Who: Dr MN Nandakumara and Sivasakthi Sivanesan
Where: Nehru centre in the UK
What: Honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award & Sangeet Acharya Ratna
Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Ranjan Mathai in October 2015 honoured Dr MN Nandakumara and Sivasakthi Sivanesan with Lifetime Achievement Award and Sangeet Acharya Ratna Award respectively in London.
Nandakumara, Executive Director of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, London, and Sivasakthi Sivanesan, Resident Carnatic Music at the Bhavan were awarded for their contribution to Indian arts and music at a function held at the Nehru centre.
The duo has been propelling the Bhavans mission of teaching and promoting traditional Indian arts and culture in the UK.
Other awards announced and their recipients include
• Nritya Acharya Award – Pushkala Gopal
• Tarang Musician of the Year – Jasdeep Singh Degun
• Samyo Musician of the Year – Sanjuran Keerthikumar
• Young Musician of the Year – Yarline Thanabalasingham
• Young Dancer of the Year – Parbati Chaudhury
Nandakumara who spent his working life at the Bhavan has taught Sanskrit at the Bhavan. He carries PhD in devotional literature at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. He commenced full-time work at the Bhavan in 1984 and took the helm as Executive Director in 1996.
Sivasakthi Sivanesan, who passes on the knowledge of centuries of music through teaching in the traditional guru-shishya way, has been teaching carnatic vocal and Vina at the Bhavan. She is an outstanding performer in her own right.
This was the first ever National Indian Arts Awards hosted by Indian arts development trust Milapfest. Milapfest established the awards in order to recognise the dedication of arts professionals working in the field of Indian arts and to celebrate the hard work and passion of young artists.
• Milapfests Executive Director – Prashant Nayak
The awards were supported by Arts Council England whose Deputy Chief Executive Althea Efunshile extolled the role of arts and culture.