Vodafone’s ‘Make the move’ had moved India just like that. Meet the Dhanajayan’s, the cutest old couple, Vodafone advertisement had featured, going to Goa on their second honeymoon. From being tattooed to learning to dance at the party were a series of six ads in the campaign featured everyday scenes of couples.
Simply the couples were adorable and had given a non-dramatic onscreen chemistry. Who can leave without smiling after watching those adorable ads?
Ok, now it’s time to meet Mr and Mrs Dhanajayan, VP Dhananjayan and Shantha Dhanajayan. One of the most well-known Bharatanatyam professionals. This couple is familiar to the people across the world by their mesmerising classical dance performance.
They were awarded the Padma Bhushan, for their enormous contribution to development preservation and propagation in 2009 through their dance academy Bharata Kalanjali’. Couples have been training students in classical dance since they founded Bharata Kalanjali in 1968. The couples performed in Rashtrapati Bhavan, The Khajuraho dance festival. The duo got an opportunity to perform for the German president in 1981.
Journey to Goa
It was through their son Satyajit, who is a photographer it came all the way. Someone from Ogilvy & Mather approached the couple asking to perform in the campaign. Both said yes spontaneously and flew downed to Goa on the very next day for the shoot.
“It was one of my biggest takeaways, seeing everything being managed and coordinated. There were so many people in the ads where we’re at the train station. We had to spend a whole day there to shoot. The way the crew managed the crowd (who were people from different drama companies) was amazing,” 78-year-old Dhananjayan said.
Travelling extensively never bothered them, they are always ready to step out of their comfort zone. While shooting Dhanajayan learn to ride scooter and Shanta to parasail.
Acting isn’t entirely new to them, dance also requires acting. The Dhananjayans say that they had a great time and could actually visit the tourist spots in Goa. Even the places where they didn’t shoot, they had the chance to go there because, in the final ad, they had to show photos of the couple at various tourist spots.
For better or worse
Shanta was only eight years old when she met Dhananjayan and only 12 when she decided that he would be her life partner. Shanta was the first girl that Dhananjayan was introduced to in Kalakshetra.
Having known each other for the most part of their lives, their favourite part in travelling together were not the same.
“We have the same wavelength and share everything together, including travel,” says Dhananjayan simply. Shanta agrees and adds, “It’s about being on the same page and having the spirit to try different things. I still love trying new food and going to new places with him,” she says.