Special Correspondent

Month-long Margazhi Mahotsav of Bharat Kalachar inaugurated

CHENNAI: The Consul-General, Consulate General of the United States of America in South India, David T. Hopper, underscored the need for enhancing the cultural strengths of the country and building on cultural legacies to foster the Indo-U.S. bilateral ties.

Inaugurating the month-long Margazhi Mahotsav of Bharat Kalachar in association with Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) here on Friday, Mr. Hopper said the Indian community in America had been playing a pivotal role in preserving and promoting India's rich and varied cultural heritage. He had a word of praise for the Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan group of institutions for promoting and preserving India's culture by encouraging and recognising young talent and honouring the doyens in the cultural arena.

Susan Woolley Hopper, wife of the Consul General, lit a traditional lamp to mark the occasion.

Vyjayanthimala Bali (Bharatanatyam), Bombay Sisters C. Saroja and C. Lalitha (classical Carnatic music) were presented with Gnana Kala Bharathi awards. The Viswa Kala Bharathi awards in recognition for service in the field of fine arts abroad were given to Prof. Sudharani Raghupathy, V.P. Dhananjayan and Shantha Dhananjayan (all for Bharatanatyam). The Acharya Kala Bharathi was given to K.J. Sarasa (Bharatanatyam for decades as a Guru). The Natya Kaladhar award recipients were Sowcar Janaki, Poornam Viswanthan (Cinema and Stage). The Kala Seva Bharathi awards were given to Ramji (for encouraging young talent in the field of music), Roja Kannan (Bharatanatyam).

The Nataka Kala Bharathi awardees were Vietnamveedu Sundaram and Typist Gopu.

The Yuva Kala Bhrathi awards were given to M. Balamuralikrishna (Vocal), Chinmaya Sisters Uma and Radhika (Vocal), G. Ramesh (Nagaswaram), Nagamani Raju (Mandolin), Sherthalai Sivakumar (Violin), K.V. Gopalakrishnan (Mrindangam), Bangalore N Amrit (Kanjira), Lavanya Ananth, R. Vineet, Nrithya Jagannathan and Anwesha Das (all for Bharatanatyam), S. Divya Sena (all rounder in Nattuvangam, Choreography and Bharatanatyam) and Nagalakshmi (Dramatics).

Souvenir released

T.S. Narayanaswamy, Chairman and Managing Director of IOB, released a souvenir brought out on the occasion and handed over the first copy to Nalli Kuppuswamy, who was the guest of honour.

Mrs.Y.G. Parthasarathy, Chairman of Bharat Kalachar said the organisation had not only tapped young talent but honoured the legends in the field of cinema, drama, music and dance artistes. Bharat Kalachar, she noted, was now witnessing more fusion music to keep abreast with the modern times.