Dr. Janaki Rangarajan started learning Bharatanatyam at the age of 4 from Smt. Madhavi Chandrasekhar in Trichy, India. When her family moved to Chennai at the age of 7, Janaki was put under the direct tutelage of Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam at Nrithyodaya.
When she was only 15 years old, Janaki was promoted by Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam to the rank of Nrithyodaya's faculty and went on to teach scores of students for the next 8 years.
Janaki had the distinction of being the youngest of Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam's students to be featured in the television series on the Natyasastra that was aired on India's national channel, Door Darshan. Several of Janaki's photographs were included in Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam's three-volume treatise, "Karanas - Common Dance Codes of India and Indonesia."
During her years with Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam, Janaki performed in numerous solo and group programs all over India and Thailand. Janaki performed in lead roles along with Dr. Padma in various dance dramas such as Sri Gurave Namaha, Paavai Nonbu, Vande Maataram and Meenakshi Kalyanam. Janaki appears in the clips of Paavai Nonbu and Thiruvempavai released by Door Darshan in their DVDs on Bharatanatyam. Janaki also appears in the DVD, "When Gods Dance - Volume 7," along with Dr. Padma and other Nrithyodaya dancers.
Letter of recommendation from Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam
Janaki had the honor of receiving the prestigious "Nadanamamani - Shriram Award of Excellence" of Kartik Fine Arts and “Vasanthalakshmi - Narasimhachari Award” of the Narada Gana Sabha from the renowned dancer, Smt. Dr. Vyjayanthi Mala Bali, and was selected as a graded artist for Door Darshan. Janaki is an "Empanelled Artiste" of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). Janaki is also a member of the Association of Bharatanatyam Artistes of India (ABHAI).
Janaki was trained in Carnatic vocal and veena music under the tutelage of Smt. Kamala Viswanathan and has received advanced vocal training with Sri. D.K. Nagarajan, younger brother of Smt. D.K. Pattamal and D.K. Jayaraman.
Janaki came to the United States to pursue her PhD and eventually settled in Virginia with her husband and daughter. She started Nritya Niketan to promote her love for Bharatanatyam and Indian cultural arts. In addition to her Bharatanatyam teaching, Janaki has been involved in the local arts scene by being a member of the Indian Dance Educators Association (IDEA) and holding the office of Secretary for a term. Janaki has also been the Chairperson of the Young Upcoming Artists Forum and, during her tenure, spearheaded a successful dance festival showcasing various classical Indian dance forms. Janaki has also been invited to judge dance competitions.
In addition to performing and giving lecture/demonstrations locally in the Washington, DC area and elsewhere in the United States, Janaki returns to India each year to participate in Chennai's prestigious "December Season" for music and dance.
Janaki is a gifted dance choreographer and has choreographed numerous Bharatanatyam pieces including varnams, pushpanjalis, jathiswarams and thillanas.
Some of the highlights in Janaki's dancing career include:
Arangetram in 1993 (Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Chennai)