Performances Past Events

Maya - The Mystery of Krishna

Sunday, July 15, 2012 - 4pm

McAfee Theatre

20300 Herriman Ave, Saratoga, CA See map

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Rasika Kumar presents Maya - The Mystery of Krishna a full length solo production accompanied by esteemed Bay Area musicians Asha Ramesh (vocal), Shanthi Narayan (violin), N. Narayan (mridangam), and Malavika Kumar (nattuvangam). They are joined by G.S. Rajan, a renowned composer and flautist, who will be composing several of the items for this production (

Who is Krishna? Is he a mischievous cowherd, a beguiling leader, or the Supreme Lord? Rasika Kumar will present several episodes from Krishna's life depicting his Lila (divine play) in this world.

Tickets: General: $15; Students: $10. To Purchase: Call Abhinaya Dance Company at (408) 871 - 5959 or online at

Please visit the Facebook page for this event for up to date information.

Nritto: An Evening of North and South Indian Dance

Saturday, March 17, 2012 - 6pm

Smithwick Theater, Foothill College

12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos, 94022See map

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Rasika Kumar and Abhinaya Dance Company present their award-winning choreographic pieces, and Anuradha Nag and Tarangini dancers present their 2011 super-hit excerpts from "Kathak though the Bollywood Lane."

Please visit for more information.

Maanya Sthree - Exceptional Women

Saturday, March 3, 2012 - 5pm

MIT Little Kresge

48 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 See map

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Abhinaya Dance Company of San Jose (Artistic Director, Mythili Kumar) present a thematic production in Bharatanatyam featuring Rasika Kumar (Assoc. Artistic Director), Malavika Kumar, Sindhu Natarajan, Anjana Dasu, Anu Ranganathan, Megha Ranganathan & Anjali Thakkar.

The concert pays homage to Prithvi, Mother Earth, the holy rivers that are compared to the nurturing mother, and the might of the unconquerable Goddess Durga. This is followed by a depiction of women from Hindu mythology such as Sita, Draupadi, and Ahalya who are deemed models for the women of India. Following a true story of a victim of domestic violence, the concert concludes with a call to all women to rise and be strong and fearless.

Please visit the Facebook page for this event for up to date ticket information.

Odissi Performances in International Odissi Festival

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 4pm and

Thursday, December 22, 2011 - 8:30pm

Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya Auditorium

Rabindra Mandap Complex, Bhubaneshwar

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Rasika Kumar performs solo and with members of Guru Shradha at the annual International Odissi Festival in Bhubeshwar

On Wed. Dec 21 @ 4pm, Rasika performs "Srita Kamala," choreographed by Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, and on Thurs. Dec 22 @ 8:30pm, Rasika performs with Guru Shradha in 2 items, both choreographed by Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra

Performance at Hamsadhwani

Sunday, December 18, 2011 - 7pm

Hamsadhwani, Youth Hostel

2nd Ave, Indira Nagar, Adyar, Chennai See map

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Rasika Kumar presents a solo recital as part of Hamsadhwani's annual NRI Festival.

Please visit Hamsadhwani's site for more information.

Performance at Bharat Kalachar

Friday, December 9, 2011 - 5pm

Bharat Kalachar

16 Thirumalai Road, T.Nagar, Chennai 17 See map

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Rasika Kumar presents a solo recital as part of Bharat Kalachar's annual Margazhi Mahotsav (December/January festival).

Please visit Bharat Kalachar's site for the full 2011/2012 Margazhi Mahotsav schedule.

Jwala - The Immortal Flame

Saturday, November 19, 2011 - 6pm

McAfee Theater (Saratoga High School)

20300 Herriman Ave, Saratoga, CA See map

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Abhinaya Dance Company of San Jose presents Jwala - The Immortal Flame. This will be explored through the Hindu concept of fire as the purifier, an unparalleled cause of destruction, and a surprising source of life. Hindu mythology and literature revolve around fire, personified as the god Agni, and its relationship to the human soul and the quest for salvation. Powerful contemporary episodes explore our human need to control and manipulate fire and the ramifications when it proves uncontrollable. Lyrics will be written and chosen for the concert and set to music by award winning composer Asha Ramesh. Choreography will be by the Artistic Director, Mythili Kumar, Principal Dancer and Choreographer, Rasika Kumar, assisted in part by Malavika Kumar.See press release.

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Vivrti Festival 2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011 - 3pm

Gary Soren Smith Center (Ohlone College)

4300 Mission Boulevard, Fremont, CA See map

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Rasika Kumar presents a full solo recital as part of Pallavita's Vivrti 2011 Festival. The festival features world class artists in a three day long festival.

Please visit Pallavita's Vivriti homepage for more information.

