The Abhinaya Dance Company of San Jose was founded by its Artistic Director Mythili Kumar in 1980, to present innovative and professional quality performances of South Indian classical dance forms. Since 1986, Abhinaya has staged several full-length dance dramas choreographed by Mythili Kumar, such as Shiva – the Cosmic Dancer (1986), to Jwala – the Immortal Flame (2011), Gandhi ( 2012), and the recently acclaimed Arjuna (2014). Abhinaya has been awarded several grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and from state and city agencies. The company has collaborated with Kathak and modern dance companies, Japanese Taiko drummers, ShadowLight Theater, and a Balinese gamelan ensemble. The company has appeared several times in the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival and in several different Asian Performing Arts Festivals. Abhinaya dancers have toured India as well as several U.S. cities.
Abhinaya currently offers classes in San Jose and Monte Sereno. Over 130 students have graduated from Abhinaya with their solo debut (arangetram) performances.