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Divine Duos of Natyam

Last week we saw two celebrations coming one after the other. Shiva Ratri which was celebrated on 13th February followed by Valentine’s day on 14th. Where on Shiva Ratri we prayed the unity of the divine couple Shiva and Parvati, the couple who are the symbol of art and creation,While the youngsters celebrated the Valentines day as a day of love.though we aren’t talking about the westernized inputs and Indian values than to see an unknown common sting attached when looked through the prism of love.

In the first stranza of Shivananda Lahari , Adi shankara says

“Kalabhyam choodalankrutha sasi kalabhyam nija thapa Phalabhyam bhaktheshu prakatitha phalabhyam bhavathu me Shivabham sthoka thri bhuvana shivabhyam hridhi punar Bhavaabhyam ananda sphura dhanubhavabhyam natheeriyam .1

Let my salutations be dedicated, To those who are dedicated to art,, To them who wear the moon in their head, To them who are the personification of mutual penance, To them who teach devotees about the results of penance, To them who grant only good to the three worlds, To them whose every memory becomes newer and newer, To them who are supremely happy due to their great knowledge, And to the result of the mystic union of Shiva and Shakthi.

With this note let me bring the living form of the Shiva and Parvati swaroopas , the divine pairs who celebrate their experience in classical dance with their better half. following are the list of great Indian Dance couples who are an embodiment of love, equality and divinity.

Vannadil Pudiyaveettil Dhananjayan and Shanta Dhananjayan

Vannadil Pudiyaveettil Dhananjayan and Shanta Dhananjayan, also known as the Dhananjayans, are regarded as the legendary dancing couple of India.A partnership on stage for 65 years and counting, the couple credit their passion for natyam for their seamless chemistry, and enduring relationship. Married for more than 50 years, they still have a good understanding.

Dhananjayan received a scholarship at Kalakshetra to study Bharatanatyam, Kathakali, Mridangam and music. Shanta trained in Bharatanatyam and music apart from other subjects for nearly a decade. They believe that whatever they have been able to achieve today is due to the painstaking mentoring of their Gurus Rukmini Devi Arundale and Chandu Panicker and various other faculty members of Kalakshetra such as NS Jayalakshmi and Sarada Hoffman.

While at Kalakshetra, it was love at first sight for Dhananjayan. Shanta was the first girl he met as he was being escorted into the portals of Kalakshetra by Guru Panicker. Though Shanta was a serious student completely devoted to her dance and music, she had secretly made up her mind, at the age of 12, to partner Dhananjayan in life. Dhananjayan expressed his desire to marry Shanta when she was 18, but she left for Malaysia after graduation and did not let him know of her consent till after returning to India 4 years later. They married in 1966 at the Guruvayoor Temple in Kerala.

Kiran Subramaniyam and Sandya Kiran

Kiran and Sandhya are not new to those who are familiar with the landscape of Bharatanatyam in Bengaluru. Their institution has been prolific whether in terms of dance productions, workshops or collaborations. It is home to around 300 students and is the alma-mater for many others settled across the world.

The couple met when they were both students of Padmini Ravi and then went to train under the Dhananjayans in Chennai — V.P. Dhananjayan and Shantha Dhananjayan — before setting up the Rasika Academy finally in 1989.

For years now, the sound of the thattu kazhi emerging from a low-roofed house on 18th cross road in Malleswaram in Bangalore, has greeted commuters and passers by. There are tiny boards with the title ‘Rasika Arts Foundation’ pinned onto the gates today but nothing else has changed about the appearance of the 27-year-old dance school set up by Bharatanatyam duo Kiran Subramanyam and Sandhya Kiran. It is modest in size, retains an old-Bangalore charm, and has survived the commercial strains tugging at the heart of Malleswaram. Years have come and gone but their simplicity seems to have been untouched.

Shruti & Parshwanath Upadhye

Artistic Directors of Upadhye School of Dance and Punyah Dance Company Bangalore, Shruti and Parshwanath Upadhye, aspire to approach India’s favorite epics with a fresh, young perspective and hope to entertain as well as spark a love for the world’s oldest heritage. Shruti & Parshwanath Upadhye were conferred with the title “Aarsha Kala Choodamani” by Swami Dayananda Saraswati at New Jersey, USA in 2012.

Both are graded artists of Doordarshan and have performed in various prestigious festivals throughout India and many countries. ‘Natya Mayura’ awardee, Parshwanath Upadhye has carved out a niche for himself today as one of the most sought-after male dancers in the country. Currently, along with his wife Shruthi, Upadhye choreographs, directs, produces and presents his work at national and international venues under the banners of Upadhye School of Dance and PDC, Bangalore.

Raja Radha Reddy

Raja and Radha Reddy are a Kuchipudi dancing couple, gurus and choreographers. Their names are synonymous with Kuchipudi dance and are regarded solely responsible for bringing it on the cultural map of the world.For their services to the field of arts, the Government of India have conferred on them the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awards. An ace choreographer, Raja Reddy has many choreographies to his credit, namely, ‘Shivas Dance’, ‘Mahanatam’ (which has travelled to three continents), ‘Shiva Leelas’, ‘Raasa Shabdam’, ‘Kuru Yadhunanandana Ashtapadi’, and many more.

Raja and Radha started the Natya Tarangini Institute of Kuchipudi dance, which is located in the Saket locality of New Delhi. The institute trains students in classical dance, music, yoga and Sanskrit. The institute also has a mini auditorium, an art gallery and hostel facility on its premises.The Institute hosts the annual dance and music festival, Parampara Series as well as the Shreyasi International Dance Festival which showcases artistes drawn from across the world. The Moscow Classical Ballet, the Paul Taylor Dance Company, flamenco dancer Jose Porcel and whirling dervishes are among the groups that have performed at the festival.In 2017, the institute held first of its kind all-night concert on Mahashivratri where dancers and artists across genres performed.

Renjith and Vijna

Renjith and Vijna, partners in dance as well as life, are an upcoming couple par excellence in the discipline of Bharatanatyam. Their aim is to extend the boundaries of Indian traditional dance and create a new benchmark in the aesthetics of presentation by using innovative dance techniques. They strive to inculcate a higher quality in their performances that will inspire, entertain and educate a diverse audience”

We met Renjith and Vijna at a workshop on Yoga for Dancers they taught, ahead of their October 12th performance. Their ability to innovate and yet distill the essence of dance movements within the framework of the traditional forms has won them acclaim as a dynamic dance duo.The dancing duo Renjith & Vijna are an upcoming couple par excellence in the disciple of Bharatanatyam from Kalakshethra, Chennai. The apply the principles of yoga and kalaripayattu into their dance styles dancing duo Renjith & Vijna are an upcoming couple par excellence in the disciple of Bharatanatyam from Kalakshethra, Chennai. The apply the principles of yoga and kalarippayattu into their dance styles.

Other verses of Adi Shankara Quotes in Soundarya Lahari

Shivah shakthya yukto yadi bhavati shaktah prabhavitum Na chedevam devo na khalu kusalah spanditumapi; Atas tvam aradhyam Hari-Hara-Virinchadibhir api Pranantum stotum vaa katham akrta-punyah prabhavati

Lord Shiva, only becomes able To do creation in this world along with Shakthi.Without her, Even an inch he cannot move but how can, one praise the prakruti not purusha or vice versa , how can one differentiate between a mother and a father in such way we cannot see one without another , such as the universal bond between the prakruti and the purusha , similarly these exponents too are the true embodiment of love and an inspiration to lost youngsters with diverted minds. let us applaud their contribution to Indian art with heart soul and mind.



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