Lifetime Arts Achievement Awards

2023 Recipients

Srimati Pathmajothi Ganeshwaran

Datin Rani Singhe

Shanthini Venugopal

Sukania Venugopal

Shri Sri Anand

T.N. Mariappan

Srimati Yamuna Aarumugam

Pathmajothi Ganeshwaran

Pathmajothi Damodaram Pillay is the fifth of eight siblings of Damodaram Pillay Nagalingam, a Tamil scholar and interpreter/writer who hails from Sri Lanka and Kanagamoney Subramaniam from Rasah, Seremban.

Born in Kuala Lumpur on the 4th September, 1960 Pathmajothi had her early education at the St. Theresa's Convent and completed her secondary education at St. Mary's Convent. Pathmajothi inherited her musical talent from her mother and uncle a renowned mirdangist in Sri Lanka.

Pathmajothi had her initiation in Thevaram/ Thirumurais in 1975 under the tutelage of her guru Othuvaar Muthukumaraswamy Desigar of India. Under her guru's dedicated tutorship and intensive training she blossomed and gave her first public Thirumurai performance at the Sangeetha Abivirithi Sabha in 1983. It was here that she was spotted by Vadya Vidya Visaradha Sangeetha Vidva Kalabooshanam Srimathi Vijayalakshmi Kulaveerasingam who convinced her father to enrol her for carnatic music classes. Mrs. Kulaveerasingam who learnt Tamil from Pathmajothi's father perosnally took her under her wings. With her mentor's guidance and formal training she carved herself as a vocalist with a golden voice.

This led her to participating and winning numerous Carnatic and Thirumurai competitions organised by RTM, Sangeetha Abivirithi Sabha and various other organisations. Her major break came when she emerged overall winner of the 1st National Thirumurai Competition organised by the Malaysian Hindu Sangam in 1983 where she was awarded a cash prize and a flight ticket to India. Her music career soared to greater heights from then onwards as she was invited to perform all over the country for various functions and organisations. She is a familiar face on Astro's Arulum Oliyum Program.

With her substantial experience in the field of Sangeetham and Thevaram she started conducting classes and has trained numerous children who have won the gold medal in the National Thirumurai Competition. Pathmajothi currently teaches Thevaram at The Temple of Fine Arts, The Scott Road Sri Kandaswamy Temple, The Reko Subramaniam Temple, Kajang and also conducts online classes for children and adults.

She is married to an ardent fan of hers Ganeshwaran Saunda Raju, and is blessed with a son Karuneshvara and daughter Sanjevene who has inherited her mum's talent.


Shri Mathi Datin Rani Singhe, known by the masses as Datin Rani, is the guru of Datin Rani Singhe’s Dance Academy.  She stepped forth on the path of Bharathanatyam at the early age of five under the tutelage of K.P. Bhaskar of the Bhaskar Dance Academy,Singapore.  As a talented and skillful dancer, she was taken under the wings of Adaiyar Laxman and Saraswathi Ramanathan in Chennai, India, India to further advance her skills in the art of Bharathanatyam.  Coming back from India, her passion towards Bharathanatyam pushed her to seek perfection in this art form, thus, she furthered her course in the art of Nattuvangam under Shanta Bhaskar of Bhaskar Dance Academy, Singapore.

Not only was she gifted as a dancer, but she was also gifted as a teacher.  Evidence of her ability to be a guru

surfaced at the tender age of eight when she assisted her guru to teach dancing at the Nanyang University, Singapore for a good ten years. Her talent to teach and impart knowledge and skilsis yet to fail her as even until today, her students have proven their mettle In various performances.

Datin Rani Singhe's Dance Academy was first established in 1965 in Kuantan, Ten years later, she moved on to Sabah following her husband and she continued her passion for teaching there. At Sabah, Datin's dance academy played an active role in organizing various cultural shows for the Cultural Festivals in Sabah. That in itself an achievement as at that time Bharatanatyam was an unknown form of dance to Sabanans. In 1983, she returned back to Peninsula Malaysia, since then she has established her academy in Bangsar.

Ever since then, Datin Rani has been performing and propagating Indian culture among various races and religions through this ancient art form of Bharatanatyam. Her efforts and dedication to this art form bore fruits as she had performed In various places outside of Malaysia such as, London, Germany, Melbourne, Sydney and Russia, to name a few. She had been awarded few titles such as *Aadal Kalavalll’, ‘Nithya Jyothi” and ‘Bharatha Kalai Mammani® which further insinuates her skill and dedication to Bharatanatyam.

Datin Rani Singhe has always been and will continue to be a dedicated teacher who puts her students first and pushes them to excel to the best of their abilities. Aunty Rani, as her students refer to her with love and respect, is truly an inspiring and admirable guru.

