SINGAPORE, Aug 4 — Popular actress Udaya Soundari may have been the big winner at last week’s Pradhana Vizha 2014, the awards show honouring the best talents in the Indian television industry in Singapore; but no one can deny the contributions of Manimaran Thorasamy. The dancer and choreographer was conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award by Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong at Vasantham’s star-studded annual awards ceremony on Thursday night at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore.
Although he’s confined to a wheelchair these days, Manimaran is best known for his contributions to the Indian dance community. The artistic director of the dance troupe Manimaran Creations started out from humble beginnings, forming the troupe in 1979 with five friends. Back in the 1970s, there were no male dancers here in the Kollywood/Bollywood dance scene; Manimaram slowly built a reputation for himself as one of the leading lights in the Indian dance scene.
Besides making his mark in Singapore, Manimaran and his troupe also travelled around the world, performing in India, Indonesia, England, Germany and France. He also took on roles as a dancer and actor in several Indian films, working with popular movie stars such as Rajinikanth. He has even ventured into theatre as an actor, director and scriptwriter, and worked with the Ministry of Education here to conduct classes and workshops, teaching Kolattam and Bollywood dance to primary and secondary school students.
A short video montage showing his achievements, as well as interviews with members of the industry — including 1989 Cultural Medallion recipient Neila Sathyalingam and 1994 Young Artist Award recipient Osman Abdul Hamid — was screened before he was conferred the award. Manimaran has also been honoured for his dedication to the promotion of performance arts by the Tamil Language and Cultural Society Singapore. ― Today