About Our Gurus

The Dhananjayans

Sri V P Dhananjayan and his wife Shanta Dhananjayan, popularly known as the Dhananjayans have become a legendary dancing couple of India in their own life time. Having established their own academy Bharata Kalanjali, the two disciples of the legendary Rukmini Devi of Kalakshetra, have become international celebrities.

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    Adyar K Lakshmanan

Shri. Adyar K. Lakshman first began his career as a teacher at Kalakshetra. There he taught Dance, Music, Nattuvangam, Mridangam and Sanskrit language. From 1956 to 1969 he served as the chief dance instructor at Natyalaya. In 1969, he branched out on his own and established Bharatha Choodamani with the express desire to continue the Kalakshetra tradition of educating students in a high standard of dance and music. Shri. Adyar Lakshman is one of India’s foremost nattuvanars with a reputation for providing forceful and engaging rhythmic support to dancers.

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      Esha Bhavanandan

Smt. Esha Bhavanandan hails from family in Sri Lanka known for its artistic accomplishments.  She started learning classical music and Bharata Natyam at the age of five.  She has given numerous music and dance performances in Sri Lanka and North Eastern United States, including Veena recitals on Radio Ceylon and Bharata Natyam on WITF TV in Pennsylvania.  She taught Bharata Natyam dance, initially in the mid 1960s, in Queens, New York .  After moving to Pennsylvania she continued teaching  for over 15 years at the HARI Temple, in Harrisburg.


Sivakami is the Founder and Artistic Director of Bharata Kalarpana School of Fine Arts. Born in Sri Lanka, she was initiated into Bharata Natyam in the classical tradition of Kalakshetra at the tender age of five from her mother,  Smt. Esha Bhavanandan.  Sivakami has been performing Bharata Natyam since the age of eight with her mother and has since performed extensively in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Japan, Australia and India. Sivakami received further extensive training in this ancient art from the famous Padmashri Adyar K. Lakshman and from the world-renowned dancing couple Padma Bhushan Shri V. P. and Shanta Dhananjayan both in India and the U.S.  Sivakami is an alumna of the Pennsylvania State University with a B.S. in Microbiology and a career in the banking sector. 

Some of her accomplishments include:

  Performances in  Madras, India with Shri Adyar Lakshman and his Troupe - 1993

Performances in Sydney, Australia in 1996

Lecture/Demonstration and performance in Tokyo, Japan in January, 1994

Participated in Performances at Satchidananda Ashram in Yogaville, Va

Performance at the Ganesha Temple, Toronto, Canada

Performance at the Sri Venkateswara Temple in Pittsburgh, PA

Performances in U.K. at various Universities.

Television Presentation, WITF program "Gathering Place"

Festival of India Concert with Shri Adyar K. Lakshman and Troupe

Metro Arts Open Air Performance, Harrisburg

Pennsylvania Council of Arts, Festival of the Arts New Years Eve Performance.

Performances at Juniata College, Millersville University, and HAAC

Numerous Recitals and Lecture/Demonstrations at The Pennsylvania State University

Performance and Lecture/Demonstration at the University of Colorado at Boulder, CO

Arangetram conducted by the Dhananjayans (of Bharata Kalanjali Academy, India)

Performances at Clemson, Spartanburg International Festival, and Artisphere in Greenville

Opening Night performance for Artisphere in 2005

Conceived and organized Dances of the World - a presentation of various dance styles - in Greenville.

Krishnakumar began his Bharatanatyam education at the age of 7 and became a student of the Dhananjayans at the age of 9. During his tenure at Bharata Kalanjali, Krishnakumar took part in a variety of classical dance dramas and folk dance performances both live and on television. He moved to the United States in 1995 and began teaching at Bharata Kalarpana in State College, PA while he completed his doctorate in Mechanical Engineering. During this period, Sivakami and Krishnakumar performed together at various locations in Pennsylvania.

Sivakami and Krishnakumar moved to Greenville in 2002 and have been teaching in the Kalakshetra tradition at Bharata Kalarpana since 2003. As a couple, they have performed during this time in Michigan, Pennsylvania and various locations in South Carolina.



Krishna Kumar and Sivakami Bhavanandan