December 2008
Bharatanatyam guru Sudharani Raghupathy was conferred the title KALA VIPANCHEE at Vipanchee's award function on December 31, 2008 at Chennai.

At a glittering ceremony in the capital on 26 December 2008, Bharatanatyam dancer Geeta Chandran was awarded the KISHORE KUMAR KALA RATNA AWARD for her persistent campaign to mainstream Bharatanatyam in North India. Instituted by the Kishore Kumar Memorial Club to perpetuate the memory of one of India's best-loved playback singers, the award was presented to Geeta by Rajya Sabha MP Jai Prakash Agarwal, President of the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee.

Ananda Shankar Jayant has been invited by Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Chennai, to be convener of the prestigious Natya Kala conference 2008 and 2009. This year's topic was 'Ramayana in the performing arts.' The conference took place from December 17 to 23, 2008.
Bharatanatyam guru Adyar K Lakshman received the NADHA BRAHMAM award from Narada Gana Sabha on December 14, 2008 on the inaugural day of the Isai Natya Nataka Vizha at Chennai.
On the inaugural day of Sri Krishna Gana Sabha's 53rd Art & Pongal Dance festival on December 12, 2008, Kathak exponent Jayant Kastuar, received the NRITHYA CHOODAMANI title along with a citation, a gold medal and cash award of Rs.50,000. Bharatanatyam guru Krishnakumari Narendran was presented with the ACHARYA CHOODAMANI AWARD along with a citation, a gold medal and a cash award of Rs.25,000.
On December 12, 2008 on the inaugural day of its 22nd Margazhi Mahotsav, the Bharat Kalachar awards were given away at Sri YGP Auditorium, Chennai. GNANA KALA BHARATHI was given to Kalanidhi Narayanan for outstanding service in the field of Bharatanatyam. YUVA KALA BHARATHI AWARDEES are M Dhananjayan (mridangam for Bharatanatyam), Dr. Jyotsna Jagannathan and Divya Shivsundar (Bharatanatyam), K N Sajilal (All rounder in Bharatanatyam, nattuvangam and choreography).
On December 9, 2008, at the 29th Isai Iyal Nataka Vizha, Sri Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha conferred the title VANI KALA SUDHAKARA on Bharatanatyam dancer Divya Kasthuri, at Vani Mahal, Chennai.
On December 5, 2008, the inaugural day of the 39th anniversary art festival, The Nungambakkam Cultural Academy Trust honored Rajeswari Sainath with NRITHYA KALA SIRONMANI for Bharatanatyam, at Ramarao Kala Mantap, Chennai. The award includes a citation, a gold medallion and a cash prize of Rs.10,000.
On December 3, 2008 at the inaugural function of its December Art Festival, Brahma Gana Sabha honored Bharatanatyam guru KJ Sarasa with NAATYA PADHMAM.
November 2008

For the first time, a person of south Indian origin, dancer Geeta Chandran, Founder President of Natya Vriksha, has been elected Trustee of the Hindi Bhavan, founded in 1962 to promote Hindi literature and to create bridges of understanding with other languages.
On November 23, 2008 at its 21st anniversary celebrations in Chennai, ABHAI (Association of Bharatanatyam Artistes of India), honored Bharatanatyam gurus Udipi Lakshminarayanan and K J Sarasa with the NATYA KALANIDHI AWARD and KUCHIPUDI NATYA KALA CHAKRAVARTHI AWARD was conferred on guru Vempati Chinna Sathyam. The honor carries a citation, a gold medal and a purse of Rs.25,000.
On November 23, 2008 dancer couple Badari Divya Bhushan and Anjana Bhushan, Directors of Bhushans Academy of Performing Arts & Visual Presentation, Mysore, were honoured with the title SATYA KALA POSHAKA SUNADARAM by Anitha Guha's Bharathanjali Trust, at Vani Mahal, Chennai. As a part of its activities on the birthday of Sri Sathya Sai Baba (23rd Nov), the Trust honors and awards titles to talented artistes.
The KESHAV SMRITI AWARD for 2008 went to Kathak dancer Prerna Shrimali on November 20, 2008 at Delhi.
The SANSKRITI AWARDS 2008 were presented to Ranjani-Gayatri for music and Ability Unlimited India for outstanding social achievement, on November 14, 2008 at 6.15pm at the India International Centre, New Delhi, by chief guest Aruna Roy. Each award carries Rs. 25,000 in cash and a citation. This is the 29th year of the awards that are presented to young talents in the age group of 25-35, in the fields of literature, journalism, art, performing arts and social-cultural achievement.

