Anita Menon, Founder and Artistic Director of the Anjali School of Dance, received a 2012 grant award from the Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC) of Oregon for her proposal to present “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” incorporating a variety of dance and music styles not traditionally associated with this Shakespearean classic. The performance will innovate the classical rendering of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” to include a variety of dance styles from India, including Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathak and native folk dances, as well as traditional ballet, classic tap and modern hip hop. The accompanying music will include Western Classical, Indian Folk, Hindustani, Carnatic, Pop, and Bollywood selections.
Anita shares, “I have always had a passion for bringing traditional stories to audiences in a more entertaining way. Adapting and innovating classic tales draws in both older and younger audiences, because it ties great traditional stories to things that are exciting and relevant in our modern lives. I also think in our global society it is impactful to fuse culture and tradition from different international communities.”
About Anita Menon: Anita is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Anjali School of Dance, which she founded in 1996 to impart the ancient art form of Bharatanatyam to students in the Portland area.
Her passion lies in adapting the art form for the next generation of dancers through her innovation and experimentation with contemporary choreographic works, including dances founded in the stories of Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, Pegasus and the Wizard of Oz. Anita has choreographed dances using Western Classical music (such as Beethoven’s 5th symphony), as well as dances blending Bharatanatyam and yoga.