Mohiniattam virtuoso Dr Neena Prasad was honoured by India's premier cultural agency, Sangeet Natak Akademi, as part of a select group of artisans who have contributed immensely to Indian artforms. She is among 128 winners who were presented this award by Indian president Droupadi Murmu at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi on 23 February 2023.
The Sangeet Natak Akademi (Akademi Puraskar) commemorates the highest standard of excellence and achievement and emphasises a lifetime of sustained individual work and contribution in the field of music, dance, theatre, traditional, folk, puppetry etc. Winners of the award receive a cash prize of Rs 1,00,000/- (Rupees one lakh), besides a Tamrapatra and Angavastram. This award cements an artist's place in India's cultural pantheon for life, and Dr Neena Prasad joins an impressive list of inductees for the combined years of 2019,2020 and 2021. The entire Natyasutra family congratulates Dr Neena Prasad on this great achievement and is glad she chooses to share her artistic genius on this platform.
Dr. Neena Prasad's teachings commence with an overview of the Swarajathi, elaborating upon its various facets. The Guru then teaches the students the Ananda Bhairavi Swarajathi, individual components of each part, and elaborates on the performance's technical aspects. This class simplifies the teaching process for learners by providing a complete version of the composition and student demonstrations for better understanding.
Dr. Neena Prasad offers detailed analysis, demonstration, and advice on how students must appropriately approach Revati Raga in this Mohiniyattam Thillana. Demonstrations followed by lectures and explanations are the format followed in this course. The different movements of the dancer in the Thillana, the adavus, korvais, and mudras, are carefully explained.