The Karnataka Yakshagana Bayalata Academy has chosen 20 artistes for its honorary awards for 2008 and 2009.

The awards will be presented to them at a function at Dharmasthala on March 21, according to president of the academy Kumble Sundar Rao.

Addressing presspersons here on Wednesday, he said that each artiste would be presented a purse of Rs. 10,000, a citation, shawl and memento.

Mr. Rao said that artistes from different schools of Yakshagana such as Tenku Thittu, Badagu Thittu, Badabadagu, Sannata, Doddata, Ghattada Kore, Krishna Parijatha, Bayalata, and Radhanata were considered for the award.

The artistes chosen for the award for 2008 are H. Subbanna Bhat, Karki Narayana Hasyagara, Molahalli Heriya Naika, Vandse Narayana Ganiga (all from Badagu Thittu and Badabadagu schools); Hosahitlu Mahalinga Bhat, Ramayya Rai of Mumbai and K. Pakeera of Gerukatte (Tenku Thittu); Madevayya Nooli (Doddata); Vidwan Ka. Na. Dasachar (Moodalapaya); and Siddanna Channappa Sarasambi (Bayalata).

Those who have been selected for the award for 2009 are Kadandelu Purushothama Bhat, Peruvodi Narayana Bhat, Mukhyaprana Kinnigoli, Sheenappa Rai Sampaje and M.K. Ramesh Acharya (all from Tenku Thittu); Matyadi Narasimha Shetty (Badagu Thittu); Khader Sab (Bayalata); K.B. Jayachandra Raja Arasu (Ghattada Kore); and Kashibayi Dadanatti (Krishna Parijatha).

An award will be posthumously given to Dharmashale Mahabaleshwara Bhat for 2009, Mr. Rao added.

This will be the first honorary awards ceremony organised by the academy after it was carved out of the erstwhile Karnataka Janapada and Yakshagana Academy in 2008.

The academy could not confer its honorary awards for 2008 in 2009 owing to administrative reasons as it was a new academy. Hence, the award for both years would be conferred on Sunday, he said.

Mr. Rao said the Government had agreed to institute an award after the late Parthi Subba, who is considered the father of Yakshagana. The award will include a purse of Rs. 1 lakh.

Mr. Rao said that after the award ceremony on Sunday, students of Alva's Education Foundation, Moodbidri, will stage a Yakshagana programme, “Sudarshana Vijaya”, which will be followed by another programme “Dharmangada Digvijaya” by artistes of Poornachandra Yakshagana Mandali.

D. Veerendra Heggade, Dharmadhikari of Dharmasthala, will give away the awards.