May 2018


Kalasagar celebrated the 94th birth anniversary of its founder Kalamandalam Krishnankutty Poduval on 28 May 2018 at Edapally in Kerala where the following artistes were honored with the KALASAGAR AWARD.
-Kathakali: Kalamandalam Prasanth (Vesham/Actor), Kalanilayam Unnikrishnan (Paattu/Music), Kalamandalam Raman Nambudiri (Chenda/Percussion), Kalamandalam Rajnarayanan (Maddalam/Percussion), Kalamandalam Satheesan (Chutty/Make-Up)
-Vechoor Remadevi (Ottenthullal), Dr. Edanad Rajan  Nambiar (Chakyarkoothu), Kalamandalam Rajeev  (Mizhavu-Koodiyattam), Dr. Kalamandalam Rachitha Ravi (Mohiniattam), Mattanoor Sreekanth (Thayambika)
- Panchavadyam: Pallassana Murali Marar (Thimila), Sadanam Bharatharajan (Maddalam), Chalakudy Ravi (thalam), Varavoor Manikandan (kombu)




Leela School of Dance, based out of Cary, North Carolina, of which Asha Bala is the director, has been recognized by The North Carolina Arts Council with the 2018 NORTH CAROLINA HERITAGE AWARD that was conferred on May 23, 2018 at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh. This is a Lifetime Achievement Award and the highest award given by the state to artists for their outstanding contribution to the cultural heritage of the state.




On 13 May 2018 at the India International Centre Auditorium in Delhi, dancers Bharati Shivaji, Madhavi Mudgal and Geeta Chandran received the DEBADHARA GURU SHISHYA SANMAN bestowed by the Debadhara Nritya Academy led by Guru Binayak Panda.




On 9th May 2018, Geeta Chandran and Dr.Ileana Citaristi received MUTTHIRAI PATHITHA VITHAKAR GOLD MEDAL from the Karur Natyanjali Trust at Karur Pasupathiswar Temple, Tamil Nadu.




The Tamil Nadu Urdu Literary Association awarded Dr.Swarnamalya Ganesh on May 7, 2018 in recognition of her research and reconstruction of Jakkini repertoire discovering its Persian connection and her presenting of Sufi poetry in Urdu by poets of the 17th century from Tamil Nadu.




On the eve of Shrishti Golden Jubilee, A V. Satyanarayana’s Shristi Center presented SHRISHTI NATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD for dance to Guru Kalamandalam Gopi on May 3, 2018 at Bangalore.



On the occasion of ABHAI’s 30th annual day, the following awards were given at Vani Mahal on May 1, 2018, Chennai. NATYA KALANIDHI to Dr.Padma Subrahmanyam & Prof. Sudharani Raghupathy, NRITYA PERUNJOTHI to Jayanthi Subramaniam, NARTHAKA NIPUNA to J Suryanarayana Murthy, GANDHARVA NIPUNA to Mudikondan SN Ramesh




Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts is now a partner at the Asian Network for Dance (AND+) setup by West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, Hongkong. The network comprises some of the world’s most prestigious dance organisations coming together to connect, empower and facilitate the contemporary dance practice in Asia. Jayachandran Palazhy, Artistic Director, Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts was invited to be part of the launch event and promised to ensure wider representation from across India.




Hemabharathy Palani, rehearsal director for Attakkalari Dance Company, has been offered the prestigious Leverhume fellowship from the Rambert Dance School, UK. Hema is the first Indian national to be part of this fellowship programme. She will be a resident artist at Rambert, developing new works and collaborating with multidisciplinary partners from different cultures.


April 2018



On the 42nd Foundation Day of Dr. Sonal Mansingh’s Centre for Indian Classical Dances, the 5th JIWAN RATNA SANMAN was conferred on Kathak Guru Pt. Birju Maharaj, on April 30, 2018 at Kamani Auditorium, Delhi.




Utsav awarded the annual UTSAV SAMMAN 2018 to Guru Jamuna Krishnan (Bharatanatyam, Delhi), Sangita Gosain (Odissi vocal music, Bhubaneswar), Sharon Lowen (Odissi dance, Delhi), and Pandit Rama Chandra Sahu (Odissi vocal, Delhi), on April 29, 2018 at Azad Bhawan, Delhi.




Dancer Revathi Ramachandran is to be the new Kalakshetra director for a term of 3 years. She succeeds Priyadarsini Govind to the post that has been vacant for the past 10 months. Trained in the Melattur style of Bharatanatyam by Mangudi Dorairaj Iyer, Revathi is the director of Kala Sadhanalaya in Chennai.




