Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra Felicitated Dr. Sonal Mansingh With The Sumitra Charat Ram Award For Lifetime Achievement
The renowned maestro of Indian classical dance and a member of the Rajya Sabha, Dr Sonal Mansingh was conferred this year's prestigious "Sumitra Charat Ram Award" for Lifetime Achievement on Sunday, November 17th, 2019 in New Delhi's Kamani Auditorium. The award was given by the capital's premier organisation for art and culture, Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra, as a mark of respect to its founder Shrimati Sumitra Charat Ram.
Smt Sumitra Charat Ram (1914 - 2011) was a pioneer of cultural revival in post-independent India. She started her work by organising a national music festival on the night of August 14th, 1947 to herald the Independence of the country. This was followed by a series of initiatives that led to the establishment of a College of Music and Dance called Bhartiya Kala Kendra in 1952. She made a significant contribution to the revival of Kathak Dance and Hindustani Classical Music by inviting the stalwarts of the time to teach at the college. To her also goes the credit of launching Kendra's famous Ramleela dance - drama in 1957, which has since been staged annually for the last 63 years in Delhi. For her immense contribution to art and culture she was conferred with the Padma Shree by the President of India in 1966.
In her honour the management of Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra instituted the Sumitra Charat Ram Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2010, which is given annually to an eminent master of Indian classical music or dance. The first recipient of the award was Pandit Bijru Maharaj, the grand master of Indian dance, who will present the award this year to Dr. Sonal Mansingh.
Dr. Sonal Mansingh needs no introduction to the fans and followers of Indian culture. She is an unparalleled and pre-eminent exponent of the country's classical dance tradition. A master performer, teacher, choreographer and scholar, she is truly regarded as a Guru of Indian culture today. With her profiency in several languages and literature, besides varied forms of dance and music, she created new choreographic works exploring traditional themes as well as current issues of social significance. Her solo performances, lectures and workshops have inspired generations of dancers for over five decades. She has also been acclaimed for her new genre of solo dance theatre, "Naatya Katha".
Dr. Sonal Mansingh has been decorated with some of the highest honours of the country including the Padma Bhushan in 1992 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2003. She is a Fellow and former Chairman of the National Sangeet Natak Akademi. The Prime Minister of India nominated her in 2014 as a " Navratna" for the Swachh Bharat Mission.
Mrs. Shobha Deepak Singh (Director and Vice Chairperson, Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra) said, "We are proud to present this year award to Dr. Sonal Mansingh previously these have been presented to Pt. Birju Maharaj, Smt. Kishori Amonkar, Smt. Kumudini Lakhia, Pt. Jasraj, Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia, Smt. Girija Devi and Ustad Amjad Ali Khan. I have known Dr. Sonal Mansingh professionally and personally for many decades."