Respected Gurus
My Respected Gurus :

Guru T A Rajalakshmi: One of the legendary “Kalyani sisters” Guru Rajalakshmi settled in Calcutta to spread the form of Bharata Natyam, amongst her foremost disciples are Chitra Visweswaran and Vani Ganapathy.

Guru Govindaraja Pillai
The son-in-law of the venerable Guru Kuppiah Pillai, It was Govindaraja Pillai and his wife Karunambal who moved to Bombay in 1945 and started the Rajarajeshwari Bharata Natya Kala Mandir. He along with Guru Mahalingam Pillai trained many popular performers.

Guru Mahalingam Pillai
One of the doyens of nattuvanars who worked relentlessly for over 70 years to propagate and popularize Bharata Natyam not only in india but also across the globe. Guru Mahalingam Pillai trained a vast number of performers amongst who are Travancore sisters – Padmini, Lalitha and Ragini, Gopi Krishna, Damayanti Joshi, and many film stars of yester years. Vani & Meera were trained by this great guru.

Guru Kalyanasundaram
The youngest descendent of the legendary Guru Kuppiah Pillai, Guru Kalyanasundaram carved a niche for himself in the Nattuvanars list. His modern thought process, dramatic abhinaya, intricate and exciting Nritta choreography made him the most sought after gurus in recent times. He has a long list of star disciples. Guru Kalyanasundaram’s ballet presentations have been appreciated widely. Awards and accolades like the Kalaimamani, the Sangeet Natak Akademi award, Natya Ratna etc adorn his mantle.

Smt. Indubala Ganapathy
Smt. Indubala Ganapathy was a well known vocalist for dance and the backbone singer for most Raja Rajeshwari Bharata Natya Kala Mandir disciples. Bala mami as she was fondly known by everyone, was not just a singer, her renditions would move one to tears many a time. Her music came from her heart and conveyed every emotion that the dancer endeavoured to perform on the stage. It was indeed a blessing for Vani & Meera that their dance had Indubala Ganapathy. As a mother she devoted her entire life not only bringing up and grooming the girls but also added inexplicable and unparalleled value to their dance. There are so many items that remain etched in one’s mind because of Bala mami’s rendition. Whether it was a traditional Varnam of the Tanjore Quartette or a Dikshitar krithi or a padam or javali or a meera bhajan, every number she performed with complete devotion and emotion touching every member of the audience and making the performance immemorable.

Vani was fortunate to also learn from the venerable legend Guru Kuppiah Pillai. He taught her some rare and traditional items. He was very fond of Vani and taught her with great amount of affection, infact he lightheartedly warned her that she must retain the traditionalism of the items and not change his choreography.

It was Kalanidhi Narayanan, the well known abhinaya expert who honed Vani’s presentation and portrayal of Abhinaya from ‘just expression’ to a realm that was indepth and intense in delineation.
Vani Ganapathy
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