Mail News Service
Seraikela, Nov 26: Brajendra Kumar Pattnaik, Chhau exponent of Seraikela, has been conferred the prestigious Sangeet Natak Academi Award. Selection of Pattnaik for the honour sent a wave of celebration through the town that is known as the land of Chhau and that has nurtured several renowned Chhau dance masters like Pattnaik.
Pattnaik, 65, was among the 128 artists selected by the general council of Sangeet Natak Akademi. The council recently selected the artists from the fields of music, dance, theatre, traditional, folk, tribal music, dance, theatre, puppetry and overall contribution to performing arts for the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards for the years 2019, 2020 & 2021. The award carries a cash reward of Rs 1 lakh along with a Tamrapatra and Angavastram. The Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards will be conferred by the President of India in a special investiture ceremony.
Pattnaik has got the award for 2019. He hails from a long tradition of Chhau dance in Seraikela which has generated many exponents who have dedicated their lives to the practice and performance of this ancient dance form. Age is no barrier for Pattnaik who continues to showcase the dance form and runs the Saraikela Chhau Training Centre where he teaches the dance form to the youngsters to ensure that the ancient Chhau lives on. All the 20 students at his centre get free training in Chhau.
Born on 22 September, 1958, in Seraikela, Pattnaik did his B.Com from the Ranchi University. He began learning Chhau when he was just four-year-old. Recognized as an eminent exponent of Chhau dance culture, he got the Senior Fellowship Award from the Ministry of Culture in 2000 and was conferred the title of Senior Scholar in 1984. He has popularized the dance form by performing and conducting workshops in multiple destinations across the country and world.
Sangeet Natak Akademi Award is the most prestigious national award in performing Arts category in India. One of the significant activities of the Akademi has been to give appreciation and honors to artists as it would help in setting standards in these arts, and restore the art and artists to their rightful place in Independent India.