Artist Profile : Rukmini Vijayakumar

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Written by: Vijay Krishna

Rukmini, is the Artistic Director of her Classical Dance Company Raadha Kalpa and Director of her Art Space LshVa.

Rukmini’s style is a summation of all her learning and experiences. Her primary training and rigorous practice has been in Bharatanatyam. Initiated into the form by Guru Padmini Rao, she later pursued a deeper study and understanding of Bharatanatyam under Late Guru Narmada Rao. Her Bharatanatyam practice and ideas of movement are influenced greatly by her training under Guru Sundari Santhanam, in Karanas (the research of Dr. Padma Subramanyam). Her Bharatanatyam practice doesn’t confine itself to a particular style, but more to an aesthetic and dynamic choice that varies from one choreography to another.

Yoga, Ballet, and Acting became a part of her training through her teenage years. She went on to intensify her training and practice in Modern Dance and Ballet at the Boston Conservatory, obtaining a BFA in Modern Dance and Ballet. At the conservatory, she developed an awareness of the physical body that influenced her practice of Bharatanatyam. Her approach to choreography and movement changed through her 4 years of intense training in Boston, and her study in the pedagogy of western movement forms made her find new avenues of training the body for Bharatanatyam.

She constantly questions and revisits her perceptions as an artist and finds ways to challenge and develop on her work. Her style is developing into a unique reflection of her artistic practices and she has been appreciated in many venues for her innovative choreography, athleticism, arresting emotions and attention to detail. Rukmini performs extensively as a Bharatanatyam soloist and travels constantly sharing her work through performances and workshops. Her recent performances at the Jacobs Pillow dance festival, the Erasing borders Festival, (USA), Korzo Theater (The Hague), Milapfest , (Liverpool) were well received. She was also part of the London Opera production of “Sukhanya” in 2017, and was recognised for her role as the ‘goddess of love’.

She has received the title of Arsha Kala Bhushan from Swami Dayananda Saraswati, and the Big FM award for dancer of the year from Jaya TV. She works with her dance company Raadha Kalpa and creates ensemble work frequently. Her dance productions “Nayani” and “Prabhavati” toured the USA, and Middle East, in 2012, 2013 raising funds for AIM for Seva. Her new production “The Dark Lord” will premiere in Bangalore in July 2017. She has a unique choreographic perspective that retains tradition while drawing from the ancient to create something that relates to the contemporary.

Rukmini’s enthuse in theater and acting prompted her study of Film and Theater at the New York Film Academy and at the Ivana Chubbuck Studios. She has received much appreciation for her delineated character of Aung San Suu Kyi, in the one-woman show, “The Lady of Burma”, by Richard Shannon, directed by national award winner, Prakash Belawadi. Rukmini has also acted in various Films. Her first movie directed by Bharathi Raja offered her a unique role in the tamil movie, Bommalattam. Subsequently, her dance song ‘Kana Kangiren’ in the movie Ananda Tandavam was a huge success in the tamil film industry. She has later appeared in ‘Kochadaiyaan’ as Rajinikanth’s Sister and the Bollywood movie, “Shamitabh”. She was nominated for the Filmfare award for ‘best supporting actress’ for her role in the Kannada movie ‘Bajarangi’ . Most recently she has played the supporting lead in Mani Ratnam’s Kaatru Veliyidai”.

Though Rukmini’s interests and training are varied, her true passion lies in dance. Her dedication to dance and constant effort to strive for perfection is epitomised in every performance of hers. Her daily practice and incessant hours in the studio, constantly honing and tuning her skills every day, has made her a performer who learns with each performance and with every experience. A true student and an ‘incessantly blossoming artist’.

About the Author: Vijay Krishna, hailing from Hyderabad, loves dancing and an aspiring classical dancer. He believes ‘Dance is the Hideen Language of soul.’ He has learnt Yoga and martial arts. And is passionate about Indian History and Natya Sastra. He is a singer too. Connect with him at


Article originally published at Edited & Reposted here with author permission.


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One Reply to “Artist Profile : Rukmini Vijayakumar”

  1. A wonderful Artist and an Inspirational to upcoming Learners. She is a role model to Many. Am too Inspired by her events and Programs. She is a Legend of Bharatanatyam. Aangikam, Abhinayam in Perfect Balance. Aaharyam, its a Miracle.

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