Rasika Kumar is the daughter of Mythili Kumar and has been her student since 1987, performing her arangetram in 1996. As a member and later president of Natya, MIT’s classical dance club, Rasika organized, choreographed, and performed in various events in the greater Boston area. Rasika spent the fall of 2004 living and training in Chennai, India, studying under Padmabhushan Kalanidhi Narayanan and Sri C.V. Chandrasekar, and performed in the annual Chennai music and dance festival to critical acclaim. Since 2005, Rasika has been a featured soloist and a choreographer for many of Abhinaya’s productions (2005 – present). “Varsha: the Rainy Season,” jointly choreographed by Rasika Kumar and Mythili Kumar and performed by members of Abhinaya, was chosen to be performed at the 2007 Ethnic Dance Festival and also received an award and commission for the 2008 Festival. Rasika has been selected to perform her solo choreography for sjDANCEco’s Annual ChoreoProject Award both in 2007, 2008, and 2010 and for the WestWave Dance Festival at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in 2008. She is also the recipient of the Arts Council of Silicon Valley Performing Arts Fellowship for 2008. Rasika’s collaborative work with Franco Imperial (Artistic Director of San Jose Taiko), presented at Abhinaya’s 30th anniversary garnered an Isadora Duncan award in March 2011 and was selected to be performed in the 2011 Ethnic Dance Festival. Rasika currently resides in the Bay Area and works as a software engineer at Google, Inc while actively pursuing the dance form and developing as a solo artist and choreographer.
Visit Rasika’s website: http://www.rasikakumar.com/
Malavika Kumar is the daughter of Mythili Kumar and has been her student since 1990. She has performed in many of Abhinaya Dance Company’s productions in the Bay Area since 1992, and has toured with the company to India and around the U.S.A. She performed her arangetram in July 1998 and since then has been dancing regularly in Abhinaya’s productions, with key roles in Divya Naama Anjali (2002), There Once Was a Princess (2002), Timeless Traditions (2004), and Radha Madhavam (2005). She also helps to teach classes for Abhinaya, including coaching students towards their arangetrams. Since 2006, she has choreographed solo items for arangetrams and has recently choreographed group pieces for company performances. In addition to dancing, Malavika has been performing nattuvangam for the company since 2000, as well as on tour both in India and around the U.S. In a 2004 performance in Chennai, she was lauded by a critic as ‘the star of the show’ for her ‘precise, well-intoned nattuvangam’. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from UC Berkeley in 2007 and her Juris Doctorate in Law from UC Davis in 2010, and currently works as an attorney in the Bay Area.
Anjana Dasu has been learning Bharatanatyam under the tutelage of Smt. Mythili Kumar for over ten years and performed her arangetram in October 2005. Since then, and all through her undergraduate years, she has performed in several Abhinaya productions and toured with the company to New York, New Jersey, Los Angeles, Utah, and Missouri. Additionally, she has danced with the company at the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival in 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011. Critics have praised her as “exquisite” and “a nuanced dancer with glowing stage presence.” She was awarded the first prize in the Papanasam Sivan competition held in 2008 and gave a solo concert under the auspices of Yuva Bharati in February 2009. She has also choreographed a piece presented at the annual Yuva Bharati Kalpana concert. She continues to teach classes for Abhinaya Dance Company. She recently received her bachelor’s degree in computer science from UC Berkeley and currently works as a project analyst at VMware.
Anu Ranganathan has been learning Bharatanatyam from Smt. Mythili Kumar since the age of 5 and performed her Arangetram in 2003. She has performed in many of Abhinaya Dance Companya’s productions and has also toured with the company. Anu’s role as Shiva in Jnana Ganga, a fundraiser for Chinmaya Mission’s New Building Project, received wide acclaim from the bay area community. During her undergraduate years at UC Davis, Anu helped found the Bharatanatyam dance group- Apsaras and choreographed classical/fusion pieces for the annual South Asian Student Organization’s cultural shows from 2006-2008. Her choreography and collaboration with Kathak dancers was well received by the UC Davis community. She continues to teach classes for Abhinaya Dance Company. Anu enjoys playing veena, keyboard, and Carnatic vocal music. Anu obtained her Masters degree from the University of Southern California and currently teaches science in the Cupertino Union School District.
Sindhu Natarajan has been learning Bharatanatyam from Smt. Mythili Kumar since the age of 6 and performed her Arangetram in 2003. She has performed in many of Abhinaya Dance Companya’s productions, and has toured with the company to St. Louis and Los Angeles. Sindhu has also trained in Carnatic music and given several solo concerts. She had her initial training from her Grandfather, Shri. P.V. Natarajan and her aunt Smt. Vasanthi Kannan, and advanced training under her other aunt, Smt. Raji Gopalakrishnan, an acclaimed musician in Chennai. She recently provided the vocal accompaniment for three arangetrams conducted for Abhinaya Dance Company’s students. Since her graduation from UC Davis, Sindhu now lives in San Jose where she is pursuing further studies in the field of Education.
Yatrika Ajaya began learning Bharatanatyam under Smt. Mythili Kumar at the age of 6 and performed her arangetram in August 2007. She has actively participated in Abhinaya productions, and has toured with the company to New York, St. Louis, and Los Angeles. She has also participated in many community and temple events and regularly performed at Abhinaya Dance Company’s lecture demonstrations in Bay Area public schools. She has been teaching dance classes for Abhinaya since 2005. Yatrika has had training in Carnatic vocal music under Smt. Jayashree Varadarajan for twelve years. She resides in San Jose and is a student at UC Berkeley.
Lakshmi Venkatesan learned Bharathanatyam for the past ten years from Smt. Mythili Kumar, and performed her arangetram in May 2005. She has participated in several Abhinaya’s dance productions since her arangetram. Most recently she performed in Abhinaya’s 2008 fall production Rivers- A mystical Journey. In addition, she has performed Bharathanatyam pieces for various local community and non-profit organizations and events, schools, and temples. She also teaches classes for Abhinaya.