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The Dhananjayans
From "A Dancer on Dance" written by V.P. Dhananjayan, published by Bharata Kalanjali

Sri V.P.Dhananjayan and wife Shanta Dhananjayan, popularly known as the Dhananjayans have become legendary dancing couple of India in their own life time. Both disciples of the legendary Rukminidevi of Kalakshetra, having established their own Academy , Bharatakalanjali, have become International celebrity. They have received innumerable National and International awards and recognition, including the Central Sangeet Natak Academy Award, otherwise known as the Presidential Award and the Padma Bhushan.

Bharatakalanjali, since it's founding in 1968, has trained number of students who have established themselves in different parts of the world. Bharatakalanjali has produced more than thirty dance productions, winning high praise and acclaim in the International art scene. The Dhananjayans have collaborated with National and International choreographers and Institutes to produce monumental theatrical ventures, which have won them many prestigious National and International Awards.

A short Resume of V.P. Dhananjayan & Shanta Dhananjayan
Name - Vannadil Pudiyaveetil Dhananjayan
Date of birth - 30th April 1939
Place of birth - Payyanur, Kerala
Joined Kalakshetra - 5th October 1953
Educational Qualification  - B.A. Economics
Professional Qualification - Post Graduate Diploma in Dance (Bharatanatyam & Kathakali) with distinction from Kalakshetra, Madras. Leading Male dancer under Smt.Rukminidevi (Founder, Kalakshetra) from 1955 to 1967

Shanta Dhananjayan

Date of birth - 12th August 1943
Joined Kalakshetra - June 1952
Educational Qualification - Matriculation
Professional Qualification - Post Graduate Diploma with distinction from Kalakshetra, Madras. Leading female dancer in Kalakshetra since 1955 till 1968.

Served as student, performing artistes & teacher in the Dance and Academic Faculty in Kalakshetra. Started own Academy Bharatakalanjali in Madras in 1968. Now, a premier Dance & Music Institution in India with over 300 students at present.

Padma Bhushan Award 2009

Sangeet Natak Academy (Presidential Award) 1994

Kerala Sangeeta Nataka Academy Fellowship 1993

Kalaimamani Award from Iyal Isai Nataka Mandram, TN Govt. 1990

Nritya Choodamani Award from Sri Krishna Gana Sabha 1983

Haridas Sammelan Sursingar Sansad Mumbai "Nrityavillas" Award 1989

Scroll of Honour Arts and Crafts Magazine, New Delhi awarded by then Vice President Hon. Sri.K.R.Narayanan
(There are several other prestigious cash awards, titles and honours)

* Live Magazine Achievement Award (Ohio State Academy Award) 1997 (for the best Theatrical Production of the year '96-97 for jungle book dance choreography for Ohio Ballet Company)

* Plaque of Honour awarded by the Governor of Ohio State for excellent Community Service and International Understanding through Art 1996

* Munshi Centenary Commemorative Award, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, London UK 1988

* UNESCO Paris, Medallion De Merit 1984

* Pt. Ravishankar's Magnum Opus "GHANASHYAM" 1989/90

* National Dance Institute, New York "CHAKRA", with a cast of 1,000 multinational children

* A joint venture of Ohio Ballet Co., Cuyahoga Community College and Cleveland Cultural Alliance - Jungle Book Ballet

* Choreographer for International Art Festival of Government of Singapore, "Sita Rama Katha" 1986

* In the same Festival, choreographed dance drama "Sanghamitra" with Singapore Artistes 1994

* Mahaabhaaratham dance drama jointly produced by French Theatre Fluerry & Association Vaani in Reunion French Island 1998

The Dhananjayans received the Padma Bhushan Award from President Pratibha Patil at the civil investiture ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on March 31, 2009 for development, preservation and propagation of the best of Kalakshetra tradition of Bharatanatyam through their dance academy Bharatakalanjali.