|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
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
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
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.