Monday, 28 December 2015

Attendance Awards 2015 an inspiring event

By Anjana Anand

The packed hall at the Alliance Francaise, Bengaluru, had a quiet dignity about it as the sixth annual ‘Attendance’ award function (2015) kicked off to an auspicious start. A brainchild of the Khokar Dance Foundation, the event was conducted in collaboration with Alliance Francaise de Bangalore and Bangalore School of Music.

The highlight of the function was the announcement by the editor and publisher of  Attendance  - Ashish Khokar - that the first disqualification for the awards was canvassing for them! A short pada puja was performed by  children to honour the dignitaries. Elegant white shawls  instead of the customary shiny ones, and the variety of events showcased  were a welcome change from the long drawn out speeches in award ceremonies. The cherry on the cake was that the awardees under the age of 50 are given an internship with a dance company abroad and those above 50 have their work archived professionally. It was an honour for the recipients to receive their award from veteran artist Vyjayanthimala Bali.

A range of artists were awarded for their contribution to the arts. Guru Radha Shridhar was honoured with the Maya Rao Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to Bharatanatyam. The other awardees were Padmini  Ravi (Rukmini Devi award for significant contribution to Bharatanatyam), Gowri Ramnarayan (Mohan Khokar award for overall excellence), Sheejith Krishna (Ram Gopal award for best male solo artist), and Nritarutya’s Upadhaye sisters (Uday Shankar award for Choreography). It was befitting that the awardees were chosen for the years of work they had put in and also for their ability to continue with their  contribution to the arts in the years to come.

The awardees  presented a glimpse of their work. The Upadhaye sisters showcased their versatile dancers with excerpts from the production Matsyaanga. Radha Shridhar’s disciple Aishwarya Nityananda presented her guru’s composition on Lord Siva with energy and perfection. Padmini Ravi, who dons many hats, spoke about her journey which took her away from dance but finally brought her back with renewed vigour. Sheejith Krishna and Gowri Ramnarayan, who made it from Chennai braving the floods,  spoke about the purpose of art in their lives.

It was an inspiring evening which renewed faith in the integrity and importance of awards as indications of milestones in an artist’s life.

No comments:

Post a Comment