Tabla maestro Zakir Hussain and eminent classical dancers Sonal Mansingh, Jatin Goswami (Sattriya) and K. Kalyanasundaram Pillai (Bharatanatyam) were conferred the Sangeet Natak Akademi's prestigious fellowships on Tuesday. The Akademi also announced 44 recipients of its awards for the year 2018.The names were chosen at the Akademi meeting held on June 26 at Guwahati. The fellowship -- called 'Akademi Ratna' -- is deemed a coveted and rare honour, as there are only 40 fellows at any given time.The Akademi's General Council also selected 44 artistes from the field of music, dance, theatre across the traditional, folk, and tribal genres, puppetry and overall contribution/scholarship to the performing arts for the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards (Akademi Puraskar) for 2018.In music, the awardees are: Mani Prasad and Madhup Mudgal (Hindustani Vocal), Tarun Bhattacharya (santoor), Tejendra Narayan Majumdar (sarod), Alamelu Mani and Malladi Suribabu (Carnatic vocal), Suresh Wadkar and Shanti Hiranand (Sugam Sangeet) and H. Ashangbi Devi (Nata Sankirtana).Joint awards were S. Kasim and S. Babu for the Nagaswaram instrument, and to Ganesh and Kumaresh for violin.In the field of dance, Radha Sridhar has won it for Bharatanatyam, Akham Lakshmi Devi for Manipuri, Pasumurthy Ramalinga Sastry for Kuchipudi, Surupa Sen for Odissi, Tankeswar Hazarika Borbayan for Sattriya, Gopika Varma for Mohiniyattam, Tapan Kumar Pattanayak for Chhau, and Deepak Mazumdar for contemporary dance.Kathak dancers Ishira and Maulik Shah have won the award jointly.For theatre, the Akademi award has been given to Rajiv Naik and Laltluangliana Khiangte for playwriting, Sanjay Upadhyay and S. Raghunandana for direction, Suhas Joshi and Teekam Joshi for acting, and Swapan Nandy for mime.
Bhagawat A.S. Nanjappa has won the honour for Yakshagana and A.M. Parameswaran Kuttan Chakkiyar for Kutiyattam.For folk music, the awardees are Malini Awasthi (Uttar Pradesh), Gazi Khan Barna (Rajasthan), and Narendar Singh Negi (Uttrakhand).Mohd. Sadiq Bhagat has won it for Jammu and Kashmir's folk theatre Bhand Pather, Kota Sachidanand Shastry for Andhra Pradesh's Harikatha, Arjun Singh Dhruve for Madhya Pradesh's folk dance, Somnath Battu for Himachal Pradesh's folk music, Anupama Hoskere for puppetry and Hem Chandra Goswami for mask-making."Diwan Singh Bajeli and Puru Dadhich have been selected for the Akademi Award 2018 in the field of Overall Contribution/Scholarship in the Performing Arts," the Akademi said.The Akademi fellowship carries a cash prize of Rs 3 lakh while the Akademi award has Rs 1 lakh. The awards will be conferred by the President at an investiture ceremony later. The Akademi Awards, conferred since 1952, not only symbolize the highest standard of excellence and achievements, but also recognize sustained individual work and contribution, it said.Along with the fellowships and the main awards, the Akademi also announced 32 young recipients of the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar for 2018.Named after the shehnai maestro, the award is presented to artistes, across the fields of music, dance, theatre and other performing arts, aged below 40 years with the objective of identifying and encouraging outstanding young talent in diverse fields of performing arts and giving them national recognition early in their life.The prize carries a cash amount of Rs 25,000 and will be presented to the awardees at a special ceremony.