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.
She has adapted the art form for the next generation of dancers through her innovation and experimentation with contemporary choreographic works including dances on 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 dances blending Bharatanatyam and yoga.
Anita has recently been awarded a grant by the Regional Arts and Culture Council to present Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” through dance. Anita is also an active volunteer board member of the Cultural Coalition of Washington County.
Sowmini Sengupta studied Bharatanatyam at the Kalasagara Academy of Fine Arts and completed her Arangetram at the age of 10 under the tutelage of Mrs. Malathy Thothadri and Mrs. Usha Raghavan. She has given performances in Chennai at various community and university organized programs. She continues to nurture her passion for dance by learning under Mrs. Anita Menon at the Anjali School of Dance for the last 7 years.
Sowmini is currently the Director of Programs at the Anjali School of Dance. As a staff member, she has choreographed items for several group performances by Anjali School of Dance at local Portland cultural events.
Sowmini also studied Carnatic classical music under the tutelage of Mrs. Sarada Mani for 5 years in Chennai, she continues to learn under Archana Mungara at the Geethanjali school of music. Sowmini is a Principal Engineer at Intel Corporation.
Meera Kanagal started learning Bharathanatyam under the tutelage of late Smt. Sringaramani Padmini Rao. Encouragement from family saw her performing in the school productions as well as other performance in and aroundBangalore. She performed her Arangetram in 1988 and has had the opportunity to perform for various occasions inKarnataka and Tamil Nadu in India. She also had the opportunity to learn from Smt. Nandini Eshwar in Mysore.
Meera had a couple of opportunities to dance at Barsanadham in Austin, TX for functions conducted by the Ashram. Apart from Bharathanatyam, she also choreographed and performed peacock dance with the ashram girls.
While living in Fort Collins, CO, she participated in a week long cultural workshop called ‘Kaleidoscope’ conducted by Canyon Concert Ballet. This workshop was conducted to expose ballet students to other dance forms of the world. Here, Meera taught Bharathanatyam and Indian folk dance to the students and also performed in their culminating program of the workshop. As part of the International Education for a charter school in Fort Collins, Meeraperformed Bharathanatyam and choreographed/participated with a team in 4-5 folk dances from various parts of India.
Meera joined Anjali School of Dance in summer of 2008 and has participated in Nrithya Sandhya 2009 and 2010 as a student of the School. In 2010, she also participated in the schools production for AID Portland. She is currently a student of Anita Menon and has been continuing her education in dance in addition to teaching it to beginners.
Apart from dance, Meera is an Accountant currently working for Leupold & Stevens in Beaverton. An active member of Chinmaya Mission in Portland, she volunteers as a BalaVihar Teacher and participates in other activities of the organization.