From Friends, Associates & Well Wishers

An offering from our friend Niveditha
-The Dhananjayans

ஆலமரத்தின் அழகிய விழுதுகள்
பல உண்டு
அதில் இரண்டு இளம் விழுதுகள்
தாய் மண்ணின் ஈரம் சுமந்து
புது நிலத்தில் வேரூன்றின
தாய் மண்ணின் வாசமும் ஈரமும்
வேராய் இருக்க
அயரா உழைப்பும் வளமிக்க கற்பனையும் உரமாய் இறங்க
சிறிதளவும் மங்காத காதலும் வேட்கையும் நன்நீராய் பாய
50 வருட விருக்ஷமாய்
பார் கொண்டாடும் நடன சிரோன்மணிகளாய்
மதிப்புக்குறிய தனஞ்சயன்ஸ்
திருவாளர் தனஞ்சயன்
மாது ஶ்ரீ சாந்தா.

கலை இவரது ஆடுகளம்
மூலதனம் உடல்
மூச்சு நடனம்
வாழ்வே நடனம்
நடனமாகி நின்றார்கள்
பொருள் ஈட்டும் வழி அன்று
இந் நடனம்
காவு கேட்கும் பெரும் தெய்வமிது
தனை கரைத்து உருகி படைத்தால்
சுகித்து மகிழ்ந்து சகலமும் தரும் இத் தெய்வம்.

உயிர்ப்புடன் படையல் படைப்பவர்கள்
திருவாளரும் திருமதியும்
ஓடும் நீர்  நிலத்தின் நிறம் கொள்வதைப் போல
கதாபாத்திரம் எதுவாயினும்
அதுவேவாகி ஆடுவார்
அரங்கத்தில்.

முலை பால் ஊட்டும் அன்னையா?
கூனியா?குரங்கா?
இன்னம் எத்தனையோ.
உடல்மொழி இவருக்கு
கை வந்த கலை
மிகையான ஆட்டம் அன்று
கச்சிதமான நடம்.
நான் என்கிறத்தன்மை
விலகி
உயிர்ப்பூட்டும் தன்மை
வந்தமர்கிறது இவரிடம் .

இறை வந்தமரும் இடம்
ஸாயுஜ்யம் இதுஅன்றோ!
யாதுமாகி நிற்கும் நடனம்
இவர்க்குள்
வற்றா ஊற்றாய்
ஆனந்த லஹரியாய்.

கலையெனும் பெருந் தெய்வம்
கொலுவிருக்கும்
நீவிர் பாக்கியம் செய்தவரே
அதைக் காண பெற்ற எனக்கு
இவ்வாழ்வு கொடுத்த கொடையே.

என் பணிவான பதிவு.
இது என் 30 ஆண்டு கால ஆழ்ந்த காதல் பிரமிப்பு
உணர்ச்சிபூர்வமான
ரசிப்பின் தாக்கம் .


எல்லாவற்றையும் கண்டு முதல் முடிவே சரி என பகர்ந்த
என் இதயத்தின் குரலை ஆமோதித்தேன்.இன்று வரை
அதில் மாற்றமில்லை.வைணவர்கள் போல நானும்
என் தோள்களில் பச்சை குத்தி கொண்டிருந்திருப்பேன்.
ஆனால் செய்யவில்லை.ஆழ்ந்த அன்பும் மரியாதையும்
அடக்கமிகுதியுடவை.ஊருக்கு பறை சாற்ற வேண்டிய அவசியமில்லை.
இப் பெருங் கலைஞ்ர்களுக்கு என் வணக்கங்கள்.



BIRTH DAY WISHES AND APPRECIATION POEM BY SMT. SHYAMALA SUNDARAM


Sri V P Dhananjayan, and his dharmapatni, Smt. Shanta Dhananjayan are doing great service in bringing forth the age-old art form of Bharata Natyam in India and the West.
I know personally that many, many students are being benefited by the beautiful and traditional style in which they teach. The foundations of their teaching are the 3 Ds, which are discipline, devotion and dedication. All the students come to realize that these 3 Ds are the key to success in every aspect of life.
- Swami Satchidanandaji, Satchidananda Ashram for Integral Yoga


I have known Dhananjayan and Shanta since last many years and admired them as dancers and teachers. I have seldom come across two such beautiful human beings. They are wonderful artists, so co-operative, affectionate and at the same time so humble. I will always cherish the warmth and friendliness of this unique couple.
- Pt. Ravi Shankar


The Dhananjayans have made a significant contribution to the world of dance by propagating the depth, dedication and devotion, needed to perform dance with dignity and decorum.
- S Sathya Lingam and Neela Sathya Lingam


