Two cultural personalities from the northeast have been selected as fellows of the Sangeet Natak Akademi for 2011, while two others have been nominated in the list of Sangeet Natak Akademi Award winners, 2011.
Manipuri dance guru R K Singhajit Singh and eminent theatre personality Heisnam Kanhailal were among eleven well known personalities from the field of performing arts selected as Akademi Fellows for the year 2011.
The two artistes from the region, who were among the 36 persons selected for the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards, (Akademi Puraskar) 2011, are Priti Patel, director and choreographer of the Anjika Manipuri Dance Troupe, Kolkata, and puppeteer Gopal Chandra Das from Tripura. While Priti has been selected for her contribution to the field of dance, Das is being awarded in the folk culture category.
Thirty-six persons have been selected for the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards, including nine in the filed of music, nine for dance, eight eminent theatre personalities, eight artistes for folk and other traditional cultures including puppetry and two persons for their overall contribution to performing arts.
The selection of the eleven Akademi Fellows and 36 Akademi award winners were done by the general council of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, the National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama, New Delhi in its meeting on December 13 and 14.
Other eminent personalities selected as Akademi Fellows (Akademi Ratna) are Mukund Lath, Hariprasad Chaurasia, Shivkumar Sharma, Amjad Ali Khan, Umayalapuram Sivaraman, M Chandrasekharan, R K Singhajit Singh, Kalamandalarn Gopi, Adma Subrahmanyam, Chandrasekhar Kambarand and Heisnam Kanhailal.
The Fellowship of the Akademi is the most prestigious honour. Presently, the Sangeet Natak Akademi has only 40 fellows.
The honour of Akademi Fellow is being conferred since 1954 and the Akademi Award is given from 1952. The honour of Akademi Fellow carries cash award of Rs 3,00,000 and the Akademi Award carries Rs 1,00,000 besides Tamrapatra and Angavastram.