Tracing the new steps of an old form

- M.T. Saju, The Times of India, December 30, 2011
I want to show the future generations how dance has evolved from the way it was described in the Natya Shastra," says Dhananjayan, who started writing a commentary on the text two years ago.

Click on images for enlarged version
Chennai based VELS UNIVERSITY conferred a D.Litt Honorary Doctorate Degree on V.P.Dhananjayan on 14th December 2011. Former President Dr.Abdul Kalam was the chief guest on the second convocation of the University when Dhananjayan received the honour.

The Dhananjayans with the great living legend Mrinalini Sarabai in Darpana, Ahemedabad. 26th November 2011

The Mudhra Award of Excellence (instituted in memory of the late Gnanamba and P. Obul Reddy) will be presented to V.P. Dhananjayan and Shanta Dhananjayan on December 9, 2011 during the inauguration of Mudhra’s 16th Fine Arts Festival. The Dhananjayans will give a performance.
The Dhananjayans' Bharatakalanjali repertory will present "Poorna trayee" a thematic group presentation on 21st December for Mudhra at Infosys Hall, Ramakrishna Mission school theatre, T.Nagar where Mudhra Annual Art festival is held.
In the Sruti magazine this month...

COVER STORY - Together every step of the way by V. Ramnarayan
The Dhananjayans’ names are inextricably linked with Rukmini Devi’s Kalakshetra - probably even more so than if V.P. Dhananjayan had not left Adyar’s iconic institution of classical dance back in 1967, after being identified for years as the institution’s star performer, the parting of ways complete when wife Shanta left three years later. Today, still superbly preserved, and still dancing on the performing stage...
November 13-14, 2011

THE DHANANJAYANS' BHARATAKALANJALI, Chennai will be presenting two of their famous productions SRI THYAAGARAAJA VAIBHAVAM & POORNA -THRAYEE (in 3 segments- consisting of Mythology (Dasavataaram) - History (Ashoka Sangamitra) - contemporary (Nritta-tarangini-ripples in rhythm) on 13th Sunday & 14th Monday, November, 2011at Shanmughananda Sangeeta Sabha, Matunga, Mumbai.
Bharatakalanjali New admission and Vidyaarambham function was held on Oct 6th morning. A large gathering of students and their parents lent a festive look to the campus. The traditional Pooja gave a feeling of auspiciousness to all and the hall reverberated with divine vibration.

Photos: C.P.Satyajit
Pooja was followed by a special performance by some of the students performing to the chanting of M.S.Subbalakshmi amma's divine music prepared by one of our senior teachers Pavitra Srinivasan. Later Vidyarambham (beginning of new lessons) for new students, teachers and old students was conducted. It was very nice seeing many old alumni of Bharatakalanjali attending the Pooja and joining the traditional Vidyaarambham. On the whole, it was a day of great feeling for all to be together and exchange greetings to each other and getting the Gurus blessings.

Exhibition at Art & Soul painting gallery of famous artistes and sculptors from Cholamandal Artistes village

was inaugurated byThe Dhananjayans on 25th September 2011.
Navrang, Renuka's Fine Art Centre, London
82nd birth day commemorative honour to artistes of Eminence. Presided by Dr. Pappu Venugopal Rao.
Awarded to Veteran Music composer Director M.S. Viswanathan, Veteran Actors (Stage & Films) V.S.Raghavan, A.R.Srinivasan and Bharatanaatyam artistes Shanta & Dhananjayan.

Function held on 21st August 2011 at Pethachi Auditorium, Mylapore followed by Bharatakalaanjali's "Nritya tarangini" presentation .
Pancha Jaati with The Dhananjayans
By Priya Raman
Pancha Jaati, a periodic column featuring five readers (artistes, connoisseurs, aspirants) who put forth their questions to a chosen veteran in the field of Arts, in The Kalaparva website begins with the legendary dancing couple The Dhananjayans.
Culmination of the 23rd Yogaville Gurukulam Camp 2011
Our elder son C.P.Sanjay recently participated in the prestigious EDINBURGH Art Festival in Schottland. VOICES received a 4-star review on the opening night. The Voice group from New York will be performing continuously for almost a month ( 24 performances)
- Dhananjayan, 6 Aug 2011

Venue: New Town Theatre
Where: Edinburgh
Date Reviewed: 5 August 2011

A capella singing groups have become as synonymous with the Edinburgh Fringe as student review shows and dramatic monologues. And if you're planning on seeing one this year, I can heartily recommend Voices.

Over the years one has come to expect a capella shows to involve a plethora of pop songs re-arranged for a handful of vocalists, one of
whom will beatbox and another of whom will go 'bom bom bom' a lot. This group has a beatboxer, but that's where the comparisons end.

You won't hear “Stand by Me” or “Walking in Memphis” here, and if you're looking for that sort of thing you should probably see The Magnets. Rather, what Voices serves up is a range of world music, seemingly spanning at least five continents, performed by an equally diverse group of performers.

Led by American vocalist and composer Philip Hamilton, we hear mash-ups of everything from African gospel to Balinese monkey-chant, as well as virtuoso turns from a superb beatboxer and a giant, booming bassist, among others.