The NATYA VRIKSHA LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD was given to ace photographer Avinash Pasricha by Geeta Chandran’s Natya Vriksha on April 28, 2018 during the World Dance Day celebrations at India International Centre, New Delhi. The award includes a cash purse of rupees one lakh.



Rupashree Kala Mandira of Puri presented the SASHIMANI MAHARI SAMMAN to Odissi dancers Rahul Acharya, Madhusmita Mohanty, Ramesh Chandra Jena, Srinibas Ghatuary, Punyashree Rout and Kathak dancer Tarit Sarkar on April 12, 2018 at the 10th Shree Mandira Mahari Parampara at Rabindra Mandap, Bhubaneswar.




Ranee A Ramaswamy and Aparna Ramaswamy of Ragamala Dance, Minneapolis, have won the prestigious GUGGENHEIM FELLOWSHIP for Choreography, which will be used towards the development of their latest production Sacred Fire: Bone within Ash. In a rare instance, the mother-daughter have won it as a duo with a purse of $30,000 each.
New York based Nandini Sikand (dancer-choreographer, author, cultural anthropologist, and filmmaker), associate professor of film and media studies (FAMS), has received the Guggenheim Fellowship for Film/Video, to complete a documentary about women and the prison system. She will use the funds to complete Inside/Outside, a feature-length documentary film about women and mass incarceration in the United States as they struggle with the challenges of sexual assault, substance disorder, and motherhood.




The Dhananjayans were honoured with the SHRESTA KALA PRACHAARAK award by Ganesha Natyalaya of Guru Saroja Vaidyanathan on April 9, 2018 at Delhi Tamil Sangam, New Delhi. Other awardees are gurus Yamini Krishnamurthy, B. Bhanumathi, Radha Sridhar and journalist BR Vikram Kumar.




Padma Awards - one of the highest civilian Awards of the country, are conferred in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. Datuk Ramli Ibrahim from Malaysia received the PADMA SHRI on April 2, 2018 at Rashtrapati Bhawan, Delhi, from Shri Ram Nath Kovind, the President of India.


March 2018



Indira Kadambi received the NRITHYA KALA SAGARAM award, Nandini Ramani the T BALASARASWATI MEMORIAL AWARD, Sushmita Arunkumar the NRITHYA SEVA MANI at Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival on March 31, 2018.



Supriya Hariprasad, Director of Kalamshu Cultural Trust, was awarded NRITYA KALA SHRESHTA title by Sri Ramamandira Trust, Bangalore, on 29th March 2018, as part of 80th Sri Ramanavami celebrations.



The 32nd annual Isadora Duncan Dance Awards  honored local dance artists by acknowledging their outstanding achievements in an IZZIES ceremony and celebration on March 26, 2018 at Brava Theater Center in San Francisco. Abhinaya's 2016 fall production 'Vaanara Leela - Monkeys in the Ramayana' (Artistic Direction: Mythili Kumar and Rasika Kumar) won for Outstanding Achievement in Performance - Company. This was the first time an Indian dance company has won an Izzie in this category.
Excerpt




Madras Craft Foundation and Friends of Dakshina Chitra presented the DAKSHINA CHITRA VIRUDHU to R Muthukannammal, Sadir dancer from Viralimalai, Trichy, for excellence and lifetime contribution to Sadir dance, the mother of Bharatanatyam, at Dakshina Chitra, Chennai, on March 17, 2018.



Guru Pankaj Charan Odissi Research Foundation in association with NALCO presented ADI GURU PANKAJ CHARAN DAS PARAMPARA SANMAN 2018 to Dr. Ratna Roy on March 17, 2018 at Rabindra Mandap, Bhubaneswar. Titles for outstanding contributions: Guru Niranjan Biswal - BINAKARA for Odissi music, Guru Bijay Kumar Barik - MADELI for Odissi mardal, Harapriya Swain - GAUNI SAMPRADA for Odissi vocal, Amrita Das - SHASHIMANI NACHUNI SAMPRADA for Odissi dance. Odissi dancer Sanchita Bhattacharya received the MAHARI AWARD.




On 3rd March 2018, Ileana Citaristi received BHAVAN'S SAMMAN of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Odisha, for contribution to Indian culture and dance of Odisha, from the Governor of Odisha.




Preeti Vasudevan was 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. The evening featured live performances and the award show honoring the outstanding artistry and promising future of artists from the 11 Lincoln Center constituent organizations. Each recipient was honored with the Award and a check for $7,500 to be used for career advancement and to support future study.


