B i o g r a p h y

Vani at 2014 Annual Day
Vani at 2014 Annual Day

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With the honorary Ambassador of India Dr. Mrs. Nirupama Rao & Mrs. Bragha Bessell

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With Dr. Sunil Kothari noted Indian dance historian, scholar and critic

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Vani at 2014 Annual Day
Vani at 2014 Annual Day

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Vani Ramesh comes from a family of musicians. She had her initial training in Mysore style from Sri. T.N. Somashekar and later on went under the tutelage of Natyacharya K. Muralidhar Rao, a disciple of Sri. Chokkalingam Pillai and Sri. Rajaratnam of Pandanallur style.

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Through intense training from her Guru, Vani secured First Rank in the statewide Vidwat examination. She holds a Masters degree in Arts from Mysore University and was the recipient of Gold Medal in South Indian Studies. Vani also has received vocal training from Guru Smt. Usha Char after moving to the US.

Vani has performed extensively across India and the US. She has also conducted several workshops and Lecture-Demonstrations on various Bharatnatyam topics such as Rasanubhava, Abhinaya Darpana, Natya, and Bhakti Traya. Vani is also an accomplished choreographer and has choreographed many dance dramas to much critical acclaim like Sri Rama Charita, Punyakoti, Kama dahana, Dashavatara, Navarasa, Sri Purandhara Dasaru, Degulagala Aisiri Namma Karunadu. Vani has also performed in dramas and was awarded as the best actor for her role in the drama Kisa Gautami by Mysore University.

Vani has been invited to serve as a judge for dance competitions and as a dance examiner on many occasions both in India and the US. She has served as an examiner for the dance examinations conducted by the Karnataka state education board and has been certified as a Bharatanatyam dance examiner for exams conducted in America by Pune-based Bharati Vidyapeeth University. Vani has organized and conducted several cultural programs for Temples & festivals in the Indian community. She has served as treasurer of Bharatiya Nritya Kala Parishat in India and from 2008 to 2010 Vani served as a Board member of the Indian Dance Educators Association (IDEA) and still remains an active member. From the year 1995-1999 academic years, Vani was invited by Guilford County public schools to talk about Indian Arts & Culture in Elementary schools. Vani was also the chairperson of the dance committee for the 4th World Kannada Conference held in Baltimore, MD.

Throughout her career, Vani has received numerous awards and honors. Vani was awarded and honored by Vasundhara Performing Arts in Mysore, India and the Sri. Thyagaraja Sangeetha Sabha & Nritya Kala Parishad in Karnataka for preserving and propagating the art of Bharatanatyam in the United States. Vani has been chosen as the best dance choreographer in the DC area by the Kaveri Kannada Association in 2006, 2010 & 2019. Vani was also recognized by the Obama administration for her community service as a dance teacher and propagator of the arts in the U.S. Recently, Vani was interviewed by a local Web TV cast called “Dhirana Movement” to talk about her teaching experience in America. She was nominated as a member of International Dance Council which is under the umbrella of UNESCO.

At present, Vani resides in Northern Virginia and has been the director of “Srishti School of Dance” for the past 25 years, training many students in the Bharatanatyam art form. She and her students have successfully performed at many prestigious events and venues in the US – Alabama, Chicago, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia & Washington DC as well as Bengaluru, Chennai, Guruvayoor, Hyderabad & Mysuru in India. U.S. Department of State, the Virginia State Democratic Party, the Indian Embassy, the National Cherry Blossom Festival, and the Wolf Trap festival, to name a few mentionable venues and events locally. Her students have also performed to benefit several charities and raise funds for noble causes such as the Clinton Bush Haiti fund, SOS children’s Village, Charity Waters, St. Jude’s Childrens Hospital, Edugirls, Youcanfreeus, and Planned Parenthood of Washington, DC.