Even though I had the pleasure of watching the dress rehearsal of the Natya Adyayana Gurukulam 10th Anniversary program, still, I was not prepared for the magnitude, magnificence, and majesty of this evening’s performance of ‘Satyam, Sivam, Sundaram’.
The drama was brilliantly conceived, meticulously executed, and the performance was nothing less than electrifying. I have never seen such intricate synchronization of so many elements on the same stage at the same time. I have witnessed many performances in ballet, opera, symphony, and other forms of classical music and dance—including performances by some of the foremost Indian artists—but have never experienced one to surpass that of this evening.
Beyond that, to know that all the work—both choreography and music—was original, makes me feel like the most privileged person on earth for having been allowed to witness this event. Moreover, the level of competence of your many artists (tonight, the word ‘students’ no longer applies!)—from goddess to monkey to mongoose to king—is truly a tribute to your own personal dedication to both your art and your Lord.
- Swami Sharadananda (Yogaville)


Ooh! What a joy to have you both with us for the fantastic dance camp again! May we have this blessing for many years to come!
- Mataji (Yogaville)


The Dhananjayans are indeed a unique pair, who has elevated Bharata Natyam and Kathakali to adapt to permissible innovations, and to make them more colourful and cheerful. They surely can be depended upon to uphold the highest ideals of these dance arts.
They are a rare combination of excellence in performance, choreography, teaching and organization. They have consistently striven to be creative and innovative in their productions, allowing a large cross section of audiences around the world to appreciate the wonders of Indian classical dance while preserving the traditions.
Their students are spread throughout the globe and are richly contributing to the spread of interest in Bharatanatyam and Kathakali the world over.
- K S Ramanujam


Building up an excellent relationship with the students, both Dhananjayan and Shanta have not stifled the curiosity of the student and their urge to question and be answered. Instead of reducing teaching to an activity within the claustrophobic confines of crowded rooms, they have created a sense of space in Bharata Kalanjali--space both physical and mental.
- Leela Venkataraman


I have developed great love, regard and admiration for the Dhananjayans for their discipline, devotion and dedication to dancing and also for their concern to recognize hidden talents in other artists, which is a rare quality among performing gurus.
- Jayalakshmi Alva, Sridevi-Nrithya Kendra


Versatile Dhananjayan and his talented wife Shanta evoke in art lovers respect and admiration for their continued work with sustained interest in the field of Indian dance.
- U K Chandrabhaga Devi and U S Krishna Rao


But for the Dhananjayans ABHAI will not be what it is today. The couple with their amicable manners and charming personality was able to forge friendship and captivate the hearts of people across continents.
- Nirmala Ramachandran


Bharata Kalanjali promotes the rich traditions inherited from Kalakshetra, with its insistence on precision of footwork and abhinaya that communicates the intensity of felt experience.
The Dhananjayans are respected for their authentic and classical style apart from imparting discipline of the body and mind. Their repute as choreographers and performers par excellence, is worldwide.
- Mrs. Y G Parthasarathy, Secretary, Bharat Kalachar


Both Shanta and Dhananjayan have certainly worked hard to establish their institution with one pointed effort—to promote good dancing. Being talented, excellent dancers themselves, they have been passing on to their pupils the qualities which have helped them to reach the position they are in, today.
- Saradha Hoffman, Kalakshetra


Having known Shanta and Dhananjayan from their childhood it has been a great sense of joy, fulfillment and pride for me that these two devoted, dedicated and excellent dancers, have made their mentor proud by continuing to dance, teach and choreograph in such an enviable manner.
- C V Chandrasekhar, dancer and choreographer


I have always admired their work. They have been very generous towards their students and co-musicians. They have trained a number of budding violinists, mridangists, flutists and taught or trained the musicians in nattuvangam. They are very particular in going into the details of the lyrics, style, décor, dress and overall neatness. They are ready to go out of the way to help others.
As dancers I have nothing to say, as the whole dance world knows of their quality and perfection. They have travellled all over the world by themselves, without help from other bodies.
- Kalanidhi Narayanan


Dhananjayan was a real friend and brother to me. Shanta, apart from being a great dancer, is a perfect understanding wife. They are really made for each other and a superb couple in the dancing world.
- Krishnaveni Lakshmanan