February 2018



The prestigious KALIDAS SAMMAN bestowed by the Government of Madhya Pradesh honours artistes annually for their exemplary contribution to the performing arts. This year the dance awards were given to Lakshmi Viswanathan for Bharatanatyam, Darshana Jhaveri for Manipuri, Pt Jitendra Maharaj for Kathak, Radha and Raja Reddy for Kuchipudi on February 20, 2018 at the Khajuraho Dance Festival celebrations.




VIDHYA TAPASVI title by Tapas Cultural Foundation for 2018 was awarded to ghatam exponent and music composer Dr. 'Ghatam' Karthick and Bharatanatyam exponent Indira Kadambi for their dedicated service towards bhakthi oriented classical Fine Arts, in a ceremony held at Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Chennai, on 18th February 2018.




The Mayura Natyanjali organisation (Mayiladuthurai) honoured Guru VP Dhananjayan with the title MAYURA NRITYA SAAGARAM on Feb 10, 2018.




On Feb 10, 2018, Dr Sunil Kothari received the ANJALI MERH LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD for his outstanding contribution to dance from Rajmata Shubhangini Devi Gaekwad, Chancellor of MS University, Baroda. Dr Kothari earned his Ph.D in Dance from MS University in 1977.




The GURU GANGADHAR PRADHAN SMRUTI SAMMAN 2018 was presented to Guru Dhaneswar Swain, eminent Odissi mardal exponent and Bhagirathi Das, renowned Odissi Basta Karigara for their valuable contribution to Odissi at the 14th Dhauli-Kalinga Mahotsav on Feb 9, 2018. On Feb 11, RUCHI BUDDHA SAMMAN was presented to Dr. Sonal Mansingh.




Kalamshu Cultural Trust concluded its 3 month long Jhenkar Utsava on 4th Feb 2018, by awarding SS MADY MEMORIAL ‘KALAMSHU ART AWARD’ to Viralimalai R Muthukannammal, 88 year old Sadhir artist. She is a last surviving dancer of 32 membered Viralimalai Sadhir Mela. Unlike in Bharatanatyam, the Sadhir artist sings along with dancing. Muthukannammal is noted for a whole night recital of Viralimalai Kuravanji, modi and Viralimalai nottuswara (different from Dikshitar’s nottuswara).


January 2018



Shanta Dhananjayan & V.P.Dhananjayan received the LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD from Rotary Club-Mitra  on 30th January 2018. 



Bharatanatyam dancer and Queer Studies scholar, Aniruddhan Vasudevan turned down the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award that he won for his English translation of the controversial Perumal Murugan Tamil novel MATHORUBAGHAM - ONE PART WOMAN. A state wide violence erupted over the novel from some groups claiming that it had insulted the women of their clan. Vasudevan, a student of the University of Texas in Austin, declined the honour saying “an award should not be controversial.”




The Dhananjayans received the Kerala goverment's NISHAGANDHI PURASKAR on 20th January 2018 at Thiruvananthapuram. It includes a citation, Bharatamuni plaque and a cash prize of Rs.1.5 lakhs.




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

General Council of Sangeet Natak Akademi conferred the following awards in the field of dance on January 17, 2018 at New Delhi.
- 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) 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.
Watch the ceremony




Guru Prof. C V Chandrasekar from Chennai and Dr. Sunil Kothari from New Delhi were 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.




Film 'Nilima' featuring Mohiniattam dancer Ayswaria Wariar has won a SPECIAL JURY AWARD at Eastern Global Film Awards on 10th January 2018 at Kochi, Kerala.




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.




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.




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.



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.




Dr.Sunil Kothari received the Karur Natyanjali Trust Award on January 2, 2018 at Karur, Tamilnadu.




On January 2, 2018 Bala Devi Chandrashekar received the title of  THALAIKOLLI from Rajah S Babaji Rajah Bhonsle, senior prince of Tanjore Hereditary Trust, Thanjavur Palace Devasthanam for her production ‘Brihadeeswara - form to formless.’and contribution to dance. According to historians in Thanjavur, this was the title given by Chola king to dancer Madhavi.



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.



Mayuri Upadhya has won the BROADWAY WORLD INDIA AWARDS 2017 for Best Original Choreography for Feroz Khan’s stage rendition of Mughal-e-Azam.




Sapphire Creations Dance Company’s co-director Paramita Saha was chosen as a Global Fellow of the International Society of Performing Arts (ISPA), New York and was invited to attend the Global Conference in New York in January.




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.


Highlights - Yearwise listing