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V P Dhananjayan

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Padma Bhushan awardee Sri. V.P.Dhananjayan, son of A.Rama Poduval and Madhavi Amma, was born in Payyanur (Kerala) in the year 1939. A child poet in Malayalam, he was brought to Smt. Rukmini Devi's Kalakshetra, Chennai at the age of 13 in the year 1953 by the famed Guru T.K. Chandu Panikkar. He received diploma and post graduate diploma in Kathakali and Bharatanaatyam with distinction and served the alma mater (Kalakshetra) as one of the most prominent performing artists and teacher till 1968. Dhananjayan was the leading dancer in the Kalakshetra dance drama productions and became synonymous with the character Sri Rama in the Ramayana series of Kalakshetra. Founded Bharatakalanjali in the year 1968 along with his wife Shanta Dhananjayan also an alumni of Kalakshetra. Bharatakalanjali under the able stewardship of Dhananjayan and Shanta has become one of the well known institutions in Tamizhnaadu for Bharatanaatyam. They created several prestigious and internationally acclaimed dance productions. "The Cultural panorama of Tamizhnaadu" directed and produced for the Government of Tamizhnaadu won him special recognition from the Chief Minister Thiru. M.G. Ramachandran. They also received several other State and public recognitions including Kalaimamani, Central Sangit Natak Academi, Kerala State Sangeeta Nataka Academy's Fellowship, Nrityachoodamani (Sri Krishna Gana Sabha) and several prestigious National and International awards, titles and recognitions. MA.Chidambaram Chettiyar (MAC Charities) award of Rs.50,000/-, silver casket and citation (2002), the "Swati Ratna" puraskaar for Madras Malayalee club, for their contribution to the propagation of Maharaja Swathi Tirunal's compositions through Bharatanaatyam (April 2004).