Kuttamath Janardhanan received the KERALA KALAMANDALAM AWARD on November 9, 2008 for the year 2007-08 for his outstanding performances of Thullal.
Renowned art critic Dr. M Surya Prasad was honoured with the title of KALA RATHNA at the ADA Rangamandira, Bangalore on November 8, 2008 during the one day dance festival held under the aegis of International Dance Alliance, NY (Bangalore Chapter), in recognition of his service to the music and dance fields. The award and honour was presented to him by Sharada Subramanyam, Special Secretary to the Governor of Karnataka in the presence of guru Padma Murali and a big audience.
Odissi mardala player Banamali Moharana was conferred the GOPINATH SAMMAN on November 7, 2008 at the Gopinath Mahotsav 2008 held at Bhubaneshwar by Odissi dancer Puspita Mishra’s Kalingayana Touryatrikam.
On November 2, 2008, the Sarigamapadhani Foundation conferred Carnatic musician Sikkil Gurucharan with the title of NADA SRI, Kuchipudi dancer Lakshmi Mani with NRITYA SRI and composer Rajkumar Bharathi with VIDYA SRI for his musical research work, at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Chennai.
October 2008
On October 1, 2008 a special day postal cover was released by Chief Postmaster-General Indira Krishnakumar in Chennai, to commemorate the Travancore Sisters (Lalitha, Padmini and Ragini) for their contribution to dance and cinema.
September 2008

The KALIDAS SAMMAN award, instituted by the Madhya Pradesh government, was bestowed on veteran Bharatanatyam exponent / guru / scholar C V Chandrasekhar for his contribution in the field of dance. The award comprises a citation and Rs.2 lakh in cash. Other awardees include sculptor Satish Gujral and musician Balwant Rai Bhatt.
Chitra Kala Sangam, the New Delhi-based socio-cultural-art organization, has selected Bharatanatyam dancer Geeta Chandran for its 2008 award for her sustained and special contribution to Indian classical dance. The CHITRA KALA SANGAM AWARD consists of a cash prize of twenty thousand rupees and a citation. The organization has also honoured ten senior disciples of Geeta Chandran - Sneha Chakradhar, Sharanya Chandran, Saudamini Kumar, Divya Saluja, Nandita Bhan, Gayatri Suresh, Gunjan Bhan, Mansi Trehan, Pushpita Saha and Mallika Ayesha Bhargava. The award for the young dancers is a cash prize of five thousand rupees each and a citation.
On the concluding day of the 3rd annual Devdasi National Dance Festival conducted by Devdasi Nrutya Mandir, Aurangabad-based Kathak dancer / choreographer Parwati Dutta, founder-director of Mahagami, was conferred the DEVDASI NATIONAL AWARD for her contribution to promotion of dance in Marathawada region, on September 26, 2008 at Rabindra Mandap in Bhubaneswar.
Bharatanatyam dancer Mallika Jayanthi, disciple of Vijaya Marthanda, has been awarded the title of NATYA SRI at the Vysaki Nrutyostav, an all India classical dance festival in Vishakapatnam from 12th to 14th September 2008.
The METRO DC DANCE AWARDS presented DC-based dance organization, Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company two awards for their new work 'Bell Song,' a syncretic work that blends Bharatanatyam with Modern Dance. Dakshina was a finalist in two categories for the 2008 Metro DC Dance Awards and won both of them - 'Emerging Group' and 'Excellence in Costume Design' (shared with Roxann Morgan). The 8th Metro DC Dance Awards were presented on September 8, 2008 at John F Kennedy Centre for Performing Arts.

