“Art brings Hearts together and Naatya brings People together”, said Natyacharya V. P. Dhananjayan, Padma Bhushan awardee while delivering the Annual “Nataraj Ramakrishna Memorial Lecture” at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) on 25th March 2014. This lecture titled Evolution and changes in Naatya – A flowing Tradition (Dr. Natraj Ramakrishna’s contribution) has been organized by the Department of Dance, Sarojini Naidu School of Arts and Communication.
Naatya Shastra has benefited generations and we need to keep up the traditions of our country as Bharatiyaas (Indians), stated Shri Dhananjayan who has trained under Smt. Rukmini Devi of Kalakshetra, Chennai. Further he elaborated that Art in Education needs to be emphasized and promoted in all educational institutions. He said that Naatya is secular and has no religious attachment. It educates, enlightens and entertains. Shri Dhananjaya called upon the audience to use the term – Bharata Naatya in place of English words like Ballet, as we need to keep up the traditions of our great country Bharat (India).
Recalling his association with Dr. Nataraj Ramakrishna, Shri. Dhananjayan said that his contributions are recognized everywhere. He has been an outstanding Bharata Naatyam exponent and has always worked to carry forward the evolving Naatya. Dr. Nataraj Ramakrishna will always be remembered as an artiste who evaluated the changes taking place in Naatya and worked towards carrying it forward.
Concluding his lecture, Shri Dhananjayan told that we have retained the tradition of our country and now there is a need, to use the past as the foundation for making the innovations in Art and Naatya. Every artiste needs to evaluate the changes in Naatya, as Innovation is the key for keeping it alive. He later blessed the students of the University and encouraged them to keep the traditional Naatya alive.
Shri Dhananjayan has founded Bharatakalanjali in the year 1968. Madras Music Academy honoured him with the prestigious award of Sangeet Kala Acharya in the year 2005 and the Government of Indian conferred upon him the prestigious Padma Bhushan in the year 2009.