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Archive for July 22nd, 2011

Vice President Confers Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowships and Akademi Awards 2010

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on July 22, 2011

– Release ID :73434 –

The Vice-President of India Shri M. Hamid Ansari conferred the prestigious “Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowships and Akademi Awards for 2010” at a special investiture ceremony here today. Addressing on the occasion  Shri Ansari said that the challenge is to be able to go beyond the dictates of what can loosely be termed “the market”. The form, format and grammar of art itself is sought to be tailored to the medium and the taste of the market. On the one hand, purists worry about this trend, sticking to tradition and shunning experimentation that dilutes the essence of the art from. Others cite the necessity to adapt and preserve classical and indigenous art forms in a globalizing world that flattens cultural diversities. No one has the perfect answer. Probably, there is no perfect answer. Yet, we must continue our effort to preserve that which makes us Indian – to be able to enjoy Indian art, sing, dance and play music as our ancestors did!

Congratulating the awardees the Vice President said that those honoured by it represent the nation’s highest achievers in music, dance and drama. These awards have thus played an essential role in preserving and carrying forward the multifarious expressions of our splendid cultural identity.

Four eminent personalities were conferred the Akademi’s Fellowships, while thirty-six artists and two scholars received the Akademi Awards for 2010. The highest honour of Akademi Fellowship (Akademi Ratna Sadasyata) was  conferred on eminent vocalist Girija Devi, renowned dance guru Nataraja Ramakrishna, Dhrupad maestro Rahim Fahimuddin Dagar, and Mridangam vidwan T. K. Murthy.  They received purse money of Rupees three lakh, besides an angavastram and a tamrapatra. The Fellowship of the Akademi is a rare honour, which is bestowed on a very limited number of artists and scholars at a given time.  The eminent representatives of music, dance and theatre honoured with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for 2010 received purse money of Rupees one lakh, an angavastram and tamrapatra.

The Akademi Fellowship (Akademi Ratna Sadasyata) and Akademi Award (Akademi Puraskar) are the most coveted national honours conferred on performing artists, gurus and scholars of the performing arts. These honours are decided by the Akademi’s General Council, the apex body consisting of eminent artists, scholars and nominees of the Government of India and of different States and Union Territories of the country. Sangeet Natak Akademi, established by the Government of India on 31 May 1952, is the National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama.

Following is the text of the Vice President’s address :

“I am happy to participate in today’s investiture ceremony of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowships and Awards for the year 2010. It is a singular honour to be in the midst of such distinguished artists.

I felicitate all the winners of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards. I would like to specially mention those who have been honoured with the Akademi Fellowship –Dance Guru Late Shri Nataraj Ramakrishna, and the musicians Smt. Girija Devi, Shri Rahim Fahimuddin Dagar and Shri T. K. Murthy.

The Sangeet Natak Akademy, as the apex body in the country for undertaking the preservation and promotion of our performing arts, has for almost six decades carried out its mandate with diligence and perseverance. Those honoured by it represent the nation’s highest achievers in music, dance and drama. These awards have thus played an essential role in preserving and carrying forward the multifarious expressions of our splendid cultural identity.

Inaugurating the Sangeet Natak Akademy in January 1953, our first Education Minister Maulana Azad had emphasized the need to cherish and develop our precious heritage of dance, drama and music, not only for our own sake “but also as our contribution to the cultural heritage of mankind”. This is all the more necessary in an era of great change and, in a very real sense, becomes the duty of every citizen.

Classical and folk performing arts touch the core of our identity. It is for this reason that we should appreciate the effort of the Sangeet Natak Akademi to encourage talent in music, dance and drama, preserving the arts and propagating it.

We must also ponder how to popularize each of the fields of classical and folk music, dance and drama at the level of the mass media and common people. Technology has enabled quicker and cheaper dissemination of products of performing arts, including in digital format, among a diverse and dispersed audience.

The challenge is to be able to go beyond the dictates of what can loosely be termed “the market”. The form, format and grammar of art itself is sought to be tailored to the medium and the taste of the market. On the one hand, purists worry about this trend, sticking to tradition and shunning experimentation that dilutes the essence of the art from. Others cite the necessity to adapt and preserve classical and indigenous art forms in a globalizing world that flattens cultural diversities.

No one has the perfect answer. Probably, there is no perfect answer. Yet, we must continue our effort to preserve that which makes us Indian – to be able to enjoy Indian art, sing, dance and play music as our ancestors did!

I take this opportunity to once again congratulate the award winners and those conferred with the fellowships. You stand as role models to our youth to imbibe the art and craft and achieve perfection in your chosen fields. I thank Smt. Leela Samson for inviting me to today’s function and wish the Sangeet Natak Akademi all success in its endeavours.”

SK

(Source: 22-July, 2011 20:12 IST | Vice President’s Secretariat – Press Information Bureau, Government of India)

Posted in Culture (news), Education (news), News from India | 1 Comment »

Tribute: A masterly musician – Chingleput Ranganathan, was a perfectionist (The Hindu / ….