It is indeed remarkable how they manage to play simultaneously the multiple roles of parents, teachers, performers—each one of them so effectively too! They are also excellent organizers who strive to add a touch of originality to everything they do, be it the designing of invitations, stage décor, costumes or the performance itself.
Punctuality is the watchword of the Dhananjayans. Their positive approach to life and its challenges is a source of inspiration to youngsters.
- N V Narasimhachari and M Vasanthalakshmi, Kalasamarpana Foundation Trust


Dhananjayan has traveled all over the world with Shanta and his disciples and has enthralled the audience with his brilliant dance and choreography. I wish them many more years of service to the world of art.
- C K Balagopalan, professor of Bharatanaatyam and Kathakali, Kalakshetra


Winning the acclaim of the discerning audience of Madras, the home of Bharatanaatyam, sustaining it over long years, earning a name not only in India but across the world, is an achievement anyone can be proud of. But the Dhananjayans are so much more than accomplished dancers. They are dedicated teachers with a wealth of reputed disciples spread across many countries, a feat that only a select few have achieved.
- Kottakal Sasidharan, Darpana Academy, Ahmedabad


I was pleasantly surprised by their openness, friendliness and a lack of pretension. They worked extremely hard and nothing was beneath their dignity—not even the act of putting an extra clip into my unruly hair. Their professionalism, their capacity to inspire affection and their mastery over their art was the model that many young dancers in London were privileged to have.
- Shobana Jeyasingh, London


The Dhananjayans have always been very kind in sparing time during their visits to London to discuss matters relating to dance literature, compositions and choreography, helping me to keep increasing my knowledge of this wonderful art form.
- Prakash Yadagudde, London


It is their commitment to share their talent and art with the next generation both in India and abroad that is commendable. Within the framework of tradition, they have done an admirable job in innovating and adding to the repertoire of Bharata Natyam.
- Ramya Harishankar, USA


The Dhananjayans are highly disciplined, principled, professional, dynamic, creative and teachers of the highest standard. We have acquired a great deal of knowledge by being associated with them.
- G Narendra and Mahalakshmi


Bharata Kalanjali is not a mere dance school; it is a Personality Development Centre, enabling its students to perform better not only in dance but in any of their pursuits in life.
- Meera Balachandran


I had the immense pleasure to witness the performance of your troupe at the inauguration of the 3rd International Budd-Chiarri Conference at the Taj Coromandel on the 8th of February 1998. Like most in the audience I was dumbstruck. The beauty of the art hit me like never before. More used to Kathak, I have witnessed Bharatnatyam performances only once in a while. And I am so glad I was able to see yours.
The felicity with which dancers change their roles, emotions and even sex, and yet continue to be the same complete person and the same complete thought that the person started of as, is so wonderful and I guess is the essence of dancing.
Your silent pursuit of perfection on stage is indeed an inspiration to many of us, who feel so uplifted even though uninitiated.
- Dr Rakhal Gaitonde


I want to express the wonderful memories I keep of meeting you in India last year with Ram Gopal and Claude Lamorisse.
It has been for me an unforgettable and precious moment of my life because of you, your kindness and the high level of spirit of your talks and what you explained me about your country, its culture and traditions. I feel for the rest of my life close to you and belonging for a deep part of myself in India.
I keep your memory in my heart and hope to meet you very soon.
- Patrick Bensard, Director, Cinematheque de la Danse, Paris, 8 February, 1996


I would like to congratulate Mr and Mrs Dhananjayan for their successful collaboration with the Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society and for their wonderful choreography which makes the whole presentation a memorable evening for everyone.
I was most impressed by the overall presentation and high standard performance.
- Liew Chin Choy, Director (Arts Programmes), National Arts Council, Singapore


I am a friend of the father of your disciple Sumitha Nath and had the privilege of attending her arangetram.
When I viewed her dance performance and the finesse and excellence with which it was performed, even though I am ignorant of the nuances of this excellent traditional art, I was able to see the guru through the disciple.
Though the performance is by the disciple, the credit always goes to the guru because the student shines only on account of the knowledge, expertise and perseverance bestowed by the guru.
It is highly heartening to note that only because of people like you, this age old and excellent art of Bharatanaatyam is being sustained and fostered even today.
My heartiest congratulations to each and every one at Bharata Kalanjali.
- K Vaitheeswaren


Kindly let me congratulate you on the excellent production of ‘Mahaabhaaratam’ presented at the Krishna Gana Sabha on 28 February 1999. You made it possible for the audience to grasp the joyful and the poignant moments of this great human story. May God bless you with further successes.
- Brig. (Hony.) B Ramamurthi, 2 March 1999


Once again I want to appreciate your work, time, effort and kind instructions to the kids.
God bless you.
- Mrudula Thangada



Appreciation From Students