The Dhananjayans were awarded the  NAADA-BRAHMAM  title & honour by one of the prestigious Cultural Organisations in  Dakshin Bhaarat NAARADA GAANA SABHA , Chennai. This award carries a purse of Rs.50,000/- (fifty thousand) and gold medals.  The award function coincided with the Art festival inaugural day on 14th December 2012 at Gnanananda Auditorium,  Alwarpet.

Acceptance speech by Dhananjayan:

Namaskaaram, Sri Gurubhyo namaha

Sri. Gopalkrishna Gandhi-jee, Sri Krishnamurthy, Krishnaswamy and Prof. C.V. Chandrasekhar (fondly addressed by all of us Chandru Anna), and other dignitaries on stage and off stage, it is a matter of pride for us to receive this Naadabrahmam award from none other than Naarada Gana Sabha.   We humbly dedicate this coveted honour  to the fond memory of the Sitar Maestro Pandit Ravishankar  who has been a great inspiration to us and learned a lot from him  while working with him in his magnum opus “Ghanashyam-the broken branch.  We also wish to acknowledge our imbibing the best of our learning  from  our Gurus Sri. Assan Chandupanikkar , smt. Rukminidevi  and some of our teachers like Smt. Sarada Hoffman, N.S.Jayalakshmi and G.Sundari who  are here today to witness this great moment in their sishyas‘ life.

This Naarada Gaana Sabha has played a significant role in our success and especially for a male Bharatanaatyam artiste like me.  In the late sixties and seventies when other organizations shunned male artistes,  R.Krishnaswamy boldly launched me on Narada gana sabha platform and created a revolution and paved ways for male Bharatanaatyam artistes to stride on. Since then I did not look back and my association with this Sabha continued forever, irrespective of our performing here year after year or not. We owe our gratitude first to our dear friends Sri. N.Ganapathi and  Late Sri R.K.Pillai who introduced us to R.Krishnaswamy.

I see in Krihnaswamy a very understanding and sympathetic person toward artistes and myself as the founding Secretary  then, &  later the President of ABHAI  (Artistes Association) - when approached for space for our office, he  readily came forward to generously support us by giving the Sabha premises free of rent and ever since our office is functioning here completing 25 years this year.  Though he has to be tolerant towards tantrums of some of  us artistes, still he seems to be sympathetic towards us and liberally patronage the artistes  as true connoisseur and patron of art. Our gratitude is due to him.

At this point, I would like to remember the compliment Pt Ravishankar paid to Narada Gana Sabha and R. Krishnaswamy  for the generosity they showed while we were practicing and producing  Panditjee’s magnum opus “Ghanashyam - the broken branch, a musical opera in 1990-91.  Almost for two months Krishnaswamy allowed us to use the premises & stage for practice, free of cost  and the three days packed shows in this hall took Raviji by surprise, and thanked Krishnaswamy and Narada gana Sabha trustees for making  the launch of the Bhaarat  tour of Ghanashyam a great success. Every time we met Panditjee,  that great soul would  never fail  to gratefully enquire about Krishnaswamy & Narada Gana Sabha.

We have received this coveted honour from none other than a person whom I admired immensely. Sri.Gopalkrishna Gandhi, an erudite scholar, bureaucrat and great connoisseur of arts like his illustrious grand father Revered Rajaji,  who used to like me so much and used to call me only Sri Raama.  He was a great admirer of all of us, the male dancers of Kalakshetra and never missed any of our performances during the Art festival  of Kalakshetra.  As a boy of 5 or 10 years, I don’t know whether Gopal Gandhi had seen us perform along with his illustrious grand father whose frequent visit to our classes with Rukmini Devi and performances , we still cherish. Sri. Gopalkrishna Gandhi’s  presence in Chennai is a big boon to the cultural scenario. We thank him for his august presence and honoring us today.

When Chandru anna got his Naadabrahmam award a few years ago I had the privilege of felicitating him and my felicitation address is published in my Book “Beyond performing-arts culture”. We thank him for his blessings and good words about us.

We have reached this stage only because of our rasikas, the connoisseur audience who never failed us in appreciating and attending our performances in large numbers even today. A BIG thanks and gratitude to them-the Rasikas not only in Chennai but all over the world.  I make an earnest appeal to them,  since our time is slowly diminishing, please support our disciples to carry on our lineage. Some of them are already in the lime light making good career out of their chosen profession as Bharatanaatyam performing artistes, teachers.  Please give them the same support you gave us and help them to continue the Bharatakalanjali tradition.  As we did for our alma mater Kalakshetra. 

The press and media has played a vital role in making us a popular couple in the Bharatanaatyam field and our gratitude is due to them as well.

At this juncture, we would also like to congratulate and felicitate our fellow recipients of the honour & award Smt. Rukmini Ramani, who continues the great legacy of her father the illustrious Vaggeyakara Brahmasree Papanasam Shivan with whom we have been very closely associated.  And also ace Naadaswara Vidwan E.P. Lakshmanan  whose mellifluous Nadaswaram playing we enjoyed on many occasions.

Last but not least we thank the Almighty Lord Naadabrahmam for keeping us with good health, wealth and very fulfilling and satisfying profession and happy life.

Once again thanks to Narada Gana sabha and their esteemed committee members for unanimously choosing us for this years' Naadabrahmam award.

Jai Bhaarat