Dr. Kamini Rao's Master Class
Vani Ganapathy is an Indian Classical Dancer, practitioner and trainer of Bharatanatyam, a classical dance form that originated in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. She treaded into the world of classical dance at the age of four. Born to parents Ganapathy K. V. and Indubala Ganapathy, popularly known as Balamami, Vani and her sister Meera Ganapathy Dhanu, a classical dancer, was raised in a household encouraging creative pursuits. With enormous dedication, she has played an integral part in this dance forms rise to international recognition. She trained under Guru Mahalingam Pillai, Guru Govindaraja Pillai and Guru Kalyanasundaram. Vani completed her education at Sophia college in Mumbai, which would often conduct cultural programs where she would be an integral part. A recipient of the Excellence Award from MG Ramachandran, ex-Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Vani founded Sanchari, her dance school in 1994 and has been training numerous students since then and in the process, she has played a pivotal role in securing this dance form. Know more about her and what made her extraordinary in this episode, streaming now!
“It was my mother’s passion.”
Passion powers determination and creativity; and when it is your mother’s passion combined with your interest, nothing can beat great accomplishments. It was Vani’s mother Mrs. Indubala Ganapathy, a renowned vocalist for classical dance who introduced her to Bharatanatyam. Vani, under the initial tutelage of Guru T. A. Rajalakshmi, performed her ‘Arangetram’ (debut on-stage performance) at the age of seven barely three years after rigorous training. Soon after her family moved to Bombay, presently Mumbai; she and her sister Meera trained under Kalaimamani Gurus Mahalingam Pillai, Govindaraja Pillai and Kalyanasundaram.
“Every weekend I would be travelling with my sister Meera for performances. As Vani and Meera we travelled South, North, Maharashtra…”
The elegant and eye-catching performances by the sister duo ‘Vani and Meera’ was a massive hit and the audiences were awestruck with their stage presence. The act was choreographed by Guru Kalyan Sundaram and the vocals were supported by their mother. The tremendous popularity of ‘Vani and Meera’ made them feature in almost all events including ‘National Integration through Dance’. They would often perform at Raj Bhavan for several dignitaries in presence of four Gurus: Pandit Birju Maharaj for Kathak, Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra for Oddisi, Guru Vempati Chinna Satyam for Kuchipudi and Guru Kalyanasundaram Pillai for Bharatanatyam.
Dr. Kamini rightly used the phrase while introducing her in this episode: “To watch her dance is to hear our hearts speak.”
“I drowned myself into it to the extent that nothing else matters.
Ever since then, there has been no looking back for my dance.”
The enchanted meeting
“By the time we started shooting, halfway through the song, Kamal just went and asked my mother that I would like to marry her.”
Bharatanatyam exponent Vani Ganapathy, married actor Kamal Hassan in 1978 after their four years of relationship. The marriage lasted for almost a decade.
“In my opinion, it was a very beautiful marriage. It lasted for that many years, and when it didn’t last… I guess that’s how life is.”
Separations are painful, but people can indeed maintain a warm and loving relationship with their in-laws after aching detachment, and Vani in this interview evinced the same. Even after their divorce, she maintains a cordial relation with his family and addresses them with gratitude. She accurately states: “In India, we don’t marry the person. We marry the family.”
Kinfolk and more
“Other than my family and extended family the third most beautiful aspect of my life are my friends. I have almost two-fifth full of friends that I can count.”
We all must have come across the saying: One true friend is better than a hundred relatives; but in Vani’s case she has a family, an extended family and a handful of friends, who are a real blessing in her life. What makes friendship such a great lifeline for every individual? Watch her speak in this episode of ‘Dr. Kamini Rao’s Master Class.’
“Interior is an extension of my creative side.”
Watch this exciting session of Vani Ganapathy with Dr Kamini Rao in her Master Class where she further describes her creative side and Gombe Habba (festival of dolls), which she celebrates every year as a social event. She has an important message for the viewers, so watch this episode now!
With the first few chapters, we have seen some legendary speakers like Dr Ferzaan Engineer, Co-founder and Chairman of Cytecare Hospitals, Dr Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairman, Biocon, Academician Dr Gururaj Karajagi, Director of Academy of Creative Teaching, Vasanthi Hariprakash, founder of Pickle Jar Media and Former IGP Gopal Hosur. Stay Tuned for more enlightening episodes!
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