Renowned Hindustani vocalist Pandit Jasraj, veteran film actor Shreeram Lagoo and danseuse Yamini Krishnamurti are among six eminent personalities to be awarded with Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellows (Akademi Ratna).

The General Council of Sangeet Natak Akademi, the National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama, has honoured these personalities for their contribution in the field of performing arts.

The other three artists are Carnatic musician Lalgudi Jayaraman, theatre personality Kamlesh Dutt Tripathi and vocalist Kishori Amonkar, the academy said.

At present, there are only 32 Fellows of the Sangeet Natak Akademi.

The General Council of the Akademi also selected 33 personalities from the fields of music, dance, and theatre for the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards (Akademi Puraskar) for the year 2009.

The honour of Akademi Fellow carries a cash award of Rs. 3 lakh, while Akademi Award carries Rs.1 lakh, besides ‘Tamrapatra’ and ‘Angavastram.’

Eight eminent artists in the field of music selected for the award are — Abdul Rashid Khan and Vasundhara Komkali for Hindustani vocal, Lachman Singh Seen (Tabla) and Ali Ahmad Hussain (Shehnai) for Hindustani instrumental music, Parassala B. Ponnammal for Carnatic vocal, U. Srinivas (Mandolin), Dandamudi Sumathi Rama Mohan Rao (Mridangam) for Carnatic instrumental music and L. Ibohalmacha Singh (Nata Sankirtana) for Other Major Traditions of Music.

In the field of dance, Ananda Shankar Jayant (Bharatanatyam), Prerana Shrimali (Kathak), Kalamandalam Rajan (Kathakali), L. Bino Devi (Manipuri), Geeta Mahalik (Odissi), Vyjayanathi Kashi (Kuchipudi), Daksha Sheth (creative and experimental dance) and Kala Krishna (other major traditions of dance -Andhranatyam) have been selected.

In the field of theatre, the awardees are Shankar Narayan Navre (Marathi) and Vayala Vasudevan Pillai (Malayalam) for playwriting, Sudha Shivpuri and Neeta Mohindra for Acting, and Joy Michael and Dinesh Thakur for direction.

For allied theatre arts, Kamal Arora (make-up) and Kuldeep Singh (music for theatre) have been selected.

Musafir Ram Bhardwaj, Folk Dance (Himachal Pradesh); Vilayat Khan Ragi, Dhadhi Folk Music (Punjab), U.K. Kunjirama Panicker, Theyyam (Kerala), Jaganath Behera, Pala (Orissa), Shanti Jain, folk music (Bihar), Vithal Gangaram Umap, folk theatre (Maharashtra) and Bhikhudan Govindbhai Gadhvi, folk music (Gujarat) have also been selected for the award. Moinul Haque has been selected for contribution to mime, while Leela Venkataraman has been selected for her overall contribution in performing arts.

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