The Metro DC Dance Awards was founded in 2000 by Cheles Rhynes and Mason/Rhynes Productions as a means of recognizing excellence in local dance and building community among DC-area dance artists and organizations.
At the 14th Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award festival on September 7, 2008 at Rabindra Mandap, Bhubaneswar, THE GURU KELUCHARAN MOHAPATRA AWARD 2008 instituted by Srjan, went to Kumudini Devi (theatre), Nikhil Baran Sengupta (cinema), Banamali Maharana (music) and Ramani Ranjan Jena (dance).

At a glittering ceremony in New Delhi on Saturday 6 September 2008, the NNS group conferred the MERI DILLI AWARD on Bharatanatyam dancer Geeta Chandran. The award was presented by the head of ISKON, Param Poojya Gopal Krishna Goswami-ji Maharaj. The dancer was given the award for her continuing campaign to popularize classical dance. Other awardees included Nafeesa Ali for Social Work.

‘ParamAcharya' and 'Acharya' awards were conferred on 14 teachers from diverse fields, including Carnatic music, sports and theatre, on the occasion of Teacher's Day in Chennai. The PARAMACHARYA award was conferred on Bharatanatyam dancer / guru Chitra Visweswaran and ACHARYA award on dancer Shobana on September 5, 2008.
August 2008

Renowned art critic Dr. M Surya Prasad was honoured as the ARTISTE OF THE YEAR at the Sadas (Valedictory) of the 40th music conference of the Bangalore Gayana Samaja. Justice B N Krisna, Sudhakara Rao, Chief Secretary of Karnataka, Manu Baligar, Director of Dept. of Kannada and Culture were present on the occasion.
On August 30, 2008, monthly music journal Naadhabrahmam honored the Dhananjayans with the NATANA PRAKAASAM title at the Music Academy, Chennai, for their contribution to art for over 60 years and to mark 40 years of their dance institution Bharatakalaanjali. This year also marks the 70th birthday of guru V P Dhananjayan. A special edition of Naadhabrahmam was released with focus on the Dhananjayans. A one hour film on the Dhananjayans titled Kalaa Saadhana directed by Radhika Shurajit and Churchill Pandian was screened.

Lalitha Kala Vedika celebrated its 13th anniversary on August 26 and 27, 2008 at R K Swamy Auditorium, Chennai. On August 27, the LALITHA KALA VEDIKA GOLD MEDAL was presented to Bharatanatyam guru Sudharani Raghupathy. The cash award in memory of the founder B Lalitha Ratnam, was presented to Bharatanatyam guru K J Sarasa.
On August 14, 2008, Malathi Iyengar & Rangoli Dance Company received a CERTIFICATE OF RECOGNITION from Council Member 1st District Ed P. Reyes, City of Los Angeles for bringing music and joy to Los Angeles audiences at the Levitt Pavilion, Mac Arthrur Park, Los Angeles. Rangoli Dance Company along with artists from India, Ranjith Babu, Neewin Hershall, Murali Mohan K, Gurumurthy G, Nandakumar U., & Vivek V Krishna performed Love Lyrics and Ankle Bells and Painted Faces featuring Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Kalari, and Folk Dances.
On August 9, 2008 octogenarian guru Nataraja Ramakrishna was honored with the Visakha Music and Dance Academy’s National Eminence Award at their annual festival at Kalabharathi, Hyderabad. He was given the title NATYA VIDYABHARATHI, a citation, golden lotus (Swarnakamalam), and a lakh of rupees.

