Dance artist, Joanna Meinl, began her career in 1990 at Ballet Etudes in Miami, FL, training and performing in ballet, jazz and hip-hop. She went on to study anthropology and world dance at the prestigious New York University.
Upon moving to California in 1995, she was introduced to the enthralling art of Kathak at San Francisco State University. Here she earned her B.A. in Performance/Choreography & Dance Ethnology, but more importantly began what evolved into a 20 year journey studying with legendary master artist, Pandit Chitresh Das.
As a performing member of the acclaimed Chitresh Das Dance Company (CDDC) since 1998 Joanna has toured both nationally and internationally, including three tours of India. She trained as a soloist with Guruji and presented her first traditional kathak solo in 2005. Joanna has performed in many Company productions including Darbar, Pancha Jati, Sampurnam, Shabd and Sita Haran.
As a member of CDDC she has been nominated for an Isadora Duncan Dance Award for best Company performance of the year.
Joanna is also an exceptional dance instructor and avid arts educator. She has taught and performed kathak, as well as ballet, modern and ballroom dance in schools and arts programs throughout the Bay Area for over 15 years. Joanna has been an instructor at the Chhandam School since 1999, was the Union City Branch Director from 2002-06, San Jose Branch Director in 2009 and Arts Education Program Director for CDDC from 2007-10.
Joanna is currently cast in Pandit Das’ final choreography, Shiva, to be performed at Cal Performances in February 2016. She is honored to continue her Guruji’s legacy as a kathak dancer and educator.