Guwahati, February 7, 2019:
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President of India Ramnath Kovind conferred the ‘Sangeet Natak Akademi’ awards to 42 artistes in five categories for the year 2017 yesterday. Flutist Rajendra Prasanna, Odissi dancer Sujata Mohapatra, and Kathak dancer Shobha Koser were among the artists honored during the occasion.
Forty-two artists from the fields including music, dance, theatre, traditional, folk, and tribal music were awarded. It is to be mentioned that the West Bengal folk music form, Baul, made it to the awards for the first time.
Northeast India, which is known for its distinct art, music, and culture also made a mark at the award this time around.
In the dance category, Ramkrishna Talukdar (Sattriya) and L.N. Oinam Ongbi Dhoni Devi (Manipuri dance) were selected for the prestigious award along with nine other artists.
In theatre, Shougrakpam Hemanta Singh from Manipur, a practitioner of Shumung Leela, was selected in the Other Major Traditions of Theatre category. Nuruddin Ahmed from Assam was also awarded in the Theatre (Allied Theatre Arts – Stagecraft) category.
Jagganath Bhuyan from Assam and K.C. Runremsangi have been selected in the Folk music category.
Sangeet Natak Akademi awards, given by the Sangeet Natak Akademi (India’s national academy of dance, music, and drama), is the highest honor that conferred by the Government on practicing artists. A sum of Rs. 1 lakh, along with a Tangapatra and Angavastram is also presented to the awardees.