SUKANIA VENUGOPAL  Performer ( Actor, Singer  Dancer)

SHAW 2023: Mahabharata; 1st season. (Selected Credits) ELSEWHERE: Counting and Cracking, Belvoir Theatre Company, Sydney Festival; Past Caring, Good People, Necessary Stage; Sybil, Box of Delights, Killing of Sister George, Tribute to Mustaffa Noor, Actor’s Studio; Terra Arata, Jumping Jellybeans; Second Link, Five Acts Centre, Wild Rice Theatre; Svaradhara, Butterfly Lovers, Dance India – Taste India, Taj Mahal, Temple of Fine Arts; Love Child, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Instant Café Theatre Company; One by One, Dramalab; A Tribute to Leslie Dawson, The White Liars, K.L. Music Chamber Players/British Council; Romeo and Juliet, Liberal Arts Society; 1984 Here & Now, Five Acts Centre; The Battle of Coxinga, Experimental Theatre (University of Malaysia). TRAINING: University of Malaysia, Temple of Fine Arts.

Guru Shri Anand started dancing at a very young age, He Then pursued his dancing career in India, and 4 years of vigorous training both in theory and dance, he obtained a Diploma under the tutelage of late Srimathi Krishnaveni Lakshmanan of Kalakshetra where he also specialized his nattuvangam skills.

He then enhanced his knowledge in Bharatanatyam under great masters such as Guru Padmashree K.Adyar Lakshmanan of Guru Srimathi Nagamani Srinivasa Rao and VP Shanta Danajayan of Bharatha Kalanjali in India. In year 1986 he participated in the "Nalla Damayanthi" dance drama with students of Kalakshetra in New Delhi. Then, in 1994, he performed at Chidambaram Natyaanjali Festival with the Bharatha Choodamani group. In 1998, he performed a solo recital in Vara shakti Vinayagar Temple in Besant Nagar under the guidance of Bharatha Choodamani. He also performed in many other places in India such as Tanjore, Pondicherry, Raja Annamalai Pooram Chennai and many more. Upon returning to Malaysia, he started conducting dance classes at the Shakti Eswari Temple in Petaling Jaya. He now conducts classes in Sungai Buloh, Petaling Jaya, Taman Melawati, Malacca and also runs his own studio at Batu Caves.

Guru Shri Anand is not only a distinguished dancer, he is also an artistic and creative choreographer. His devotion, dedication and discipline in Bharatanatyam have set high standards to this divine art. His highly refined, innovative presentation over the years has elevated him to become an exquisite performer and teacher. Guru Shri Anand reserves this dance form primarily as a form of worship. This quality along with his exceptional talent makes him an exemplary dancer and choreographer. His love for dance is seen in many of his dance programs where his excellent nattuvangam skills brought him fame.

Year 1999 - Building Fund for Sri Rajeswary Temple, Ampang
Year 2000 - " Temple Of Rhyshm" with 25 students at Civic Centre, Petaling Jaya
Year 2005 - " Aadalkaaneero " at Batu Caves
Year 2015- "Ardhanari " at Temple Of Fine Arts, Kuala Lumpur
Year 2019- “Natya Rangam” at Temple Of Fine Arts,Kuala Lumpur
Guru Sri Anand was invited to be judge in the India's famous Bharatanatyam TV show "Thakka ThimmiThaa" organized by Jaya Tv
In addition to this,he was a judge for Gine Fashion Bharathanatyam Competition in Year 2009.
In year 2015, Master Sri Anand was invited by Rajalaxhmi Academy, Srilanka to conduct dance workshop for their students and he was interviewed by colombo's well known TV station " Nethra TV"
There were numerous other programs and shows that Guru Shri Anand and his students performed and are still performing to date.


 D.O.B : 7-5-1934, Penang Malaysia

  1. Father’s Name : Nagappan, Mother’s Name : Ponnammal
  2. Tamil Initiator : K.K,Manikka Mudaliar
  3. Music Initiator : R.M. Ramanathan
  4. Lived 30 years in Chennai for Arts.
  5. In the 1970’s while heading the Music Division of Radio Malaysia composed over 2000 songs and also sang.
  6. I have composed music and sang in more then 20 keerthanas’ ( Songs of Praise) written by Malaysian poets.
  7. I have recited, recorded and published 1330 Thirukkural and also composed music and sang for 133 thirukural.
  8. I have written over 40 short stories, comedy dramas and dramas with society in mind.
  9. Published 133 Melodies.


