NEW DELHI, Apr 20: Balwant Thakur was conferred with the nation’s one of the much coveted highest civilian honour ‘Padamshree’ here today by the President of India at Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi, for his life-time contribution in the field of art and culture.
Amidst thunderous applause, the award was presented in the presence of Prime Minister of India, Home Minister, Chairperson UPA Sonia Gandhi and many top dignitaries of the country.
Born in 1960, Balwant Thakur is one of the most creative theatre directors of the country who has given a new identity to Indian theatre with his highly innovative theatre productions.
Decorated with the highest Indian honour in performing arts i.e, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Direction in theatre, Balwant Thakur is credited with being the youngest theatre director of India who has participated in over 200 National Theatre Festivals as director, which is a record in the country.
Known as a magic man of theatre, his outstanding visual poetics on stage like ‘Ghumayee’ ‘Bawa Jitto’ ‘Suno Eh Kahani’ ‘Chauraha’ and ‘Mahabhoj’ have vibrated the theatre scene of North India. Credited for bringing Dogri theatre to the National and International limelight, he has been highly instrumental in creating a new cultural renaissance in the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
He started theatre with a big bang and his maiden entry in the State Academy theatre Festival won the State Academy Award for best production in 1983 and continued this tradition of winning State Academy Awards for best productions in 1984, 1985, and till he left participating the festival in 1986.