Bharatanatyam dancer-choreographer Anita Ratnam has been chosen for the first International Arts Award – Vishwa Kala Ratna – by the U.K.-based Indian Arts Development Tryst, MilapFest. “The award, a first-of-its-kind has been conferred on Dr. Ratnam for her sterling contribution towards NARTHAKI.COM, a 17-year-old dance portal that has been chronicling, commenting and critiquing the many worlds of Indian dance practice, performance and presentation across the world,” says a press release.
According to MilapFest’s executive director, Prashant Nayak, “This award is an extension of our already well-established British National Indian Arts Awards Programme, celebrates and acknowledges the sterling contribution made by dynamic, well established individuals/organisations towards promoting and strengthening Indian Arts globally.”
Responding to the award, Anita Ratnam says, “This honour comes at a time when we have to recognise the world we live in. It is a multiverse - far more complex and rich than we can imagine. The viewing, receiving and consumption of live arts is being mediated by technology in more ways that we can realise.
“In 2000, I started www.narthaki.com as a way to crush the old lenses of viewing and find a more dynamic way of democratising the discourse that surrounds Indian dance. To select an online portal for this first ever international award is a significant marker that we need to invest time and attention to the multiple voices and registers that make up this complex and rich timeline of Indian dance traditions.”
The awards ceremony will be held in England, later this year.