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Posts Tagged ‘The Dhananjayans’

Inextricably entwined with the sacred belief and philosophy of the people of India, the classical arts, are the ladder of understanding that encompasses all learning, all sciences and all discipline leading tAnusham logoo Gnana. The sojourn of an artist is as much within himself as it is without. From the mundane to the divine, from gross to the subtle, religion to aesthetics the arts traverse a path so hidden yet so apparent. The quintessence of Indian ideology is based on the oxymoronic substratum of losing yourself to find ‘Oneself .Tradition sows the seed, time nurtures and experience ripens the fruit called learning. To partake of that fruit, to revel in that magnificence, to experience that Aananda- we have set out.
– Anusha and Narendra

THE GURUS

With my gurus
Narendra Kumar

Narendra Kumar is an early student of the Dhananjayans. He has earned a name for himself as a skilled Bharata Natyam dancer and choreographer. Eager to explore different dimensions in dance, he has studied martial arts such as Kalaripayyattu, Silambam and Tai-Chi. He has his dance establishment Anusham and is a teacher, choreographer and performer, along with his wife Anusha. He travels to the US often to work with dancers/choreographers and to aid them in their productions.

Anusha Narendra Kumar

Anusha Narendra Kumar is a disciple of the Dhananjayans and is well known as an excellent exponent of Bharata Natyam. She is the wife of Narendra Kumar and they are gaining a reputation as a skilled dancing couple. She is a teacher in their school “Anusham” and they also work with dancers in the US conducting classical dance workshops and assisting in choreography. She won audience appreciation and critical acclaim for her performance in Living Tree. She is also earning a name as a fine visual artist.

Click here to read the article by Samanth Subramanian about L. Narendra Kumar in the Sunday Magazine section of The New Indian Express

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VIDYA SARANYAN (A review from The Hindu)

The silent pause preceding Kaikeyi‘s demand was easily one of the best moments in the Dhananjayans’ performance.

The riveting performances by V.P. Dhananjayan, Shanta Dhananjayan and their students reaffirmed their reputation as artists par excellence and worthy natyacharyas. After the invocatory number, the next piece Nrittaswaravali had dancers Venkatakrishnan and Pavitra Srinivasan display their rhythmic prowess. Their bright smiles, straight posture and vigour brought liveliness to the evening. Complex jatis to the various nadais formed the fabric of the Nrittaswaravali.

In the latter half of the evening, the glory of Siva‘s dance was essayed by Lavanya Raghuraman for ‘Adidum Arasae’. With her big eyes and a charming stage presence, she brought home all the dimensions of Siva‘s dance as envisaged by the poet. The sollukattu with the Nandi motif caught one’s attention for its aptness.

Another strong display of rhythm was to be seen in the Nrittangaharam, the concluding number in Behag and Khanda Ekam by Lavanya, Divya and Vedakrishnan. These numbers revealed the panache of the dancers and reinforced the dynamism of the evening. The vocalist for the second half was Vanathi, and the cymbals were wielded by Shanta Dhananjayan.

The limelight of the evening was the enactment from the Ramayana. ‘Sita Rama Katha’ from the Ramanatakam by Arunachala Kavi was positioned as the core piece. Here, Shanta Dhananjayan as Kooni (Manthara), Divya Shivsunder as Kaikeyi and V.P. Dhananjayan as Dasaratha enthralled the audience with their dramatic portrayal.

The succinct Patra pravesha for the maid Manthara established her diabolical intent, and simultaneously threw light on Kaikeyi, who was still unsullied by the dreams of power. With her rolling eyes, frowning brow and a positively evil grimace, Shanta Dhananjayan got under the skin of the character.

She was the villain incarnate with the bent back and the hand on the hip as she steadily corroded the best of Kaikeyi and in its place carved out a woman intent only on the coronation of her son. At times cajoling and at others manipulating, Shanta’s performance carried the audience. The stage was now set for Dasaratha to meet his nemesis. In his realistic performance as the king, Dhananjayan also incorporated some small touches that enhanced the content. The sidling movement of the feet, the pole axed fall, and especially the nippy shifting of moods from anger to disgust completed the high drama. Divya matched her teachers’ spirited delineation and portrayed the heartless Kaikeyi convincingly.

Sashidharan’s clear diction and his expressive singing pooled with the strong nattuvangam of Gopukiran for this part of the recital. Kalaiarasan’s fluid violin, Sunil Kumar‘s trills on the flute and Ramesh Babu’s proficient mridangam play were big pluses.

Yet, the moment of silence which preceded Kaikeyi’s demand was easily one of the best moments in the recital where body language and sentiment spoke more than words or song.

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Excerpt from an article in The Hindu dated January 2, 2009

Double impact

Savitha Gautam

 

Two is company. Especially for some on whom the Margazhi spotlight has fallen over the years, be it in the field of music or dance. The Dhananjayans, the Reddys and Narasimhachari-Vasanthalakshmi have paved the way for many others to follow. The Margazhi Vizha has, over the years, thrown up some very talented pairs. Here are a few who have made a mark:

Narendra Kumar and Anusha: A show for ABHAI brought them together. “At least that’s the first time we noticed each other, though were both students at Bharata Kalanjali,” laughs Anusha. “I admired his choreographic skills and was too happy when he asked me to participate in ‘Kalinga Narthana’ thillana.” Narendra laughs when he remembers how he choreographed a Meera bhajan for the two of them. “Now, I do the scripting and concept, while he concentrates on choreography,” says Anusha. “The couple who ‘find joy in dancing together’ are in totally sync, on and off the stage.

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