Natyarangam, the dance wing of Narada Gana Sabha inaugurated its annual thematic festival TEERTHA BHARATHAM on the sacred rivers of India on August 4, 2008. Guru K Kalyanasundaram was honored; SUDHARANI RAGHUPATHY AWARD went to T Sashidhar (flute vidwan), OBUL REDDY AWARD to Bharatanatyam dancer Priya Murle, VASANTHALAKSHMI NARASIMHACHARI AWARD to Jyotsna Jagannathan (Talent promotion).
July 2008
The 14TH CHAMAN LAL AWARDS function took place on July 30, 2008 at Kamani Auditorium, Delhi. Founded in 1995, the Chaman Lal Memorial Society annually recognizes the services of artistes who work back stage in stage lighting, stage craft, make-up and costume designing. For 2008, the award went to Shyamanand Jalan (Kolkata) for his overall contribution to theatre, T V Gopinathan (Calicut) for Excellence in “Special Rosco U K Award” for stage lighting, Shveta Mahendra (Chandigarh) for excellence in costume design and Ashok Srivastava (New Delhi) for make-up.
N Murali has been re-elected as the President of Music Academy, Chennai, for a second term.
The Malaysian Minister for Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage, Datuk Mohamad Shafie Apdal announced the names of 5 Malaysian artistes who have been declared a 'LIVING HERITAGE TREASURE,' at a press conference on July 25, 2008. Malaysian Bharatanatyam pioneer Vatsala Sivadas, 66, Losimin Majanil, 83 (a shaman and source of reference for the Kadazandusun community in Sabah, Borneo island), Abu Bakar Jaafar, also 83, a ‘Boria’ (a Malay folk tradition) exponent, Ali Badron Tarbus, 75 (a master story teller) and Tan Hooi Song, 61 (an expert on traditional Chinese drums) are the 5 Malaysian artistes who were conferred this award, the first of its kind in Malaysia since it was instituted by an act of Parliament recently.
Vatsala Sivadas continues to teach at the Temple of Fine Arts, founded by her late husband V K Sivadas and fellow dancer, late Gopal Shetty. The Sivadas - Vatsala Dance Troupe has many honors to its credit and their students span 3 generations.

Kiran Subramanyam received the prestigious RANGASHRI AWARD for his contribution to Bharatanatyam and also received the title of BHARATANATYA PRAPURUSHA from Rangashri Kala Samsthe, Bangalore, in collaboration with Department of Kannada And Culture on July 18, 2008 at Ravindra Kalakshetra, Bangalore. Kiran received the award from His Holiness Sri Shivacharya Swamiji of Taralabalu Mutt and Justice A J Sadashiva.
On July 6, 2008, ghatam maestro T H Vikku Vinayakram, received the inaugural YAGNARAMAN LIFE TIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD. Vocalist Saketharaman and dancers Surupa Sen and Bijayini Satpathy (Odissi) received the YAGNARAMAN AWARD OF EXCELLENCE for the year 2008. The awards have been instituted by Sri Krishna Gana Sabha (Chennai) in memory of the late R Yagnaraman, general secretary from 1956-2007. The Life Time Achievement award carries a gold medallion, a citation and a purse of Rs.50,000 and will be presented to a senior artiste every year. The Yagnaraman Award of Excellence carries a gold medallion, a citation and a purse of Rs.15,000 and is presented to young artistes of merit.
June 2008
The Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts nominated composer Philip Strong for a DORA MAVOR MOORE AWARD under the Outstanding Sound Design/Composition category. Philip received this honour on June 30, 2008 at the 29th Annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards function, for composing and creating the sound design for inDANCE's critically acclaimed work, Inverse, presented by DanceWorks, inaugurating their 07-08 mainstage season.
The Dora Mavor Moore Awards celebrate excellence in theatre, dance and opera on Toronto stages and honour the creators of over 200 productions annually in five major categories: General Theatre, Independent Theatre, Dance, Opera and Theatre for Young Audiences. Each winner receives a bronze statue cast from an original by sculptor John Romano. In total, 35 Dora Awards are presented. The Doras are named for Dora Mavor Moore, a well-loved teacher and director who helped establish Canadian professional theatre in the 1930s and 1940s.
On 28 June 2008, Maitreyee Sarcar, Director of Surdhwani, received the GLORY OF INDIA award at a glittering banquet held at the Radisson SAS Portman Hotel, in London, at a time when Wolverhampton is celebrating its historical link with India through the Wolverhampton India Summer project. The India International Friendship Society [IIFS] selected Maitreyee Sarcar for the award in recognition of her excellence in strengthening Indo-British ties through her voluntary work as an honorary director and Company Secretary of Surdhwani, an organisation which promotes Indian classical music and dance, based at the Newhampton Arts Centre, Wolverhampton.

