Abhinaya Dance Company of San Jose, 52, Harold Avenue, San Jose, CA 95117
Phone: 408-983-0491 - Fax: 408-983-0492, URL: www.abhinaya.org - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
August 12, 2006 Summer Concert : Rasika Kumar Solo
On Saturday, July 1, Rasika Kumar presented her solo performance “Saatvika – the Emotions Within” at Hoover Theater in San Jose. The emotion of Sringara (love) in manifest forms was communicated by Rasika through the elaborate choreography of a composition of 19th century composer Maharaja Swati Tirunal. As Saatvika also evokes serenity and tranquillity, Rasika presented pieces dealing with the Buddha and Sri Aurobindo's classic poem on the 'Bliss of Brahman'.
The performance featured a visiting orchestra from India: Sri.E.P.Sudev Warrier (vocals), Sri.A.P. Krishnaprasad (flute), and Sri. K.S. Sudhaman (mridangam) along with Malavika Kumar (nattuvangam). Comments both from other dancers and the general public alike were glowing. Susie Cashion of Stanford University’s Dept of Dance said, “Rasika is AMAZING. Never have I felt the power of the emotional, inner to outer, aspect as she was able to communicate”.
Vidya Ramakrishnan, a Bharatanatyam dancer who attended had this to say, “It is such a pleasure to see Rasika blossom into such a wonderful dancer of such high caliber. All the hard work, her commitment, determination and involvement were obvious and very inspiring”. Ragavan Manian, a noted musician of the Bay Area praised “Rasika & co'shardwork and interpretative skill” and “Malavika’s control of layam and nattuvangam; I felt very proud that she could match the mridangist jathi for jathi!”
Finally, R. Radhakrishnan, a Bay Area poet lauded the sisters thus, “Rasika has marveled in abhinayam; shringaram, as we all know is the most difficult (emotion), was expressed by Rasika with great ease and Malavika's strong cholkattu added a great deal to the performance. Her (Rasika’s) Tillana choreography was unique and was executed very well”
Since her graduation from MIT and subsequent return to the Bay Area, Rasika has been a featured soloist in many of Abhinaya's recent productions. Rasika currently works as a software engineer at Google, Inc while actively pursuing the dance form and developing as a solo artist and choreographer.