Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Akademi Ratnas for Sitara Devi, Bhupen Hazarika

New Delhi: Four eminent personalities from the field of performing arts, including danseuse Sitara Devi and music composer Bhupen Hazarika, have been declared by the National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama as ‘Akademi Ratnas.’
The Sangeet Natak Akademi also elected pioneer of Bengali theatre stage designing Khaled Choudhry and musician and musicologist R.C. Mehta as Akademi fellows, an honour restricted to 30 living personalities at any given point of time.
Octogenarian Devi, a noted Kathak dancer, is also well versed in Bharatanatyam and many folk dances. R.C. Mehta, 91, a well-known vocalist of the Kirana Gharana style, has developed his own style of Khyal and Thumri art forms. Hazarika, 83, a pioneer of the Assamese film industry, is also a well-known poet, music composer, singer and author.
The Akademi also selected 34 practitioners of music, dance and theatre for the Akademi Awards for 2008. Among the awardees are Ulhas Kashalkar and B. Sasi Kumar for music, Shashi Sankhla and Saroja Vaidyanathan for dance, Markand Bhatt and Arundhati Nag for theatre.
The Akademi Ratna and Akademi Puraskar, being conferred since 1952, symbolise the highest standard of excellence in a performing art at the national level. — PTI

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