If I have a criticism it's the lack of context given to the music, especially as many of the pieces undoubtedly have fascinating stories behind them. But nevertheless it's a very pleasant way to wile away an hour or so, and certainly makes a change from the usual a capella fare.
- by Theo Bosanquet

Are you familiar with this famous Hollywood star Mr. Liev Schreiber who has acted in films like SOLT , X MAN, SUM OF ALL FEARS, KATE & LEOPOLD, etc., now acting in Meera Nair's movie being shot in Delhi (a story of love hate between Pakistan & India).
Liev has learned Bharatanaatyam in his childhood days in Connecticut, played a monkey role in Ramayanam dance drama in one of the local Bharata naatyam teacher's production. He visited our classes with his little son and his old mother. Very simple man (unlike our actors), just walked into the class casually in shorts and T-shirt carrying his son.
In a strange coincidence, we were watching Liev Schreiber's film ‘Omen’ the previous night on DVD and his casual unannounced visit was a terrific surprise. The students were quite exited.
- Dhananjayan
The Biennial Convention of Kerala Hindus of North America (KHNA) held in Washington DC
- Report from Washington DC

NAATYAACHAARYA V.P.DHANANJAYAN's proposed new project for the benefit of the future generations to come:
NAVA BHARATAM: A New Treatise of Naatya (Indian Classical Theatre). (The title of the book will be changed).
NATYA KALA CONFERENCE 2011 from December 26 - 31, 2011
This year's Natya Kala Conference is dedicated to the memory of Vazhuvoor Ramayya Pillai. We request all his direct disciples to participate and pay tribute to this legend. On the inaugural day (26th Dec), Sujatha Vijayaraghavan will coordinate and draw an exclusive "Ramayaa Pillai legacy" program between 10am and 1pm.
So this is to request all of you to contact Sujatha V
(044) - 24342874 / cell: 09840323813 / email: sujviji@gmail.com)
and confirm your participation. Each person will be given 15 minutes to speak on the natyacharya and show any special feature of his teaching and technique. You can share with the audience any special nostalgic event with your revered guru.
If you know of any of his prime students, please inform them or pass on this information to them. They can contact me or Sujatha Vijayaraghavan. Your prompt action will be appreciated. Thank you.
- With regards from Shanta Dhananjayan (Convener 31st NKC 2011)
Phone: (044) - 24911125 / e-mail: nkc.skgs@gmail.com
Please take time off to see this program on May 6th (part I) and 13th (part II) at 9 to 9.30 p.m on both days.
The Dhananjayans & son Satyajit with celebrity film actor Kamalhaasan when his film "Man-madhan-anpu" was screened for special invitees.
The Dhananjayans & son Satyajit with celebrity film actor Kamalhaasan
The Dhananjayans & son Satyajit with celebrity film actor Kamalhaasan
The Dhananjayans were felicitated by Nrityasri Academy of Kalakshetra Vilasini, Kottayam on 24th April at Thirunakkara maidan.
Naatyaachaarya Kalakshetra Vilasini's- (a contemporary of the Dhananjayans in Chennai Kalakshetra) 60th year of entering the art field was celebrated with ten days Gurukulam Silpasala (workshop) and presentations of various programs by the staff and students of Nrityasri Academy. Smt.Vilasini is a pioneering teacher in Kerala who established Kalakshetra style of Bharatanaatyam in the early 1960s and created a revolution in the field of Bharatanaatyam in Kerala. Her students are all over the world and they have been winning the coveted youth festival awards year after year. Few of them are also celebrated film artistes. Vilasini is also a recipient of Kerala Sangeeta Nataka Academy award and various other honours and recognitions in Kerala.
A tireless action stretches its hands towards perfection
- Prof. CP Unnikrishnan
BHARATAKALANJALI, Adyar (Founded in 1968)
To commemorate the 43rd anniversary, Bharatakalanjali will be admitting new students from 1st of June this year.

For several years Bharatakalanjali has not been taking new students and now because of general requests from several people in and around Adyar, the institution decided to admit interested and serious students of Bharatanaatyam and Sangeetam.
(Juniors and seniors - advance courses )

For details contact Manager P.K. Ravi at the campus No.6, Jeevaratnam Nagar, Adyar, Chennai. 20
Phone: 24911125 ( Office time between 10 am and 6 p.m )

Contact Swathi System at 91-9840878507, 044-4555030
A report
Leadership Building India together seminar
Leadership Building India together seminar
CONFEDERATION OF INDIAN INDUSTRY (CII) Trichy Zone hosted "Leadership Building India together" seminar in which The Dhananjayans were the main speakers. Dhananjayan's address on the subject was well appreciated by the industrial CEOs attending the seminar.
V.P. DHANANJAYAN RELEASED THE BOOK - an English version of Bhanudatta's Rasamanjari

V.P. DHANANJAYAN RELEASED THE BOOK - an English version of Bhanudatta's Rasamanjari, with transliteration, translation and commentary by Dr.Pappu Venugopala Rao. The book deals with Nayika - Nayaka Classification. An e book CD 'Can We Tackle' dealing with learner's problems from the teacher's perspective by Dr. Jaya Venugopal was also released at TAG Center.
During the inauguration of the Thanjai (Tanjavoor) Tamizh University's Koothu-kalari theater/ class complex on 19th Feb, 2011, Dhananjayan was felicitated and he addressed the gathering. Thirumathi Kanimozhi (M.P) opened the building.
The Dhananjayans were honoured with Life Time Achievement award by the Kerala Circle Rotary International on 12th Feb 2011 at Kozhikkode during the Rotary International Convention.
Life Time Achievement award from Kerala Circle Rotary International
Life Time Achievement award from Kerala Circle Rotary International
Life Time Achievement award from Kerala Circle Rotary International

Encomiums for Kathakali exponent
- Vasudha Venugopal, The Hindu, Arts - Dance, January 2, 2011
A wave of nostalgia and gratitude pervaded the space that hosted the meeting of over 50 eminent artists and alumni of Kalakshetra here on Sunday. They had gathered to celebrate the 80th birthday of veteran Kathakaliexponent K.P. Kunhiraman, who not only mastered the intricate nuances of the art form but also transmitted its glory and charm to cultures across the seas. Long-time associates of the artist spoke about his various performances.
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