Seeking a Renaissance in San Francisco
The Traditions Engaged festival will be spotlighting senior Bharatanatyam artists and gurus, Sri V.P. Dhananjayan and Smt. Shanta Dhananjayan. The duo will be performing on Saturday, October 2 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts at 7:00 PM. For tickets and registration for Tradtions Engaged, please visit this site: Registration.
Sri V.P. Dhananjayan, who was born in a small village in Kerala, India, was brought to Rukmini Devi’s Kalakshetra at the age of 13. He studied there for the next 15 years and graduated with diplomas in both Bharatanatyam and Kathakali. He performed as the lead male dancer at Kalakshetra from 1955-1967. Smt. Shanta Dhananjayan, whose prodigious talent was spotted by her parents at a young age, was sent to Kalakshetra in 1952 at the age of 8. She graduated with her diploma in Bharatanatyam and Carnatic Music and went on to perform as the lead female dancer at the institution from 1955-1968.
The pair married in 1966 and established their own dance school, Bharata Kalanjali, in 1968. They’re known for their innovative dance style and collaborations. Together, they’re working to propagate Indian culture and dance across the world. As a part of the Traditions Engaged Blog, the Dhananjayans shared their views on a variety of topics that are important to students and audiences of classical Indian performing arts. Check out the interview here: Dhananjayans Interview.