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Akademi awards for Priyadarsini Govind,
N. Rajam, Vinayakram
NEW DELHI, December 29: The General Council of Sangeet Natak Akademi, the national academy of music, dance and drama, has chosen three eminent personalities in the field of performing arts - N. Rajam, T.H. Vinayakram and Ratan Thiyam - as Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellows (Akademi Ratna).

The Fellowship of the Akademi is the most prestigious and rare honour, which is restricted to a very limited number at a given time. Presently, there are only 40 Fellows of the Sangeet Natak Akademi.

The General Council of the Akademi also selected 36 persons from the fields of music, dance, theatre and puppetry for the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards (Akademi Puraskar) for the year 2012.

Honour for 3 Carnatic artistes
In the field of Music, nine eminent artists have been selected for the Akademi Award 2012. They are: Rajashekhar Mansur and Ajay Pohankar for Hindustani vocal music, Sabir Khan (Tabla) and Bahauddin Dagar (Rudra Veena) for Hindustani instrumental music; O.S. Thyagarajan for Carnatic vocal music, Mysore M. Nagaraja (Violin) and K.V. Prasad (Mridangam) for Carnatic instrumental music; Illayaraja for creative and experimental music; and Bhai Balbir Singh Ragi (Gurbani) for other major traditions of music.

9 dancers get the honour
In the field of dance, nine eminent practitioners have been selected for the Akademi Award 2012. They are: Priyadarsini Govind (Bharatanatyam), Vijay Shankar (Kathak), Vazhengada Vijayan (Kathakali), Vedantam Ramalinga Sastry (Kuchipudi), Sharmila Biswas (Odissi), Jai Narayan Samal (Chhau), Painkulam Damodara Chakyar (Kutiyattam), Jwala Prasad (music for dance) and Aditi Mangaldas (creative and experimental dance).

Nandini Ramani and Arun Kakade will receive the Akademi Award 2012 for overall contribution/scholarship in performing arts.

The honour of Akademi Fellow has been conferred since 1954, and the Akademi Award since 1952. They not only symbolize the highest standard of excellence and achievements on a national basis, but also recognize sustained individual work and contribution to the practice and appreciation of the arts through performance, teaching and scholarship.

The honour of Akademi Fellow carries purse money of Rs. 3 lakhs and Akademi Awards carry Rs. 1 lakh. The awards also comprise Tamrapatra and Angavastram, says a release.