Bharatanatyam is a classical Indian dance form originating in the South Indian temple dance tradition, which combines the arts of the stage, music, poetry, costuming, and rhythm. Bharatanatyam is characterized by graceful movements, intricate footwork, sculpturesque poses, and deep dramatic elements which require years of rigorous training to perfect.
An exponent of the Tanjore style of Bharatanatyam, Vishal Ramani received rigorous training from Guru Mahalingam Pillai of Shri Raja Rajeshwari Bharta Natya Kala Mandir of Mumbai, India. Her guru (teacher) is a descendant of the lineage of Thanjavur Nattuvanars who are credited with keeping alive the traditional dance form during India’s colonization. Vishal performed her dance debut (arangetram) at the age of seven in Podar College, Mumbai, India. She was the first to establish a Bharatanatyam dance school in the San Francisco Bay area in 1977, now known as the Shri Krupa Dance Foundation. She has trained over 1,500 students, graduated over 120 students, and over 70 dance productions have been performed in the Bay Area and abroad under her artistic direction and choreography.
Vishal was a master artist in ACTA’s Apprenticeship Program in 2006 with apprentice Nitya Venkateswaran, and again in 2016 with apprentice Sharanya Balaji.