Dhananjayans conferred title of Natana Prakaasam
The evening started off with a half hour veena recital by Jayalakshmi Shekar. N Murali, President of the Music Academy and Managing Director of The Hindu, presided over the function and presented the award. In his presidential address he said that the Dhananjayans are a role model not only as a Bharatanatyam couple, but also a role model to lead a good, happy life. Vyjanthimala Bali complimented the Dhananjayans for their aesthetic and traditional approach and creative ability without deviating from the tradition.
R Krishnaswamy, President of the City Sabhas, lauded the couple's contribution to art and way of life as a great source of inspiration to the younger generations. He commented that Dhananjayan's free and frank opinions did not even spare his Sabha with which the couple has been associated for nearly 40 years. In fact, Dhananjayan performed for Narada Gana Sabha in 1963 for its inauguration at Music Academy, when the sabha then did not have its own premises.
Mohan Parasaran, Additional Solicitor General of India, expressed his surprise that this couple, who could be termed as a pride of the nation, has not been recognized with a Padma Award as yet.
The Dhananjayans' senior-most disciple Radhika Shurajit, presented a short film of one hour duration, on her gurus titled 'Kalaa-Saadhana' produced by Utsav Music, which was appreciated by one and all. Apart from tributes by their students, dance colleagues and well wishers of the Dhananjayans, the documentary showed excerpts of some of their dance performances and the couple sharing their memories. Copy of this DVD will be available for home viewing.
Nrutya Tarangini (choreographed by the Dhananjayans in 1986) based on the Kadanakutoohalam Tillana, the music of Dr. Balamuralikrishna and lyrics composed specially on the couple, was the finale performed by senior disciples of the Dhananjayans.
Dhananjayan in his acceptance address – he spoke in Tamil! - appealed to all connoisseurs of classical music and dance to subscribe to this educative magazine, a valuable addition to one's library for posterity. R Krishnaswamy also praised the contents and quality of worthwhile articles on music and Carnatic compositions by eminent writers and scholars.
A special issue of Naadhabrahmam with focus on the Dhananjayans was distributed to the audience.