A villupattu exponent and a Tamil scholar were honoured with ‘Kalai Kaviri Awards 2010' during the graduation day of the Kalai Kaviri College of Fine Arts here on Saturday.

M. Kalaivanan received the award on behalf of his late father, N. M. Muthukoothan, a renowned villupattu exponent. Poet Vettivayal Valavan received the award for his contribution in the field of Tamil literature. Most Rev. Antony Devotta, Bishop of Tiruchi, distributed the awards.

The award was given to the late Muthukoothan in recognition of his invaluable contributions in the field of folk arts. Popular through his lyrics for movies such as ‘Nadodi Mannan', ‘Arasakattalai' etc, he had also worked as villupattu artiste in ‘Kalaivanar' N. S. Krishnan's cultural troupe.

Poet Valavan, a retired headmaster, holds the post of president of Writers in the World Tamil Association. He began contributing to ‘Gnaana Thoothan', a Tamil magazine in 1962 and continues to write till date in all the major Tamil dailies.

Justice B. Rajendran, Judge, Madras High Court, who delivered the convocation address, said music traversed the universe. “Melodious music calms people. Both dance and music are like breath and soul to the body. “

Dance used to be prerogative of girls. There was a void in the field of dance after the great Valuver Ramaiah Pillai, Swamyraj and Dhananjayans, but it is now being filled up by many youngsters. The awareness of the traditional music and dance among the youths comes as a breath of fresh air into crushing environment created by the modern culture brought in by westernisation.

Justice Rajendran said that it was a welcome change to see students preferring classical music or dance class rather than spending their evening on a play station. The youth festivals, TV shows and sabhas are to be applauded for the wonderful work they are doing.

Justice Rajendran awarded Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), Integrated Bachelor of Fine Arts (IBFA), and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees in music and Bharathanatyam to 47 students. Following are the winners of the Gold Medals for academic year 2008-09:

Music: R. Karthik-IBFA (vocal) I rank, Magaletchime Shanmuganathan-BFA (vocal) I rank, R. Prabha Jasmine-BFA (vocal) II rank, S. Veeramani MFA (veena) I rank and V. Vaila Jeneefer MFA (vocal) II rank.

Bharathanatyam: S. Sathya Bharathi (BFA) I rank, Vaasugee Gunaratnam (BFA) II rank, R. Lalithambigai (MFA) I rank and S. Maheswari (MFA) II rank.

Rev. Antony Devotta also released the CD ‘Isaiyul Kural' volume II. Dr. (Sr) Margaret Bastine, Principal, Kalai Kaviri College of Fine Arts, was present.