Courage - A Fundraiser for Japan Tsunami Relief (Solo Perfomance)


McAfee Theater (Saratoga High School)

20300 Herriman Ave, Saratoga, CA See map

Sunday, July 17 - 4pm

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Rasika solo 7.17.11

Rasika Kumar presents a solo recital to raise funds for victims of the recent devastating tsunami in Japan. The recital will begin with items from the traditional Bharatanatyam repertoire followed by "Courage," a series of inspirational vignettes dedicated to those who have persevered against all odds. Stories are taken from a wide range of sources from ancient Hindu mythology to contemporary human struggles.

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San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival

(6/11, 6/12/11)

Zellerbach Hall

UC Berkeley Campus, CA See map

Saturday, June 11 - 8pm

Sunday, June 12 - 3pm

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Abhinaya Dance Company and San Jose Taiko come together once again for a special presentation of Synergy, conceptualized and choreographed by Rasika Kumar and Franco Imperial (Associate Artistic Director of San Jose Taiko) which premiered at Abhinaya's 30th Anniversary celebrations in August 2010. This piece recently won an Isadora Duncan Award for Achievement in Music/Sound/Text!

Click here to visit the Ethnic Dance Festival website.

Read the review of the performance in the SF Chronicle!

Nachle India 3 -- Varnam


Irvine Barclay Theatre

4242 Campus Dr, Irvine, CA See map

Sunday, April 24, 2011 - 6pm

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Abhinaya Dance Company performs in Nachle India 3 -- Varnam, hosted by Arpana Dance Company with additional performances by Kalanjali Dances of India and Shakti Dance Company. Rasika collaborates with Vidya Sundaram (soloist from Kalanjali Dances of India) to present a fresh portrayal of an episode from the Mahabharata.

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St. Louis Indian Dance Festival


Clayton High School Auditorium

#1 Mark Twain Circle, St. Louis, Missouri See map

Saturday, April 16, 2011 - 6:15pm

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Abhinaya Dance Company travels to St. Louis to participate in the St. Louis Indian Dance Festival. We present several pieces in praise of Lord Vishnu and his incarnations: Venkateswara Pushpanjali, Sundara Kaandam (Episode from the Ramayana), and Gitopadesham (Episode from the Mahabharata).

Visit Abhinaya Dance Company for more info.

See the full schedule of performing artists here.

Martin Luther King Jr Birthday Celebration


Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Novellus Theater

San Francisco, CA

Monday, January 17, 2011 - 12 pm

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Rasika Kumar performed a solo piece celebrating the shared dreams and philosophies of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi on the event of Dr. King's birthday. THe event was organized by the Northern California Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Foundation.



Albert & Janet Schultz Cultural Arts Center

Oshman Family Jewish Community Center

3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto, CA See map

Sunday, October 24, 2010 - 4pm

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Heritage flyer

Abhinaya Dance Company continues its 30th anniversary celebrations with a new collaboration with Gamelan Sekar Jaya, the Bay Area's own Balinese music and dance ensemble. The program begins with performances by members of Abhinaya including a special solo presentation of "Nandanar Charitram" by Mythili Kumar, Artistic Director. Rasika performs "Kaveri Kauvthvam," a special composition by Sri Madurai Muralidharan, choreographed by Rasika. The second half features an exciting collaboration where both groups come together to bring you a dramatic story from the Ramayana.

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Traditions Engaged Festival


Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Forum

Saturday, October 2, 2010 - 10 am

San Francisco, CA

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Rasika Kumar performs solo during the Saturday morning session of the Traditions Engaged Festival organized and hosted by the Chitresh Das Dance Company. Read a review of her performance.

01SJ Biennial: Symbiotic Robotic/Human Ensemble



Friday, September 17, 2010 - 7pm, 9pm

San Jose, CA

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From this article:

"KarmetiK Collective and Abhinaya Dance Company are collaborating on a musical performance where musicians, dancers, and robots perform side by side. This performance follows in the traditions of ancient India, when the arts of dance, drama, and music were fused. Kapur and Bahn are creating a new composition for this performance that will be accompanied by a dance performed and choreographed by the Abhinaya Dance Company."

Bharatanatyam recital by Mythili Kumar and Rasika Kumar


Stafford Civic Center

1415 Constitution Ave, Stafford, TX

Friday, August 27, 2010 - 6pm

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An evening honoring Vedic Heritage presented by Self Enquiry Life Fellowship

Performance by Rasika Kumar with live orchestra:
Malavika Kumar (nattuvangam)
Roopa Mahadevan (vocal)
Ravindra Bharati (mridangam)
Lakshmi Balasubramanya (violin)

Special performance by Mythili Kumar.

