Sanskriti Music - Theatre - Dance Awards
is aimed at encouraging talent, individually or
as a group, which proves its merit in the domain
of the performing arts. Traditional, classical or
innovative vocal and instrumental music, folk and
modern dance, ballet, theatre, dance dramas, skits,
mime etc. will be considered. Also the performing
arts as projected through audio-video and other
Last three years Awardees
Ranjani and Gayatri
Gayatri were accomplished violinists earlier, having
been trained, by Sangeetha Bhushanam TS Krishnaswamy,
Professor of Violin at the Shanmukhananda Sangeetha
Vidyalaya, Mumbai. They made their debut as violin
duo in 1986 and made significant impact as duet performers.
The shift to the vocal discipline, in 1997, has been
smooth and successful, belying the general belief,
that those who lack the ‘kural’, (voice
for singing), take to the ‘viral’, (fingers),
for playing on the instruments. This speaks for the
versatility of their talents.
In vocal, initiated by their mother, Minakshi Balasubramaniam,
they have been under the guidance of PS Narayanaswamy,
steeped in the Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer ‘bani’,
noted for the weighty classicism, intensity, vibrancy
in rendition, among many other typical features.
These aspects are amply reflected in the performance
of the duo.
Gifted with a melodious voice, cultured for octave
range and modulation skills, and possessing a wide
repertoire (an essential criterion, in the ‘kriti’
oriented system of Carnatic music), the sisters make
deep impression with perceptive imagination, clean
‘raga’ lines, fidelity to lyrics, felicitous
expression and sprays of ‘brigha’ (quick
succession of discreet notes, in ascending and descending
orders, sometimes, in a staccato fashion).
With their appeal to the young and the mature audiences
alike, Ranjani & Gayatri have carved out a niche
for themselves. Ranjani & Gayatri are recipients
of many awards, notable among them being Kalki Krishnamurthy
Memorial Award, Isai Peroli, National Eminence Award
of the Shanmukhananda Sabha, Mumbai.
M.G. Jyothish’s world is the stage. The call
of the stage made Jyothish an adventurer for he began
to write plays and dared to direct and enact those
during his years in school. The turning point for
the theatre enthusiast came after he joined Abhinaya,
where he was groomed by veteran actor and director
Reghoothaman. The mutual creative enrichment was strong
enough for Jyothish to discontinue his graduation
in science and join School of Drama, Thrissur and
later do a post graduation in Theatre Arts, University
of Pondichery, while continuing his close association
“Plays that I have
directed are a result of the quest within myself and
my evolution as a person. If ‘Bhagavadajjukam’
reflected my confusions and inner dialogues, ‘Siddharatha’
was a more philosophical approach to life and its
problems. ‘Macbeth,’ my latest play, is
a continuation of that search. It delves into the
basic instincts of man,” explains Jyothish.
Whether it be adaptations of ancient Sanskrit dramas,
Shakespearean tragedies or German novels, plays directed
by Jyothish are anchored on powerful subtexts and
a rich visual stage craft. Jyothish has collaborated
with many eminent theatre practitioners for various
productions. He was invited as a guest by the British
Council to attend the prestigious Edinburgh Festival.
Apart from being the artistic director of Abhinaya
Theatre Research Centre, he also works as an instructor
for numerous courses on theatre jointly conducted
by Abhinaya and various governmental and non-governmental
organizations. Along almost these twenty five years,
Abhinaya could identify and bring forth many talents
who went on to become the fiber of life of theatre
arena of the nation.
Director of Natanakairali is a well-trained practitioner
of Kutiyattam, which is selected by UNESCO as an “oral
and intangible heritage of humanity”. She started
her training at the tender age of seven under the
legendary master (late) Guru Ammannur Madhava Chakyar.
Coming from a family of artists and performers, she
also trained under her parents, Sri Gopal Venu &
Smt Nirmala Paniker; Smt Usha Nangiar and Sri Kitangur
Her repertoire comprises both traditional performances
and experimental works. She has traveled both as a
solo artiste and together with the Kutiyattam ensemble
(Natanakairali & Ammannur Chachu Chakyar Smaraka
Gurukulam) performing in venues within India and abroad.
She has performed for SPIC MACAY; Shizuoka Performing
Arts Centre, Japan; Museum Rietberg, Zurich, has participated
in ‘The World Theatre Project’, and attended
workshops, training and dancing in choreographies
of avant garde dancer/farmer Min Tanaka from Japan.
A recipient of several prestigious awards, she is
a visiting faculty member teaching Kutiyattam at TTRP,
Singapore and National School of Drama, Delhi. Kapila
is a member of the Abhinayakkalari actors’ laboratory
where she has participated in training workshops in
Hasta and Netra abhinaya, martial arts, Yoga etc.
She played the lead role ‘Shakuntala’
in Abhijnana Sakuntalam Kutiyattam directed by Sri
Gopal Venu, the 9-hour version of which was performed
in important international venues including Rome,
Tokyo and Salle Pleyel in Paris.