Sangeet Natak Akademi

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Sangeet Natak Akademi
SNA logo.PNG
Rabindra Bhawan, Delhi.jpg
Rabindra Bhawan, Delhi which houses the Sangeet Natak Akademi, Lalit Kala Akademi and Sahitya Akademi
Formation1953;68 years ago (1953)
HeadquartersRabindra Bhawan, Ferozeshah Road, New Delhi, India
Region served
Vice Chairman
Aruna Sairam
Parent organisation
Ministry of Culture, Government of India. [1]

Sangeet Natak Akademi (The National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama in English) is the national level academy for performing arts set up by the Government of India.



It was set up by the Indian education ministry on 31 May 1952 and became functional the following year, with the appointment of its first chairman, Dr. P. V. Rajamannar. Dr Rajendra Prasad, the first President of India, inaugurated it on 28 January 1953 in a special function held in the Parliament House. The academy's Fellowship and Award are considered very prestigious. [2]


Rabindra Bhawan, Delhi which houses the Sangeet Natak Akademi, Lalit Kala Akademi and Sahitya Akademi. Rabindra Bhawan, Delhi.jpg
Rabindra Bhawan, Delhi which houses the Sangeet Natak Akademi, Lalit Kala Akademi and Sahitya Akademi.

The academy functions as the apex body of the performing arts in the country to preserve and promote the vast cultural heritage of India expressed in music, dance and drama. It also works with governments and art academies in states and territories of the country.

SNA established several institutions over the years:

Centers: [4]

In addition, the Akademi

The facilities

The academy is an important source of information and offers the following facilities.

The audio-visual archive

The academy's audio-visual archive has several audio/video tapes, photographs and films. It is the largest archive of its kind in the country and is extensively drawn upon for research on the performing arts of India.

The library

The academy maintains a reference library consisting of about 22,000 books.

Books on several subjects including Dance, Drama, Music, Theatre, Sociology, Folklore, Tribal Studies, Indian History and Culture, Indian Art, Religion and Epics, Mythology, Anthropology and Reference works such as Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, Yearbooks, Bibliographies, Indexes and Newspaper clippings about Academy Awards and eminent artistes in the field of performing arts, can be found here.

The academy has a museum-cum-gallery of musical instruments in Bhapang vadan, New Delhi. There are more than 200 musical instruments on display here.

Documentation unit

It has a documentation unit that collects and records works of masters in the field of music, dance and theatre on audio and video to help researchers. The academy produces several in-house publications.

Award and Fellowship

Sangeet Natak Akademi Award

The Sangeet Natak Akademi Award is the highest national recognition given to practicing artists, gurus and scholars. It carries a purse money of Rs. 1,00,000/-, [6] a shawl, and a tamrapatra (a brass plaque). The number of awards given annually is 33 at present and, till date, over 1000 artists have been honoured.

Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship, Ratna Sadsya

Each year the Academy awards Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowships, Ratna Sadsya, to distinguished individuals for their contribution to the field of arts, music, dance and theatre. The first Fellow of the Akademi was elected in 1954, and till date, the Akademi has honoured 123 eminent personalities as Akademi Fellows (Akademi Ratna).

Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar

Instituted in 2006, in memory of Ustad Bismillah Khan, this award is given to young artists (below 40 years of age) for their talent in the fields of music, dance and drama. [7]

Tagore Ratna and Tagore Puraskar

On the occasion of the commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore Sangeet Natak Akademi Tagore Ratna and Sangeet Natak Akademi Tagore Puraskar were conferred. These awards were given at events in Kolkata - Sangeet Natak Akademi Tagore Samman on 25 April 2012 [8] and in Chennai Sangeet Natak Akademi Tagore Samman on 2 May 2012. [9]

Indian classical dances

The Sangeet Natak Akademi confers classical status on eight [10] Indian dance forms:

  1. Bharatanatyam: originating in Tamil Nadu
  2. Odissi: originating in Odisha
  3. Kuchipudi: originating in Andhra Pradesh
  4. Mohiniaattam: originating in Kerala, performed by women
  5. Sattriya: originating in Assam, conferred classical status most recently
  6. Kathakali: originating in Kerala, performed by men
  7. Kathak: originating in Northern India
  8. Manipuri: originating in Manipur