The National Film Award is one of the most prestigious film awards in the country. On June 10, 2008, at the 54th National film awards for 2006 announced in New Delhi, Madhu Gopinath and Sajeev Vakkom of Kerala based Samudra, an Indian contemporary dance company, won the NATIONAL AWARD FOR CHOREOGRAPHY for their work in Malayalam film 'Rathrimazha.'
In the 54th National Film Awards, short films 'Minukku' and 'Guru Laimayum Thambalngoubi Devi' jointly won the award for best biographical / historical reconstruction / compilation film.
The 30-minute documentary 'Guru Laimayum Thambalngoubi Devi' directed by Aribam Syam Sharma shows the simplicity and grace of this Manipuri dancer and theatre artiste. Laimayum Thambalngoubi Devi of Nagamapal Paonam Leikai is one of the few great living gurus of classical Manipuri dance. As a solo dancer of Manipuri dance, she has performed on stages throughout India and abroad. Recipient of many awards in the field of classical dance and theatre she is also recognized as the first Manipuri film heroine. She is known for her efforts and achievements to create and introduce solo dances based on existing forms of classical Manipuri dance.
The one-hour documentary 'Minukku' directed by MR Rajan, succeeds in imaginatively portraying the life story of Kathakali maestro Kottakkal Sivaraman, who specializes in performing female roles. The award for best narration / voiceover goes to actor Nedumudi Venu in 'Minukku' for his unique style of first person narration.
Kottakkal Sivaraman has immortalized female characters in Kathakali over the past five decades. 'Minukku' contains excerpts from his performances in various roles, as Damayanti, Poothana, Panchali, etc., in different plays like 'Nalacharitam,' 'Keechakavadham,' 'Rugmangadacharitam,' 'Puthanamoksham,' 'Lavanasuravadham,' 'Duryodhanavadham' and 'Narakasuravadham.' There are guest appearances by veterans Kalamandalam Ramankutty Nair and Kalamandalam Gopi.
Among other films by M R Rajan is 'Nottam' (1999) on Kathakali maestro Keezhpadam Kumaran Nair. In the Kerala State and National Film Awards for 1996, he won the Best Documentary Award for the film 'Pakarnnatam' on guru Ammannur Madhavachakyar.
The Kirans conduct a Bharatanatyam show on the Kasturi channel titled HEJJE MELE HEJJE. The show has been conceptualised with classical dance as the basic format, to create awareness about the richness of a tradition like Bharatanatyam. Hejje Mele Hejje is telecast from Monday to Friday, every evening at 7.05pm on the Kasturi channel.
Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani, Chairman, Yoganjali Natyalayam, has been appointed to the International Advisory Board of the IAYT (International Association of Yoga Therapists) based in the USA for a three-year term. This prestigious appointment is in recognition of his work in propagating Yoga as a respected therapy worldwide and he will be involved in more such research and theory works in the near future on an international scale.
May 2008
On May 30, 2008 Sudarshan Chakravorty of Sapphire Creations, was conferred SHRI SHYAMAL SEN SMRITI PURASHKAR 2008 at Sujata Sadan, Kolkata, by the renowned Swapnasandhani theatre group led by its able director Koushik Sen. This award was given in the memory of his father and founder of the theatre group to deserving artists in the field of arts.
Kalamandalam Gopi was honored with the STATE KATHAKALI AWARD in Thrissur, Kerala, on May 27, 2008. The award carries a purse of Rs.1 lakh and a citation. Adoor Gopalakrishnan directed a documentary titled ‘Kalamandalam Gopi’ that won the State award for best documentary in 1999. Presented in the first person narrative, the film shows the artiste transform himself into diverse and glittering personalities and, in the process, provides us rare glimpses of his life and art.

