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Rukmini Vijayakumar – An Indian choreographer and Bharatanatyam dancer from Bangalore

Rukmini VijayakumarRukmini Vijayakumar - An Indian choreographer and Bharatanatyam dancer from Bangalore

Rukmini Vijayakumar is the artistic director of Raadha Kalpa dance company, and the director of LshVa, an art space. She is the founder of The Raadha Kalpa Method, a pedagogical system of training classical Indian and particularly Bharatanatyam dancer.

Rukmini’s approach to Bharatanatyam is dedicated, rigorous and layered. She has presented her work as a soloist all over the world, including venues such as the Jacobs Pillow festival, Drive East NYC, and the Korzo Theater. Recently she played ‘the goddess of love’ in ‘Sukanya’, produced by The Royal Opera house in London. 

She studied Bharatanatyam under Guru Narmada, Guru Padmini Rao and Guru Sundari Santhanam. She practiced the Karanas for several years under Guru Sundari Santhanam, a senior disciple of Guru Padma Subramanyam. Rukmini holds a BFA degree from the Boston Conservatory in Ballet and Modern Dance. She has studied acting at the New York Film Academy, Los Angeles while also learning under director Prakash Belawadi during her stay in India. She has studied subjects on Fitness Training at UCLA and Anatomy and Physiology at The Boston University.

Rukmini’s process of creation is both traditional and contemporary. She was a recipient of the Jiri Kylian grant for choreography and a resident choreographer at Korzo theater, Netherlands in 2018. Her productions, Nayani, Prabhavati, Abhimata, Talattu and The Dark Lord have toured India and the world extensively. Her more recent work, Turiya, MALA, The Muse and Unrequited were created within the contemporary idiom and have been appreciated for their creative approach to the bharatanatyam vocabulary. 

Rukmini Vijayakumar - An Indian choreographer and Bharatanatyam dancer from Bangalore

She made her film debut playing Trishna in Bharathiraja‘s suspense thriller Bommalattam alongside an ensemble cast of Arjun, Nana Patekar and Kajal Aggarwal. The role features her as a mysterious debutant actress who is hidden from the media, with the film eventually revealing that her character was actually a male, made to dress up by the director. The film opened to positive reviews, with critics labelling her performance as “definitely a surprise package”. She next featured in Gandhi Krishna‘s 2009 romantic film Ananda Tandavam as Ratna alongside Siddharth Venugopal and Tamannaah, but the film was a commercial and critical failure. Rukmini then signed up to appear in Naan, once again alongside Siddharth Venugopal, but the film ran into production trouble and she opted against appearing in the film when it began again in 2010. Moreover, another project, Oru Naal Podhuma directed by Pratap Pothan and featuring Madhavan in the lead role, was also cancelled soon after announcement.

In 2012, Rukmini was opted for Rajinikanth‘s sister’s role in Kochadaiyaan. The role was earlier to be enacted by Sneha, who opted out citing date issues.

Rukmini Vijayakumar - An Indian choreographer and Bharatanatyam dancer from Bangalore

Dance productions

2009MeghamA duet based on the emotional physical impact of water in our lives
2010ShankarabharanamA duet on the symbolism of the ornaments of Shiva
2011RaadhaA duet inspired by Munshi’s Krishnavatara
2011Raadha RaniAn ensemble work on aspects of Radha
2011KanhaaA physical, emotive response to the idea of Krishna
2012KrishnaaA devotional solo on the surrender to Krishna
2012AndalA solo based on the life of the tamil saint Andal

The resonance of the Omniscient 

An ensemble work on the elements of nature and the presence of Shiva
2014PrabhavatiAn ensemble work, created in a dance theater format inspired by the telugu novel, ‘Prabhavati Pradyumnam’
2015YamaA trio that exemplifies the idea of the passage of time in a fast paced life
2015A maargamAn ensemble work created in the traditional format of a Margam
2016TuriyaA trio that explores the three states of consciousness
2016AbhimataA solo that explores the various relationships that we share
2017The Dark LordAn ensemble work inspired by the lifes of Meera, Andal and Radha
2017MALAA solo that explores momentum and rhythm in the bharatanatyam vocabulary
2017ShankarabharanamRevisited as an ensemble work
2018UnrequitedPremiered in Korzo theater, Netherlands, an abstraction of Sati and Shiva.
2018TalattuPremiered in Milapfest, Liverpool, a solo on Yashoda and Radha.

Rukmini Vijayakumar - An Indian choreographer and Bharatanatyam dancer from Bangalore


2008BommalattamTrishnaTamilDebut Tamil film
2009Ananda ThandavamRatnaTamil
2013BhajarangiKrishneKannadaDebut Kannada film
Nominated – Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress – Kannada
2014KochadaiyaanYamuna DeviTamil
2015ShamitabhherselfHindiDebut Hindi film
2017Kaatru VeliyidaiDr. NidhiTamil

Rukmini Vijayakumar - An Indian choreographer and Bharatanatyam dancer from Bangalore

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