(Last Updated on : 28/08/2014)
The founder and Artistic Director of Kalaanjali, LLC, is Meenakshi Ganesan. The institution Kalaanjali is situated in Madison, Wisconsin. Guru Smt. Prema Nagasundaram was the first guru under whose tutelage Meenakshi started learning the art of Bharathanatyam at the tender age of 6. Thus she started her school of performing art, The Kalaanjali School of Dance and Music, with the blessings and Grace of Smt. Prema Nagasundaram.
At the tender age of 13 years, Meenakshi performed her arengetram (dance debut). Throughout her professional career, she has won tons of awards and gold medals for her performances in both Bharathanatyam and Folk Dances held in Mumbai (Bombay) and Kolkatta (Calcutta), India. The Ministry of Education in the year1996 conferred the high-status title of Nritya Mayuri ("Dancing Peacock") to Meenakshi. Meenakshi Ganesan also has a firm foundation in the Natyashastras. Even today she continues to study the Natyashastras and teaches her students. The extremely applauded Vishaarad Degree in Bharatanatyam has also bagged by Meenakshi.
Meenakshi during her training days used to live in her Guru's household. So she had to perform especially a stringent training during those days that would ultimately solidify the base of Meenakshi on Bharatnatyam. For the past 18 years, Meenakshi has been performing Bharathanatyam and Indian folk dances. She has been teaching this art for the past 11 years successfully. All the way through her dancing career, Meenakshi has given over 250 public performances to her credit. Fifty excellent performances in the U.S.A are also included in the list.
At several festivals and gatherings in the local Indian community her students in Madison, Wisconsin, relentlessly give performances. Hundreds of Bharatanatyam, semi-classical, and folk dances have been choreographed by Meenakshi.
Apart from her solo and group performances, Meenakshi has bagged the credit of performing at prestigious events such as the United States Mayors Conference, the Grand Opening Ceremony of the Overture Center in Madison-WI. In well-heralded dance ballet groups like Mukti and Basant Bahaar, she has also carried out major roles. On Bharatanatyam, Meenakshi many times at short intervals gives lecture and demonstrations. Most recently she has demonstrated lecture at the University of Wisconsin -Madison. She has been reckoned as a proficient dancer in Nattuvangam. It is the art of using 'a pair of cymbals to generate the rhythmic sounds in synchronization with the dancer's feet while mouthing the intricate cholla (pure dance words)'. Meenakshi's proficiency in Indian Carnatic Classical music, apart from dance, is definitely inspirable one. Her quality is best explored with the devotional songs and bhajans. A very active member of various Indian organizations, Meenakshi currently trains numerous Bharatanatyam, semi-classical, and folk dance students.
Meenakshi has proven over the years, to be not just an emblematic performer, but also an excellent teacher of dance. Her students and their parents therefore idolize Meenakshi as a role model. Meenakshi as an active member of various local community and non-profit organizations, has held the position in executive committee, as 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).