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on July 22, 2011

Chingleput Ranganathan (@ Facebook page)

Chingleput Ranganathan (@ Facebook page)

The Hindu: Today’s Paper » FEATURES » FRIDAY REVIEW

by S. Sivakumar

Tribute A pallavi exponent, Chingleput Ranganathan, was a perfectionist.

Sangeetha Kala Acharya and Kala Rathna, Chingleput Ranganathan, hailed by many as a laya-loyalist of exacting standards, passed away on July 12. He is survived by his wife and two sons, who are performing flautists.

He was the serving Principal of the Teacher’s College of Music at the Music Academy and was a hard task master. He was open to new ideas and was sought after by vidwans.

His connection withmusic began with his mother Rajalakshmi and H. Ramachandra Sastri, the flautist, who directed him to the Alathur School to continue his learning. His vehicle was his bicycle and he wore only white.

The pallavi may have been his forte, but he was much more than a mere rhythm master. He was a “Paripoorna Vidwan,” a multi-faceted genius who had composed about 50 tillanas, set to tune about 150 Tiruppugazh hymns and also musically embellished Tiruppugazh by presenting it as a 72 Melakarta novelty.

Ranganathan held aloft the Alathur tradition and guru-bhakti dominated his thought, word and deed. Paying him tribute, musicians and scholars emphasise his principles and musical upbringing.

T. R. Subramaniam : He was agood-natured person who never had ill-will towards anybody. He had mastered many complicated pallavis and freely shared them with whoever sought to learn them. Also he had learnt to sing Tiruppugazh using rare talas.

He learnt music the tough way, going through the rigours of Gurukulavasam. But for all the contribution he made, he did not get what he deserved.

P. S. Narayanaswami : He was my dearest friend for 55 years and it is an irreparable loss to me and to the music world. He knew many rare kritis, which he could sing beautifully and his expertise in pallavi is, of course, well known.

A man of great dignity he did not covet kutcheri opportunities, his service to All India Radio (AIR) and thus to rasikas, was immense.

J. Venkatraman : Mere words cannot express my grief. He was my affectionate brother and I have seen him work hard to acquire a high level of scholarship.

A committed teacher, his voice became a casualty in the bargain. But he never worried about concert chances and the money attached.

Not only did we do Gurukulavasam together, but also performed at a few places. It was an enriching experience. Rivalry never entered the picture. I believe in karma and Ranganathan has no rebirth. If it happens he will be born as a genius.

N. Narasimhan : Though he belonged to the Alathur school, Ranganathan developed his own pattern and style. Even simple nadai pallavis were a speciality with him.

He respected everyone irrespective of their age. We were colleagues at AIR, and he was put in charge of the Tamil section where he made a mark with his simple and delicate tunes for many pasurams, his teaching method and disciplined approach. Seetha Narayanan : As an Aasan he opened my eyes to the world of niraval, a delicate affair of art and craft and he showed how laya was an integral part of tanam.

He would sing with ease multi-kalai nadai/tala pallavis, that would begin after 1/8th of the even level (samam), and he would teach them too. He also made me understand the range and depth of pallavis and the unwavering concentration required to execute them perfectly. He was a purist and did not believe in improvisation of sangatis.

Generous and open in praise, he would point out errors politely in privacy.

An eclectic, he once had listened to N. Rajam‘s Bagesri on the violin and was so impressed that he incorporated many of the usages in one of his own compositions.

R. Vedavalli : We received the AIR award in 1955 together and he became a friend ever since. His genius was commended but never recognised. He was excellent at Sandha Tala Tiruppugazh and incorporated these in his pallavis.

He followed the order with sangatis and never missed the nuances as he learnt them from the Alathur Brothers. And he would not give up until his disciples got them right. He therefore, stuck to certain core values. A great and noble soul!

Alathur Thiagarajan, son of one of the Alathur Brothers (Subramaniam): A perfect example of one who learnt under the ideal Gurukula system, he served three masters – Alathur Venkatesa Iyer and the Alathur brothers, a feat that could easily classify Ranganathan as an extraordinary man.

His delectable grammatical nuances for Nayaki and his unmixed treatment of Bhairavi or Mukhari, for example had to be heard to be believed.

His laya command and its labyrinthine structures made accompanists wary of sitting next to him on stage.

He had the privilege of learning from Alathur Venkatesa Iyer (my grandfather) from 1956 to 1958. ‘Kuttipayya,’ as Ranganathan was fondly called, had unsurpassed knowledge, calibre and capacity.

His worry, as he taught, was that the student could not adhere strictly to the Alathur style. He had exceptional capacity for sangatis and calculations. He was a true devotee of Tyagaraja and was present at the Tiruvaiyaru Aradhana every year.

(Source: 07/2011 – The Hindu | Today’s Paper » FEATURES » FRIDAY REVIEW )

 

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