Shanta and Dhananjayan

Together every step of the way


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, besides globetrotting to teach students and teachers in several parts of the world, Shanta and Dhananjayan, among the seniormost Bharatanatyam duos anywhere, utter the name of their alma mater with reverence and gratitude at every available opportunity. Permanent, however, seem the wounds inflicted over four decades ago by the opprobrium that attached itself to them when Rukmini Devi’s favourite pupil of the time decided to sever the umbilical connection… read more