Champaka Lifetime Achievement Awards conferred
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Champaka Lifetime Achievement Awards conferred

April 18, 2024

Champaka Educational and Cultural Trust, a city-based organisation working to promote Indian arts and culture for nearly 20 years, has instituted ‘Champaka Kalaa Ratna’ Lifetime Achievement Awards to exemplary achievers for their sustained contribution to Indian arts and culture.

In a felicitation ceremony held in city on Apr. 6, ‘Champaka Kalaa Ratna’ Lifetime Awards for 2024 were conferred on Vid. Dr. H.V. Nagaraja Rao (noted scholar of Sanskrit, retd., Oriental Research Institute), Dr. K. Venkataramu (renowned Kannada scholar, retd., University of Mysore), Dr. Manik A.V. Bengeri (renowned Sanskrit, Marathi, English and Hindi scholar) and Guru Vidu. B.K. Vasanthalakshmi (renowned Bharatanatyam Guru, retd., Bangalore University).

The awardees spoke of the importance of dance as a medium of art to bring out the richness of Sanatana Dharma and congratulated the Trust for its role in promoting our culture. Guru Vasanthalakshmi, who is also the first Guru of Vidu. Dr. Nagalakshmi Nagarajan, Founder of Champaka Academy, spoke on the importance of thematic presentations.

R. Guru, Chairman of NR Group of Companies, Mysuru, presided over the event and gave away the awards consisting of a citation, silk shawl and honorarium. Speaking on the occasion, Guru congratulated the awardees and was appreciative of their immense contributions to classical arts and literature.

He also lauded Vidu. Dr. Nagalakshmi for her sustained efforts to promote and nurture Indian culture and traditions through various initiatives like Champaka Rashtreeya Kalaa Utsava, Champaka Devaalaya Utsava and the Champaka Kalaa Ratna awards and gave many suggestions to reach the society at large.

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The awards presentation ceremony was followed by the Phalguna edition of the monthly series ‘Champaka Rashtreeya Kalaa Utsava.’ As part of this, a thematic dance presentation titled ‘Srimad Shankara Digvijayah – Divyaadbhuta Baalyam’ was presented by Vidu. Dr. Nagalakshmi, showcasing excerpts of the divine childhood of Srimad Adi Shankara based on the poem composed by Sri Maadhava Vidrayanyaswami.

Many stories from the childhood of Adi Shankara, like the Kanakadhara stotra, getting permission for sanyasa from his mother, the story of river Poorna and Narmada, deeksha from his Guru, and his enlightenment of Advaita philosophy from the Supreme Shiva himself in the form of a hunter, were enacted to the delight of the audience.

Music composition and vocal support was provided by Vidu. Chethana Nagaraj; Vid. Rakesh Sudhir’s flute rendition was mellifluous while Vid. Sai Vamshi ably supported on mridanga. Surabhi rendered the dialogues for the presentation.

Senior students Shreya Vijay, Srilalitha Vobugari, Sanjana Banavathu, Swathi Sheshadri and Pooja Janagaudar also participated in the opening piece of the thematic performance.

Disciples of Guru Vidu. B.K. Vasanthalakshmi from Bengaluru, Vidushis Latha Ramesh, M.V. Rohini, Mala Venkatesh, Srilatha Kiran, Shruthi Jagadeesh, Rohini Chidambaran and Advika presented ‘Madhuraagamanam’ — a short dance drama to conclude the event.

Sri Krishna’s exit from Gokula was very effectively communicated through dasara padas, with dance choreography conceptualised by Guru   Vidu. Vasanthalakshmi. Srivatsa compered the event.


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