For further information or to inquire about classes in the Boston area with Anandini, please visit the Vidyanjali website.
Anandini Chandra Sekhar has been trained in the traditional Thanjavur style of Bharata Natyam since the age of two. She was trained primarily by her mother, the world-renowned dancer Sudha Chandrasekhar (formerly Doraiswamy), the Founder and Artistic Director of Hindu Temple Rhythms (HTR) – Metro Detroit’s foremost Indian Classical Arts organization. Anandini also had the opportunity during her formative years to train under Sudha’s own gurus, Guru T.K. Mahalingam Pillai, Smt. Karunambal Pillai and Guru K. Kalyanasundaram Pillai of Sri Rajarajeshwari Bharata Natya Kalamandir of Mumbai, India.
After completing her arangetram under her mother’s tutelage in 1994, Anandini began assistant teaching for the Hindu Temple Rhythms dance school while simultaneously serving as a principal dancer for the Vidyanjali Dance Troupe of Michigan. She began teaching private and small group Bharata Natyam classes in Michigan full-time after graduating from college in 1999. She also co-founded an organization named “SAADHANAI” at University of Michigan, which seeks to preserve and promote traditional art forms by bringing master teachers to the university campus to teach intensive seminars. Anandini went on to teach Beginner and Intermediate Bharata Natyam levels in Chicago, New York City and Boston.
In 2002 Anandini was amongst the ten selected dancers to take part in Michigan Opera Theatre’s production of the French opera LAKME, which was choreographed in Bharata Natyam by Sudha Chandrasekhar. In 2003, Anandini co-founded RASA DANCE COMPANY – a Bharata Natyam touring company. Together with her friends Shalini Ravindran (student of Smt. Chitra Vishweshwaran) and Aparna Srinivasan (student of Guru Mahalingam Pillai and Guru Kalyanasundaram Pillai), she performed all over Chicagoland, in the Metro-Detroit area, and in Shreveport, Louisiana. In 2006, Anandini was selected to perform the role of “Autumn” in Smt. Shoba Natarajan and Samskriti Foundation’s premiere production of SURYAKANTHA: Beloved of the Sun. More recently, she has participated in three productions by Madurai R. Muralidharan (Sivagamiyin Sabadam, Avatara Purushan and Yadhava Madhava) as part of New England’s annual Vision-Aid fundraiser along with several of her students. In spring of 2019 she presented RASA: An Exploration of Indian Classical Dance in conjunction with Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts as a part of their Dance Saturdays series. This performance, featuring Guru Sudha Chandra Sekhar presiding over the live orchestra and teaching a live abhinaya segment, was an introduction to classical dances of India for ballet-going audiences.
Anandini also has trained in several other dance styles under various artists, including Kuchipudi (Sudha Chandrasekhar), Kathak (Sudha and Vidya Chandrasekhar and Sandeep Mahavir), Mohini Attam (Sudha Chandrasekhar and Radha Dutta), Ballet (Roberta Campion, Vladimir Angelov and Rose Marie Floyd), Tap and Jazz (Roberta Campion), Modern Dance (Naima Prevots and Anne Donahue), and Congolese Dance (Biza Sompa). She was also known in her younger years for her choreography of light/Bollywood dance numbers, and previously taught Zumba-style Bollywood exercise classes as well as Bharata Natyam.
Anandini currently runs the Vidyanjali Dance School of New England, conducting Bharata Natyam classes in Newton and Burlington, Massachusetts. Her students have performed at numerous festivals and functions around the Greater Boston area, including the Dance for World Community festival by Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre in Cambridge, The United India Association’s Diwali functions in Newton, and the Nrityanjali Festival in Bellingham. Classes are offered via Zoom and in Newton, Massachusetts from beginner to adult/advanced levels.
Initially introduced to Carnatic vocal music by Sudha Chandrasekhar and her sister Vidya Chandrasekhar, Anandini also trained under Smt. Bhanumati Chari in her early years. She spent a number of years developing her vocals in the Western style and was actively involved in musical theatre during her high school years. She also was lead keyboardist and back-up vocalist for Ishara – a Hindi movie music band, and Ragamalika, a Tamil music band. During college, Anandini began performing as lead female vocalist with local light/film music bands such as India Jam in Metro D.C. and North Carolina, and Ishara and Umang in Metro Detroit. Anandini continued her training in Carnatic vocal music under Smt. Nivedita Shivraj of Ragachitra Foundation, Queens, NY from 2006-2008. After moving to Boston she trained in Carnatic vocal music with Smt. Deepti Navaratna. Anandini was featured in India New England’s feature on ‘Singing Stars’ in December 2012 and and as one of the 2021 ‘Women Who Win‘. She currently is a keyboardist and vocalist with the popular New England based Bollywood Band ‘Din Check‘.
You can listen to some of her musical projects on her SoundCloud page.