Bharatanatyam guru MK Saroja, who recently celebrated her 78th birthday, received the Lifetime Achievement Award instituted by Legends of India from the Lt. Governor of Delhi at a serene ceremony in the Ballroom of The Park, Parliament Street, on May 22, 2008. Girija Devi received it for music.
The dance drama Panchakanya was written, directed, composed and presented in Telugu, all in 24 hrs on May 21, 2008 at Ravindra Bharathi, Hyderabad. K Suryanarayana from Vijayawada composed the music for the ballet scene by scene in just one hour. Kuchipudi guru K V Satayanarayana directed the choreography. This is a world record in Kuchipudi dance history. The recorded tape would be sent to the Guinness Book of World Records for their approval.
Dr. Maya Rao, the director of Natya Institute of Kathak and Choreography, Bangalore, celebrated her 80th birthday on May 2, 2008.
April 2008
Kathak dancer Souvik Chakraborty received the GURU KELUCHARAN MOHAPATRA YUVA PRATIVA SAMMAN 2008 on April 24, 2008 at the annual festival Deesha organized in Kolkata by Srjan's Kolkata Chapter.

On April 16, 2008 Menaka Thakkar, Artistic Director of The Menaka Thakkar Dance Company won a national “Excellence in Multiculturalism Celebration” Award for Arts and Education presented by the EMCY (Enriching My Canada and Yours) Awards Foundation. Menaka Thakkar was honoured for her continuing legacy of having introduced Indian dance to Canada over 37 years ago through performance and education and for her work in attaining recognition of classical Indian dance as an art form and part of the Canadian cultural landscape.

The AWARD OF EXCELLENCE was given to Bharatanatyam dancer Ragasudha Vinjamuri by Telugu Association of London, for her cultural contribution in the last couple of years. It was conferred on April 12, 2008 at Ilford Town Hall in the presence of Mike Gapes, MP and State Revenue Minister Prasada Rao.