See also

Related Research Articles

Indian classical dance is an umbrella term for various performance arts rooted in musical theatre styles, whose theory and practice can be traced to the Sanskrit text, Natyashastra . The number of classical dances range from eight to more, depending on the source and scholar. The Sangeet Natak Academy recognizes eight – Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Kuchipudi, Odissi, Kathakali, Sattriya, Manipuri and Mohiniyattam. Scholars such as Drid Williams add Chhau, Yakshagana and Bhagavata Mela to the list. Additionally, the Indian Ministry of Culture includes Chhau in its classical list. These dances are traditionally regional. They consist of compositions in Telugu, Tamil, Sanskrit, Kannada, Hindi, or any other Indian language and they represent a unity of core ideas in a diversity of styles, costumes and expression. At present officially there are 9 classical dances in India.

Kumudini Lakhia Indian dancer and choreographer

Kumudini Lakhia is an Indian Kathak dancer and choreographer based in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, where she founded Kadamb School of Dance and Music, an institute of Indian dance and music in 1967.

Zia Fariduddin Dagar was an Indian classical vocalist belonging to the Dhrupad tradition, the oldest existing form of north Indian classical music. He was part of the Dagar family of musicians.

Munna Shukla is a Kathak guru and choreographer of Lucknow Gharana based in New Delhi, India. Born to a family who has been involved in dance for generations, Munna Shukla specializes in Kathak, a classical dance form of North India. He is a grandson of the noted Kathak Maestro, Late Achhan Maharaj, and a nephew of Birju Maharaj.

The Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship, also known as Akademi Ratna Sadasyata, is an Indian honour for the performing arts presented by Sangeet Natak Academy. It is "the most prestigious and rare honour" conferred by the Academy and is "restricted to 40 individuals at any given time".

V. K. Narayana Menon (1911–1997) was a scholar of classical Indian dance and Indian classical music. He was one of the prominent art critics of India and a Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship.

Shashi Sankhla Musical artist

Shashi Sankhla,, is an exponent of the Jaipur gharana of Kathak dance in India. She is a Senior Disciple of Guru Pt. Kundan Lal Gangani Ji. She has been awarded by Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards 2008 in Kathak dance. She was the principal of Jaipur Kathak Kendra. Her earnest desire to propagate and sustain the classical tenets of Kathak urged her to form Geetanjali music Society an institute devoted to Kathak.

Mayadhar Raut

Guru Mayadhar Raut is an Indian classical Odissi dancer, choreographer and Guru.

Tapas Sen was a noted Indian stage lighting designer, who was an important figure in 20th-century Indian theatre. He started working with Bengali theatre movement in Kolkata in the late 1940s, along with noted directors, Utpal Dutt and Shambhu Mitra. Later he became a founding member of the Indian People's Theatre Association's (IPTA), Delhi chapter, and worked closely with Hindi theatre. Through his career stretching five decades he worked theatre directors, Ebrahim Alkazi, Vijay Tendulkar, and also dancers Sadhana Bose, Chandralekha, Birju Maharaj and Kelucharan Mahapatra. He was known not only for his creative stage lighting, but also had a significant impact on the work of leading theatre director of the time.

Tarapada Chakraborty Musical artist

Tarapada Chakraborty was an Indian classical vocalist. He was born in Kotalipara, Faridpur, Bengal Presidency to a Vedic Brahmin family. He is known for the khyal and thumri forms of singing, as well as for his popular renditions of Raagpradhans. He is the pioneer of the Kotali Gharana which is best known for its slow rendition of alap while presenting a raga. He was the first Indian classical artiste to have presented any Raaga in 48-beats vilambit format, which is considered to be a difficult rendition in itself. He is the creator of Raaga Chhaya Hindol and Navamalaka.

