The Dhananjayans in South Africa

March 28, 2010

On the occasion of the Saadhana festival of Naatya under the auspices of Naatya Ananda of Verushka Pather (March 12th to 16th), The Dhananjayans presented a Bharatanatyam program titled Bhakti Maargam in Durban and Johannesburg (South Africa). Dr. Anita Shanmukhanathan and Verushka Pather also performed along with The Dhananjayans with the orchestra led by Vanathi Raghuraman (vocal), Rameshbabu (mridamgam) and local violinist Kesavan Manikkam.

On March 12, the age old South African Hindu Maha Sabha in Durban honoured The Dhananjayans with a life time achievement plaque of honour awarded by its President Ashwin Trikamjee. The citation plaque reads, “The South African Hindu Maha Sabha honours Shri VP Dhananjayan and Shanta Dhananjayan for their sterling contribution to classical dance.” The Indian Consulate in Durban hosted a reception in honour of the visiting Dhananjayans and the Consul General, Anil K Sharan, felicitated the couple. Dhananjayan gave a short lecture demonstration and yielding to the request of the audience, he also performed extempore, an expressive story of a pregnant deer.

On the second day (March 13) of the Saadhana festival, Dr. TP Naidoo awarded yet another honour on behalf of The Indian Community of South Africa, Indian Academy of SA and Naatya Ananda Fine Arts Academy. Both the performances in Durban were held in the prestigious venue, the Izulu Theatre at Sibaya Casino.

The Consul General of India, Mr. Vikram Doraiswami, inaugurated the Johannesburg festival and felicitated Naatya Ananda and Verushka for her passionate endeavor in promoting Indian performing arts and culture in South Africa. The performance was held in the ‘The Great Hall,’ the Wits University auditorium. The highlight of the festival series was at the SA Sabarimala Shree Ayyappa Kshetram amphitheater located in a very beautiful place. A large number of Ayyappa devotees congregated at the far off venue created by an ardent devotee of Ayyappaswamy, Dr. Rajasekharan Kolapen.

Demonstration at Indian Embassy,
CGO's office reception, Durban
Shanta Dhananjayan & Anita Shanmukhanathan
with students, Johannesburg

Apart from these four performances, the Dhananjayans with Anita Shanmukhanathan, conducted Bharatanatyam intensive workshops for the benefit of interested and enthusiastic students from different Bharatanatyam schools.