Anjani Ambegaokar came to the United States in 1967 from her native India and has since become the most well known dancer, choreographer, and educator of Kathak in the nation. Kathak, a popular but very complex form of North Indian dance with a 4,000-year history, tells stories of ancient mythology incorporating fast tempo barefoot rhythms with ankle bells and distinctive, graceful hand gestures and facial expressions. Anjani began her training in Kathak dance over fifty years ago, studying with the great master teacher Guru Pandit Sundarlaljee Gangani in India. She also holds an M.A. degree in Kathak dance from the M.S. University of Baroda, India.
Her school, the Sundar Kala Kandra Dance School, has trained hundreds of dancers, while her company, Anjani's Kathak Dance of India, has performed around the world. Anjani trained her daughter, Amrapali, now the principal dancer of her company who recently performed as the lead dancer in the Cirque du Soleil's touring production Dralion. Anjani has also taught at universities, offering seminars such as the "Landscape of Mathematics," demonstrating how Kathak rhythms can be applied to understanding mathematical theories. She says, "I want to continue to develop myself as a complete artist, with open mind and deep rooted tradition, to support my dreams of taking Kathak dance to new heights and making it accessible to all audiences in the United States and worldwide."
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