Prerana Shrimali is a senior dancer of Jaipur Gharana of Kathak. Born in 1959 at Banswara in Rajasthan, Shrimati Prerana Shrimali was initiated in Kathak dance by Shri Gauri Shanker. Later, she was groomed in the art at Kathak Kendra, New Delhi, under Shri Kundan Lal Gangani of the Jaipur gharana. She also learnt to play the Pakhawaj and studied vocal music. Shrimati Prerana Shrimali is among the leading Kathak dancers of her generation. A versatile dancer, she has evolved an individual style in her presentation and gained wide popularity as a soloist. She has also choreographed several productions including Doosro Na Koi – Verses of Meera, Aavartan, Vistaar, Vivriti and Aaratis. She has participated in several international dance seminars and conferences and has presented Kathak in the Festival of India in the U.K., the Asian Performing Arts Festival in Japan, the Avignon Festival in France, and the Dance Festival in Switzerland. In the U.S., she has performed at Carnegie Hall, New York, and presented a series of performances in Jordan, Syria and Muscat. She has also imparted training to young dancers at well-known institutions such as Gandharva Mahavidyalaya and the Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra. She has served as Repertory Chief of the Kathak Kendra, Delhi. Shrimati Prerna Shrimali has been bestowed the Rajasthan Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and the Rashtriya Ekta Award of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation. Her dance has been featured in the film The Far Pavilions produced by BBC. She has herself directed a film, Pathrai Ankhon ke Sapne, for Doordarshan. Shrimati Prerana Shrimali was awarded Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for the year 2009 for her contribution to Kathak dance.

Maya Rao

Maya Rao was an Indian classical dancer, choreographer and educator, in Kathak dance. She is known for her pioneering work in Kathak choreography, especially in dance ballets, and is credited for bringing Kathak, a North Indian-dance style to South India, when she opened her dance school, Natya Institute of Kathak and Choreography (NIKC) in Malleswaram, Bangalore in 1987. She was also the founder director of her dance company, "Natya and Stem Dance Kampni", an amalgam of NIKC and the STEM Dance Kampni based in Bangalore. After her early training under Guru Sohanlal of Jaipur Gharana, followed by Guru Sunder Prasad also of the Jaipur Gharana, and went to train under Guru Shambhu Maharaj of Lucknow Gharana at National Institute of Kathak Dance in Delhi.

Madras Kadiravelu Saroja, is an Indian classical dancer, known for her expertise, as an exponent and as a teacher, in the classical dance form of Bharatanatyam. The Government of India honored her, in 2011, with the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award, for her services to the field of art and culture.

Yamunabai Waikar, née Yamunabai Vikram Jawle was an Indian folk artist, known for her expertise in the Marathi folk traditions of Lavani and Tamasha, folk art forms involving music and dance and reported to be one of the leading exponents of the art genres. A recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, she was honored by the Government of India, in 2012, with the fourth highest Indian civilian award of Padma Shri.

Rita Ganguly is an exponent in the Indian classical arts. An accomplished dancer, musician and vocalist, she was honoured with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2000 and with the Padma Shri in 2003. She is the mother of actress Meghna Kothari and the of younger sister of the famous Ravindra Sangeet singer Gita Ghatak.

Meeta Pandit Musical artist

Dr. Meeta Pandit is a Hindustani Classical vocalist and a leading exponent of the Gwalior Gharana. She is the granddaughter and disciple of Krishnarao Shankar Pandit and daughter of Laxman Krishnarao Pandit. She is the sixth in the unbroken lineage and the first woman in the family to have taken up music as a profession.

Jatin Goswami

Jatin Goswami is an Indian dancer and choreographer, known as one of the prominent exponents of the classical dance form of Sattriya. He is the founder director of Sattriya Akademi, Guwahati, a sitting member of its Advisory Committee, and a former member of the General Council of the Sangeet Natak Akademi. He is also the founder of Alok Shilpi Sangha, a dance academy and Pragjyoti Kala Parishad, a cultural organization, and is a recipient of the 2004 Sangeet Natak Akademi Award. The Government of India awarded him the fourth highest civilian honour of the Padma Shri, in 2008, for his contributions to Sattriya dance.

Tagore Ratna and Tagore Puraskar Award

Sangeet Natak Akademi Tagore Ratna and Sangeet Natak Akademi Tagore Puraskar were given at special events organised by Sangeet Natak Akademi in


  1. "Sangeet Natak Akademi's Parent Organisation" . Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  2. "Sangeet Natak Akademi |". Retrieved 25 June 2021.
  3. "Institutions of the Sangeet Natak Akademi". SNA. Retrieved 8 November 2010.
  4. "Centres of the Akademi". SNA. Retrieved 8 November 2010.
  5. Central stage Live Mint, 15 July 2009.
  6. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 January 2016. Retrieved 13 October 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. "Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puruskar" . Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  10. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 October 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)