Yamuna Aarumugam @ Avaku Jeyasinga Raju the Founder, Director & Guru of Sapthaswara Sangeethalaya Academy of Fine Arts Malaysia (affiliated with the Internationally Recognized Mahila University of Andra Pradesh, India). Yamuna Aarumugam hails from an orthodox family background. Steeped in a lineage of Indian Classical Music, she was groomed into classical music by her beloved parents Shrimathi Lakshmi Nair & Shri Arumugam Krishnaraju. Her Athiguru was Ms. Thilagavathy Sokkalinggam from Central College Of Carnatic Music, Adayar, India. She later pursued Carnatic Music under the world renowned Carnatic Vocalist Sangeetha Kalanidhi Dr. M.L. Vasanthakumari who was the Dean of Mahila University (SPMVV), Andra Pradesh, India under the traditional discipline of Gurukulavasam.

This enabled her vocal skills and personality to be enhanced with great patience, perserverance, discipline and guru bhakti. On her return to Malaysia, her career took wings not only as a successful Carnatic soloist but as vocalist for numerous Bharathanatya Aranggetrams all throughout the nation. Her students too have excelled in the field of carnatic music and have created a niche following their Guru's distinctiveness. The Academy's annual examination and concert “Sangeetha Samraajiyam”, where students' talents shone and their singing skills were honed, elevated the institution's standing and garnered the recognition it rightfully deserves. In 2010, she pioneered the unification of Malaysian Bharathanatyam Dancers across the country through her program, "Paatum Bharthamum," in Ipoh, which not only recognized their talent but also provided them with the opportunity to showcase their skills on stage. In 2013, she organized the groundbreaking two-day event, "Ipoh-vil Thiruvaiyaru," with the support of the Perak State Government and Jabatan Kesenian dan Kebudayaan Negeri Perak. The event brought together artists from Malaysia, Singapore, India, and Sri Lanka to showcase their cultural heritage in Ipoh, Perak. Therefore her efforts were recognized with the prestigious title of "Isai Perarasi" by the patron of the event, the Professor of Mahila University, Tirupati, India and The Director of JKKN Negeri Perak. She was awarded the Malaysian Art Achievement award by Tajore Maharaja Bhonsle Chakravarthy. In 2004, she was recognized for her musical talent and became the youngest person to receive the esteemed "Sangeetha Isaikalaivaani" award from "Sangeethalayam" Malaysia. She was one of only 90 teachers worldwide to receive the prestigious "Acharya ratna" title on T.V. Gopalakrishnan's 90th birthday from T.V Gopalakrishnan himself.

She was granted a scholarship by a culturally strategic organization to conduct research on Hindustani Sangeet under the tutelage of the distinguished Kalaimamani Dr. Krishna Bhallesh Bhajanthri, Chennai, India. She has formed her own genre of singing for wedding concerts where her unique wedding recitals are being favored by ardent art lovers. She has travelled all throughout India along with her guru The Great MLV. She undertook a Historical Sangeetha Yathra with her very own students where she created history performing in ancient historical cities namingly Mathurai, Chidambaram, Thirupathi, Thanjavur, Chennai etc where she was awarded Senthamizh Isaiarasi by Mathurai Naangam Tamizh Changgam in Mathurai and Painthamizh Isaivaani by Tamil Perungkavikko Va Mu Sethuraman, The Global Chairman of Pannattu Thamizh Uravu Mandram in Chennai. She declined the title “Malaysia M.L Vasanthakumari” which was offered by Pannattu Tamizh Uravu Mandram Chennai, India for she believes that a student could never surpass the heights of their great guru.She has travelled vastly throughout Europe and Scandinavian countries for performances of Skanthsashti every year. She has won numerous accolades and great acclamation for her contribution towards Carnatic Music including fund raising projects for temples. She also had the rare privilege of performing for The Lord of the Seven Hills, Shri Venkateshwaraswamy's Sahasranama Deepalankara Oonjal Seva at Thirumala Thirupathi Devasthanam representing Shri Purantharathasar Sahithya Project which had been broadcasted live in Shri Venkateshwara Bhakthi Channel Worldwide (SVBC). During the pandemic, she hosted her very own unique program SWARAM SAHITHYAM in her YouTube channel SAPTHASWARA SANGEETHALAYA where famous krithis by various composers were taught in the authentic manner by herself. Imparting knowledge selflessly, has brought her great recognition from Music lovers all throughout the world bringing her virtual students all throughout Malaysia, Australia, Switzerland, USA, India, Sri Lanka, Mauritius etc. The successful launch of her recent album KALLUMALAI DEIVAM along with dignitaries worldwide created history last Thaipusam despite being in the midst of the pandemic period. Currently, occupied with her virtual, physical classes and concerts and vocal therapy, she is learning languages like Telugu and Kannada. She believes that learning regional Indian languages sheds light of the abundant spiritual meanings of krithis which draws one closer to the Almighty God bringing infinite abundance of everlasting happiness. By the blessings of her Gurus, she has accomplished the impressive feat of opening two branches of Sapthaswara Sangeethalaya in Ipoh.

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