Ananda Shankar Jayant, director of Shankarananda Kalakshetra in Hyderabad, received the prestigious Andhra Pradesh State award KALARATNA for dance on April 7, 2008. The award was presented at a glittering ceremony on the day of Ugadi by Dr. Y S Rajasekhar Reddy, Hon'ble Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. Gurus Shoba Naidu, Vedhanatam Satyanarayana Sarma, Alekya and Nataraja Ramakrishna are some of the earlier recipients.
March 2008
Accomplished shadow puppeteer, Ramachandra Puluvar, from Palakkad district in Kerala, received the VIRUDHU AWARD (given by the Madras Craft Foundation and the Friends of Dakshina Chitra.) on March 29, 2008 at Dakshina Chitra, Chennai. Pulavar and his troupe performed 'Tolpavakoothu,' a leather puppet shadow play, on the occasion.
The special LIFE TIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD was conferred on composer Lalgudi Jayaraman by Gopalakrishna Gandhi, West Bengal Governor, at a special function held at TTK Auditorium on March 9, 2008. After the invocation sung by Bombay Jayashri, there was a multimedia show on the maestro containing excerpts of his concerts at the Music Academy. Presentation of the award and felicitations was followed by 'Uma Parinayam,' an episode from the dance drama ‘Jaya Jaya Devi,’ that has music composed by Lalgudi Jayaraman and choreography by guru Rhadha.
On March 8, 2008, 15 women were presented STREE SHAKTI PURASKAR for outstanding achievements in the area of women empowerment. Dress/costume designer Sandhya Raman, director of Desmania based in Delhi, was awarded for her contribution in upgrading skills of women artisans in textile industry. The Stree Shakti Awards have been instituted by the Govt of India to honor the services of women who have made outstanding contribution to the nation. Sandhya has conceived a program that addresses the issue of female feticide and empowers women at a subconscious level.
Thirty young artists of India, who have made a mark in their respective fields of performing arts, have been selected by the General Council of Sangeet Natak Akademi, the National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama, for the Yuva Puraskar that covers music, dance, theatre, puppetry and scholarships in performing arts. The award carries a purse money of Rs.25,000. The USTAD BISMILLAH KHAN YUVA PURASKAR recipients for the year 2007 are:
Dance: C Lavanya Ananth (Bharatanatyam), Sharvari Ashok Jamenis (Kathak), Kalamandalam Shanmukhadas C (Kathakali), Laishram Bina Devi (Manipuri), Madhusmita Mohanty (Odissi), Yamini Reddy (Kuchipudi), Methil Devika (Mohiniattam) and KSR Anirudha (Music for dance – Bharatanatyam, Mridangam).
Music: Sandeep Harish Deshmukh and Meeta Pandit (Hindustani vocal), Sarwar Hussain (Hindustani Instrumental–Sarangi), Bhimanna Jadhav (Hindustani Instrumental – Sundri), Sikkil C Gurucharan (Carnatic vocal), Akkarai S.Subbulakshmi (Carnatic Instrumental – Violin), Peravali Jaya Bhaskar (Carnatic Instrumental – mridangam) and Mairenbam Maniton Singh (Other major traditions of music –Nata Sankirtana).
Theatre: Sohini Sengupta, Rajinder Sharma ‘Nanu’ and Anoop Trivedi for Acting, Vijay Kumar, Sanjeev Gupta and M. Ganesh for Direction and Aishram Ibochouba Singh and Sreekanth T for Allied theatre arts-Lighting.
Traditional/Folk/Tribal Dance/Music/Theatre and Puppetry: Babu Peruvannan (Theyyam, Kerala), Aditi Sharma (Folk Dance – Rajasthan), Rojet Buhphang (Traditional music – Meghalaya), Manu Yadav (Traditional music – Birha, Uttar Pradesh), Lakshmi Sori (Tribal dance – Muriya, Chhattisgarh) and C Lalrinsiami (Folk Dance –Mizoram).
February 2008
FLO, the Women Wing of FICCI salutes the women achievers of the country in an imposing event every year. In the plethora of award ceremonies, this is a one of its kind event, because it covers 25 different categories and the awardees, are leaders in their fields and come from all parts of the country. The message to people is that when women are empowered, they can achieve heights of excellence in many diverse fields, including those which are perceived to be male dominated.
Women Achievers are selected in different categories: Advertising, Banking, Corporate Excellence, Education, Entrepreneurship, Media, Finance, IT, Political Leader, Social Activist, Author, Musician, Fine Artist, Journalist, Movie Actor, Sports etc.
Some of the awardees of this year include Maharani Gayatri Devi (Lifetime achievement), Anita Ratnam (dance), Anita Nair (author), Waheeda Rehman (cinema), Sangita Singh (Senior VP, Wipro Technologies), Pallavi Shroff (law), Dr. Suman Sahai (science), Nita Ambani (Social work), etc.
FLO Gr8 WOMEN ACHIEVERS AWARDS 2008 took place on February 26, 2008 at the ITC Grand Maratha, Mumbai.
The Joyce Foundation supports Midwest cultural institutions to commission works by artists of color. The Chicago-based Joyce Foundation has long provided major funding to Chicago-area cultural institutions, and the establishment of the Joyce Awards marked the expansion of its culture grant-making to other Midwest cities. A recipient of the 5TH ANNUAL JOYCE AWARDS for 2008, Ragamala Music and Dance Theater (Ranee Ramaswamy and Aparna Ramaswamy, Artistic Directors) in Minneapolis, MN, gets a grant to support the commission of a new collaborative dance work by master Balinese choreographer, dancer, composer and musician I Dewa Putu Berata. This year's competition drew 30 entries from around the region. Projects were reviewed by independent arts advisors from outside the Midwest and voted on by the Foundation's board in December 2007.
January 2008

Vijnarani Vasudevan, a senior student of the Dhananjayans, won the All India Bharatanaatyam competition in the senior slot, conducted by Concern India Foundation on 24th January 2008, at Narada Gana Sabha. Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam gave away the prizes. There were three categories of competition - Senior / Junior / and group. Vijnarani Vasudevan bagged the first prize for the senior slot.

S Nikitha, disciple of S Divyasena, secured the first prize in the junior category in the Talent Search in Bharatanatyam conducted by Concern India Foundation, Chennai on 24th January 2008, at Narada Gana Sabha Main Hall and received the prize from Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam.

