandran was among the galaxy of Indian Women Achievers who were honoured with the international INDIAN WOMEN ACHIEVERS SAMMAN.The award was bestowed on her by Minister Alfonse Joseph Kannanthanam, India’s Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism.
Natya student Rekha Iyer, disciple of Hema Rajagopalan, received an Honorable Mention, the second highest distinction, from the National YoungArts Foundation. The winners were selected from a competitive pool of over 10,000 applicants representing artists from across forty-seven states. Selected through a blind adjudication process conducted by an independent panel of highly accomplished artists, the 2018 winners represent the top 10 percent of applications. YoungArts winners gain access to one of the most comprehensive programs for emerging artists in the U.S., offering professional and artistic development opportunities over the course of their careers.
They will receive cash prizes of up to $10,000; opportunities to share their work with the public at renowned institutions such as the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Sotheby's in New York, and New World Center in Miami. They will also gain access to mentors, including Academy Award-winning director, producer, editor, writer and cinematographer Doug Blush; award-winning photographer Corinne May Botz; three-time New York Dance and Performance awardee Nora Chipaumire; Grammy-award winning vocalist and songwriter Lisa Fischer, and best-selling authors Michael Grunwald and Kristen Simmons, among others.
Sapphire Creations Dance Company’s co-director Paramita Saha has been chosen as a Global Fellow of the International Society of Performing Arts (ISPA), New York and has been invited to attend the Global Conference in New York this January.
The Dhananjayans receive the Kerala goverment's NISHAGANDHI PURASKAR on 20th January 2018.
Guru Prof. C V Chandrasekar from Chennai and Dr. Sunil Kothari from New Delhi will be felicitated with DRISHTI PURASKAR for their contributions to the field of dance during the 13th Drishti National Dance Festival at Chowdiah Memorial Hall on January 13, 2018, Bangalore.
Council For Media and Satellite Broadcasting bestowed the life time achievement award on Vyjayanthi Kashi on 15th December 2017.
On 6th January 2018, Vyjayanthi Kashi received the NATYANJALI AWARD from the legendary Guru Ullal Mohan Kumar at Suratkal, Karnataka.
On Jan 6, 2018 D. Keshava received the SAMBRAHMA PURASKAR at Chowdiah Memorial Hall, Bangalore.
The Music Academy, Chennai, honored Bharatanatyam exponent Lakshmi Vishwanathan with NRITHYA KALANIDHI (previously Natya Kalacharya) on Jan 3, 2018.
K.Sarveshan (from South Africa), a disciple of the Dhananjayans, got the BEST DANCER AWARD for his performance at the 29th SPIRIT OF YOUTH festival of Madras Music Academy in August 2017. S Bhagyalakshmi got the award for second best dancer. DANCE GURU AWARD (for Guru of Best Dancer in Spirit of Youth) went to Guru VP Dhananjayan. The awards were given on 3rd January 2018 during Music Academy’s annual Natya festival.
Divya Devaguptapu, Bharatakalanjali alumni and a prime disciple of The Dhananjayans was adjudged the outstanding dancer in the Music Academy Mid Year Dance Festival 2017. She was awarded BEST BHARATANATYAM ARTISTE of the year 2017 on the inaugural day of the Academy’s Natya festival on 3rd January 2018.
Dr.Sunil Kothari received the Karur Natyanjali Trust Award on January 2, 2018 at Karur, Tamilnadu.
The Endowment Awards of Brahma Gana Sabha were given to Roja Kannan (Bharatanatyam guru), Sumitra Subramanian (young Bharatanatyam artiste) and Dr. S Rajeshwari (artiste in Bharatanatyam orchestra) on January 1, 2018 at Sivagami Pethachi Auditorium, Chennai.
Preeti Vasudevan is the first Indian choreographer to be awarded the 2018 LINCOLN CENTER AWARD FOR EMERGING ARTISTS on March 1, 2018 at Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, NYC, 6pm. The evening features live performances and the award show honoring the outstanding artistry and promising future of artists from the 11 Lincoln Center constituent organizations. Each recipient will be honored with the Award and a check for $7,500 to be used for career advancement and to support future study.
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