Meenakshi Ganesan is the founder and Artistic Director of Kalaanjali, LLC, in Madison, Wisconsin.
The Kalaanjali School of Dance and Music was founded by Meenakshi Ganesan with the blessings and Grace of her Guru Smt. Prema Nagasundaram from whom Meenakshi started learning the art of Bharathanatyam at the tender age of 6. Meenakshi also frequently learns Bharatanatyam from Nritya Shiksha Choodamani Guru Smt. Padmini Radhakrishnan.
Meenakshi performed her arengetram (dance debut) at the age of 13 and has won tens of awards and gold medals for her performances in competitions for both Bharathanatyam and Folk Dances in Mumbai (Bombay) and Kolkatta (Calcutta), India. In 1996, Meenakshi was conferred the prestigious title of Nritya Mayuri ("Dancing Peacock") by the Ministry of Education. She also has a solid foundation in the Natyashastras, which she continues to study and teach to her students. Meenakshi has also obtained the highly acclaimed Vishaarad Degree in Bharatanatyam.
Meenakshi's training has been especially a rigorous one as she lived in her Guru's household during her entire training. Meenakshi has been performing Bharathanatyam and Indian folk dances for the past 18 years and has been teaching this art for the past 11 years. Meenakshi has over 250 public performances to her credit including about 50 performances in the U.S.A. Her students in Madison, Wisconsin constantly give performances at various festivals and gatherings in the local Indian community. Meenakshi has choreographed hundreds of Bharatanatyam, semi-classical, and folk dances.
Besides her individual and group performances Meenakshi has performed at prestigious events such as the United States Mayors Conference, the Grand Opening Ceremony of the Overture Center in Madison-WI, and has also performed major roles in well-acclaimed dance ballet groups such as Mukti and Basant Bahaar. Meenakshi frequently gives lecture demonstrations on Bharatanatyam, the most recent of which was at the University of Wisconsin -Madison. Meenakshi is also proficient in Nattuvangam - the art of using a pair of cymbals to generate the rhythmic sounds in synchronisation with the dancer's feet while mouthing the intricate cholla (pure dance words). Apart from dance, Meenakshi is proficient in Indian Carnatic Classical music, devotional songs and bhajans. Meenakshi is also a very active member of various Indian organizations.
Meenakshi currently trains numerous Bharatanatyam, semi-classical, and folk dance students. Over the years, Meenakshi has proven to be not just an exemplary performer, but also an excellent teacher of dance, whom students of all ages connect with, and whom students and parents perceive as a role model.
Lastly, Meenakshi is and has been an active member of various local community and non-profit organizations, and has held executive committee, cultural coordinator, and board member positions in organizations like the Association of Indians in America (AIA), American Hindu Association (AHA), and Association of Indians in America Cultural Committee (AIA-CC).
Cities that Meenakshi or her students have performed in:
In India: Mumbai, Calcutta.
In the USA outside Wisconsin: Berkeley (SanFrancisco) - California, Chicago - Illinois.
In the USA in Wisconsin: Appleton, Dodgeville, Edgerton Green Lake, Madison (including Oregon, Fitchburg, and Verona suburbs), Milwaukee, Neenah, Oshkosh, Racine, Ridgeway, Sauk City, Verona, Waupan.
Institutions, events, and locations where Meenakshi or her students have performed at, for, or with:
Aasthika Samaaj - Mumbai, Alisha Ashman Public Library, American Hindu Association (AHA), Annual Green Lake Bahai Conference, Annual Recovery Rally (WAAODA), Around the World Children's Art Fair, ASHA - Berkeley, ASHA - Madison, Asian Heritage Month Celebration, Asian Moon Festival, Association of Indians in America (AIA), Bahai Unity Day, Bahai New Year Celebration, Bengali Association of Madison (BAM), Bhajan Samaaj - Ghatkopar, Bhajan Samaaj - Matungaa, Call for Peace Dance & Drum Academy, Celebrate Madison, Children's Art Festival by the Overture Center, Edgerton Performing Arts Center, Fitchburg Community Center, Folklore Village, Fox Valley Performing Arts Center, Frederic March Experimental Theater, Friendship Force of Wisconsin, Greater Milwaukee Tamizh Sangam, Hamilton Middle School, Hindu Temple of Wisconsin, Hyde Center For Yoga and the Vedic Arts, India Day, Indian Graduate Students Association, IndUS (FoxValley), Interfaith Awareness Week, International Adoption Citizenship Day, International Education Summit, ISKCON - Mumbai, James Memorial High School, Jefferson Middle School, Kanada Sangam - Mumbai, King Street Walkway - Madison State Capitol, Knights of Columbus Hall, LakeView Public Library, Madison Area Dance Festival, Madison Center for the Creative & Cultural Arts (MCCCA), Madison Children's Museum, Madison Concourse Hotel, Memorial High School Middleton High School, Middleton Public Library, MITBY Theater, Monona Terrace, Morphy Hall, Nadhabrahmam - Mumbai, Namaste Group, National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languges (NCOLCTL) conference, Netherwood Knoll Elementary School, Overture Center, Rabindra Sarobar - Calcutta, Race Unity Day, River Arts Performing Center - Sauk City, Sauk City Sesquicentennial Celebrations, SNDT Ghatkopar, Symposium on the Globalization of India, Telugu Association, Triangle Ethnic Fest - Bayview Foundation, United States Mayors Conference, University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Verona High School, Verona Senior Center, Y World Celebration, YMCA, Waupun Middle School, Willow Pointe Assisted Living, Wisconsin Association of Drug and Alcohol Abuse conference (WAAODA), Wisconsin Memorial Union, Wisconsin State Capitol, Wisconsin Tamizh Sangam (WITS), World Congress of Applied Linguistics, World Music Festival, United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) Conference - Mumbai
Bharatanatyam concerts or ballets in which Meenakshi played the main role, or which Meenakshi directed and choreographed:
Navarasa (2004, 2005), Priyam Bharatham (2004), Bharatham (2004), Shivoham (2004), Krishna Leela (2004), Priyam Bharatham (2001), Krishna & Hiraniyakashipu in 'Dashaavatharam' (2000), Yashoda, Dushaashana, and Arjuna in 'Krishna Leela' (1999), Durga (1998), Arjuna in 'Geethopadesham' (1998) Sita in 'Ramayana' (1997) Basant Bahaar Ballet (1996), Raavana in 'Ramayana' (1996) Main dancer in 'Basant Bahaar' (1996), Main dancer in 'Mukti' (1995), Draupadi in 'Draupadi Vasthraharanam' (1995), Ayyappa dance drama (1994), Dushaasanaa in 'Draupadi Vasthraharanam' (1994), Narada in 'Maangani Vinaayakar' (1993), Vasanthavalli (1991), Shankaracharya in 'Aadi Shankaraa' (1989), Sudaman in 'Krishna-Sudamaa' (1988), Aandaal (1987), Krishna in Krishna Leela' (1986), Luva in 'Luva Kusha' (1985).