In the recently concluded Nrityotsav 2008 organized by The Nalanda Dance Research Centre, Mumbai, in January 2008, N Shyamala, disciple of S Divyasena, was conferred the title NALANDA NRITYA NIPUNA.
Laxmipriya Devi, wife of late guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, was honored with the first ADI GURU PANKAJ CHARAN DAS AWARD on January 15, 2008 during the inaugural ceremony of the three-day festival of Odissi dance and music in Bhubaneswar. Another artiste honored was 76-year-old Odissi singer Gopinath Tripathy, who also performed on the occasion. Dancer, scholar and critic Ritha Devi, a foremost disciple of Pankaj Charan Das, was honored with the Lifetime Achievement award.
Bharatanatyam guru Chitra Visweswaran received the title NAATIYA SELVAM from the Tamilnadu Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi on January 29, 2008 in Chennai, at the 32nd anniversary of the Muthamizh Peravai, that was created mainly to encourage Tamil musicians.
At a glittering ceremony in New Delhi on 25 January 2008, classical dancer Geeta Chandran was honoured with the NATIONAL EXCELLENCE AWARD (2007-2008) for her contribution to Art and Culture and for enhancing key social causes through her sustained engagement.

The award was bestowed on her by the TP Jhunjhunwala Foundation, and presented by Justice RC Lahoti, former Chief Justice of India and Mr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Congress Party Spokesman and legal luminary.
On January 19, 2008 at the 28th Vazhuvoorar Dance and Music Festival in Chennai, guru KJ Sarasa received the VAZHUVOORAR AWARD.

Sneha Devanandan, disciple of Padmini Ramachandran, Natyapriya, Bangalore, won first place in the state level Yuvaprathibha classical dance competition, conducted by Kannada and Culture Department, Govt of Karnataka under Kalaprathibothsava 2007. She received the YUVAPRATHIBHA AWARD on 19th January 2008 at Ravindra Kalakshetra, Bangalore.
At the 108th annual dance festival of Sri Parthaswami Swami Sabha, Chennai, dance guru Malati Thothadri was honored with the title of NATYA KALA SARATHY on January 16, 2008.
The PADMA SHRI AWARD goes to Odissi guru Gangadhar Pradhan, Meenakshi Chitharanjan (Bharatanatyam), Moozhikkulam Kochukuttan Chakyar (Koodiyattam), PK Narayanan Nambiar (mizhavu), Pratap Pawar (Kathak dancer/guru, UK), Sabitri Heisnam (stage actress), Sentila T Yanger (Nagaland), Prof. Yella Venkateswara Rao (mridangam) and Mangala Prasad Mohanty, in the Art category.

Dancer Geeta Chandran has been appointed as Member of the Governing Body of the Kamala Nehru College, University of Delhi.
Ratan Thiyam, the renowned theatre director from Imphal, Manipur, the founder and artistic director of the Chorus Repertory Theatre has been chosen to receive the JOHN D ROCKEFELLER AWARD for his outstanding cultural work from the Asian Cultural Council, New York City. Thiyam is a poet, novelist, director, musician, painter and actor, who has helped popularize the performing arts of Manipur as well as the country among the international community.
The Asian Cultural Council presents the John D Rockefeller Award to an individual from Asia or the United States for his significant contribution to the international understanding, practice, or study of the visual or performing arts of Asia. The candidates are nominated by artists, scholars and other professionals involved in Asian art and culture.
An exhaustive documentation, called 'UNESCO C-DiT Documentation Series on Kutiyattam,' has now been completed as a joint project of Centre for Development of Imaging Technology (C-DiT) and the UNESCO.
Through profiles, performance and elaborate sections on major elements of Koodiyattom, P Narayanan Nambiar, Kalamandalam Sivan Nambudiri, Kidangoor Raman Chakyar, Paimkulam Damodaran Chakyar, Ammanur Parameswara Chakyar and Thankam Nangyariamma, share the struggles they, as individuals and repositories of an oral tradition, underwent to keep the torch burning.

A 3 hour documentation was made by filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan to support the candidature for the UNESCO honour. The present production is exhaustive and in 22 hours it gives personal glimpses of the artistes, the evolution of the art form, major sections on music, angika, vachika abhinaya, and masterpieces from the repertoire. It is directed by Viju Varma, narration by MV Narayanan, and camera by Prathapan.
Highlights - Yearwise listing