At an age when little children play with toys and in parks, Vani began her journey with classical dance. She was four years old and it was her mother who inculcated her into this art form. Vaniís training began with Guru T. A. Rajalakshmi in Calcutta and in three years she performed her arangetram, her first public performance at the age of seven. From there on the art form took a special place in her life, inseparable and supportive.
In some years, her parents moved to Bombay and Vani had to shift her training too under nattuvanars of the same bani (tradition) Gurus Mahalingam Pillai, Govindaraja Pillai and Kalyanasundaram. This was the time when Vani performed in duet with her sister Meera and both stormed the world of dance with their vivacious and emotive performances. Vani & Meera were featured in all the big events and festivals of those times. The combination of Vani & Meera, their mother Indubala Ganapathyís vocal support and of course Guru Kalyanasundaramís intricate choreography set the stage on fire and had audiences mesmerized. The dancing duo were often asked to perform at the Raj Bhavan in Bombay for every foreign or Indian dignitary who visited.
In the mid seventies Vani presented a T.V. Serial for Doordarshan on the 4 main classical idioms of dance called "THE RICH HERITAGE" under the young world programme. This programme was Doordarshan's entry at the BLUE DANUBE FESTIVAL in Europe and was later telecast by B.B.C.
Vani moved to Chennai the mecca for Bharata Natyam, Vaniís performances increased vastly here giving her the opportunity to carve a niche in the world of Bharata Natyam prominently. Vaniís stint as a solo dancer began only in 1986. Around this time she moved to Bangalore, this move made her re-work on her dance and choreography and she took centre stage with grace and conviction.
VANI GANAPATHY is amongst the top Bharata Natyam Dancers of India today. Vani has danced all over the country and abroad including Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Japan, Nepal, Berlin, Stockholm, London, Geneva, Turin, Middle East and many countries including America. She has performed for many important dignitaries from Indian and abroad.
Vani feels that dancing demands the most arduous discipline and to perform it with dedication and involvement is a great responsibility. Vani enjoys her dancing and for her the greatest wonder of life is the spirit of dance.
Vani runs a dance institution under the name 'SANCHARI' where she herself trains a lot of enthusiastic and dedicated youngsters.
Vani had a stint at character make-up in Los Angeles for over three months to train under the famous Mike Westmore for Prosthetic Make Up(Character Make up). Not only dance colleagues but even those who appreciate her sense of aesthetics always make it a point to praise her Make Up techniques that are subtle yet effective on stage.
Vaniís other interests:
Vani has a profound interest in interior decoration, where she has been a remarkable success in the last few years.
Vani has been on the Censor Board Committee and the Doordarshan Committee for three years.
Vani has also been on the Jury of the Indian Panorama for the International Film Festival.
Vani in her own small way contributes to the less fortunate in this World by doing some work for them and with them - likes the Spastics, the Disabled, the Blind and other needy organizations
Helpage India, Pro-vision Asia, Spastic Society of India and others.
Meera Ganapathy Dhanu ( Vani's Dancing Partner ):
She had the privilege of learning dance from Kalaimamani Guru Govindaraja Pillai, Kalaimamani Guru Mahalingam Pillai, and Kalaimamani Guru Kalyana Sundaram. Along with her sister, the famed Vani Ganapathy, she performed in India and abroad. Her performances in the presence of The King and Queen of Nepal, The President and Prime Minister of Romania, Bharat Ratna M. S. Subbulakshmi and at the seventy-fifth birthday of Satya Sai Baba have always rendered accolade to her.
Her Latest achievements performing in Kalidas Mahotsav-Nagpur, Akhil Bharatiya Sahitya Sammelan, Thyagaraja Festival - Delhi, in the presence of the Ex-President of India Abdul Kalam and at the Diamond Jubilee, of the school, from where she started her first dance lesson. She has now established a Bharatya Natyam Academy 'Nritya Sharada' in Nashik.