Anita Menon is a director and choreographer who is recognized as one of the leading exponents of Bharatanatyam, a classical dance form originating in Southern India. Anita is the recipient of the prestigious Performing Arts Fellowship in 2014 from the Regional Arts and Culture Council, the first Asian-American to receive this honor.
As the Founder and former Artistic Director of the Anjali School of Dance, her classical yet inventive approach, creates an exceptional style that is distinct, meaningful and appealing to diverse audiences around the world.
Besides choreographing dances with strong women role models including Jhansi Ki Rani, Meerabhai and Chitrangadha, her passion has been to choreograph Western stories through Indian dance including Red Riding Hood, Pegasus and Wizard of Oz. Anita has directed theatrical productions that are Indian adaptations of Classical Western plays including Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream as well as Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot murder mystery “Death on the Nile” titled Murder on the Ganges. Her productions are known for their big dance numbers using several styles of dance including Indian folk, Ballet, HipHop, Jazz and Bollywood. A video montage of her work can be seen here.
She co-directed "The Jungle Book" at Northwest Children’s Theater MainStage (2014-2015 season) which subsequently went onto have the best ticket sales in the theater's history for that time slot. The Jungle Book also received four Portland Area Musical Theater Award nominations. She also co-directed "Chitra: The Girl Prince" (2017-2018 season) that went onto receive several PAMTA and Drammy nominations and wins. She has been invited yet again to collaborate to create a new production titled "Tenali: The Royal Trickster" which opens in March 2019.
As a dancer, Anita has traveled the world delivering performances in the United States, India, France, United Kingdom, Malaysia and Singapore. Anita served on several arts council boards (at the local, county and regional level). She recently moved to the Sacramento area and serves on the Arts Council of Placer County. She is also looking to connect with local artists and arts organizations.