Visit the Self Enquiry Life's Fellowship's webxite for more information

Dharma Yuddh


near Salt Lake City, UT

Saturday, August 21, 2010 - 7:30pm

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Solo performance by Rasika Kumar

Presenting four moving episodes from the epic Mahabharata:

The cause of the war...
The enmity between the Pandavas and the Kauravas comes to a head when Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas, is insulted in the court of the Kauravas and they are powerless to help. Then Bheema and Arjuna take terrible oaths that on the battlefield, they would slaughter the Kauravas to avenge Draupadi's humiliation.

In the beginning...
With Lord Krishna as his charioteer, Arjuna arrives on the battlefield. As he faces the Kaurava army, he sees the faces of his elders, revered gurus, uncles, cousins, nephews, and all other relatives. He becomes weak and refuses the fight. Krishna instructs Arjuna thus: "The wise man does not grieve for the dead. Rise, O warrior, and do your duty by fighting without giving thought to the outcome."

Entrenched in the middle...
Karna, the Prince of Anga, has vowed to destroy Arunja in battle. Even as he approaches him on the battlefield, his mind is filled with the hatred as he recalls their very first meeting in the great arena where Arjuna ridiculed him for being of a lower caste. He also remembers Kunti, the mother of Pandavas, revealing to him his true identity. Forced between joining the Pandavas and his loyalty to the Kauravas, Karna makes his decision which thus seals his fate on the battlefield.

At the end...
Gandhari, the blind mother of the Kauravas, arrives at the battlefield and is overcome with grief for the death of her sons. As she laments their sins, she also curses Krishna for leading them astray and for favoring the Pandavas over them.

Natya Samarpan

(8/14 and 8/15)

Mexican Heritage Theater

1700 Alum Rock Ave., San Jose, CA See map

Saturday, August 14, 2010 - 4pm, 6pm

Sunday, August 15, 2010 - 2pm, 4pm

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Natya Samarpan flyer

Misra Margam

Saturday 4pm, Sunday 2pm

Special program directed by prolific composer and choreographer, Guru Madurai R. Muralidharan from Chennai

30th Anniversary Performance

Saturday 6pm, Sunday 4pm

Featuring Artistic Director Mythili Kumar and the Abhinaya Dance Company in memorable choreography from the past decade with items choreographed by Mythili Kumar and Rasika Kumar. Presenting Synergy, a world-premiere collaboration with renowned Japanese drumming ensemble, San Jose Taiko.

Visit Abhinaya Dance Company for more info.

Guru Parampara


Visual Performing Arts Center, De Anza College

21250 Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino, CA See map

Sunday, June 27 - 4pm

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Performance by visiting artist Guru C.V. Chandrasekhar
Performance by Rasika Kumar and company with live music

Shri C. V. Chandrasekhar has carved a special niche for himself in the dance scene in India. He is a multi-faceted personality: a Bharatanatyam dancer, dance teacher, choreographer, musician, music composer, scholar, academician and administrator. He is one of the many illustrious products of Kalakshetra -the internationally renowned academy of Fine Arts in Madras. He is one of the few male dancers of the country performing for the past four decades all over India and in many countries in Europe and Asia. As one of India’s leading choreographers, he has won laurels nationally and internationally and has represented India at many international festivals. He has dealt with abstract themes in a most ingenious manner; his use of body movements and group movements to convey emotions and ideas is unique for a style otherwise solely dependent on the face and gestures for such a projection. Smt. Jaya Chandrasekhar trained in Bharatanatyam under Smt. Lalitha Sastri in New Delhi. She has been an invaluable partner to Shri C.V. Chandrasekhar, accompanying him as a dancer, vocalist, nattuvanar and co-choreographer through the years.

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Visit Abhinaya Dance Company for more info.

San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival

(6/5 and 6/6)

Palace of Fine Arts

3301 Lyon Street, San Francisco, CA 94123 See map

Saturday, June 5 - 2pm, 8pm

Sunday, June 6 - 2pm

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Mythili Kumar, Artistic Director of Abhinaya Dance Company of San Jose, receives the Lifetime Achievement Award from World Arts West during the Saturday evening show.

Abhinaya Dance Company performs Prithvi Sooktam, a hymn to Mother Earth, choreographed by Rasika Kumar.

Click here to visit the Ethnic Dance Festival website.

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Dancing Divinities



701 Vine Street, San Jose, CA 95110 See map

Sunday April 4, 2010 – 3pm

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Abhinaya's annual spring student recital. The second half featured items performed by Abhinaya company dancers. Rasika presented Taa tei endraduvar, the dance of Lord Nataraja.

sjDANCECo ChoreoProject Awards

(2/19 and 2/20)

Dance Theater, Spartan Complex

San Jose State University

Friday February 19, 2010 – 7pm

Saturday February 20, 2010 – 2:30pm

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Rasika Kumar was chosen as a finalist for the ChoreoProject Awards. She presented Gandhari's Lament, portraying the grief of the blind mother upon hearing of her son's demise at the end of the Mahabharata.

Click here to visit sjDanceCo's website.

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