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    • Drive East / Navatman
    • 732-580-2093
    • driveeast@navatman.org
    Drive East 2018 present Bharatanatyam Group Recital by Abhinaya Dance Company on Aug 18th at 6 PM. DRIVE EAST: Drive East (driveeastnyc.org) is an expansive Indian dance and music festival that features 30+ concerts in just two week. In its sixth year, our week long festival will be in New York from August 13 - 19 and San Francisco from August 22 - 26. It is a festival that regularly features some of the best artists of the year from all over the globe(last year The New York Times mentioned two Drive East artists as the top 10 of 2017) and is an immersive experience into the world of Indian classical arts. Whether you are a seasoned patron or interested in learning more, there is an experience for everyone in this extraordinary festival. 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), Women Triumphant (1990), Gandhi – The Mahatma (1995), Surya the Sun God (2003), and Varnamala (2003). Since 2000, Abhinaya has featured the choreography of Guru C.V. Chandrasekhar, Rasika Kumar, Malavika Walia and Anjana Dasu as seen in the following productions - Ritusamhara (2006), Prithvi – The Earth (2007), Jwala- The Immortal Flame (2011), Arjuna (2014), and Vanara Leela (2016). Since 1991, Abhinaya has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Rockefeller Foundation, California Arts Council, and City of San Jose, for its collaborations with musicians, Kathak and modern dance companies, Japanese Taiko drummers, and a Balinese ensemble. The company has appeared several times in the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival and in several different Asian Performing Arts Festivals. Abhinaya has been invited to present its acclaimed dance theater production, Gandhi – The Mahatma, at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, and in 2007 to New York and New Jersey. Abhinaya has also won recognition through the Isadora Duncan awards committee for its collaboration with SJTaiko and its 2016 production of Vaanara Leela. Rasika Kumar, Principal Dancer and Choreographer Rasika is an accomplished Bharatanatyam performer and choreographer, steeped in tradition but with contemporary sensibilities. Rasika learned Bharatanatyam from her mother Mythili Kumar and continued her training under several renowned teachers including Prof. C.V. Chandrasekar and Padmabhushan Smt. Kalanidhi Narayanan in India. Since 2005 Rasika has been a featured soloist, principal dancer, and choreographer for many of Abhinaya Dance Company’s season concerts. She received the Arts Council/Silicon Valley Performing Arts Fellowship in 2008, when she began exploring new ways to make Bharatanatyam more accessible to contemporary audiences. Her choreography has been featured in several prestigious venues including the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, SF WestWave Festival, and sjDANCEco’s ChoreoProject Awards series. Rasika’s collaborative rhythmic arrangement with Franco Imperial of San Jose Taiko garnered the two companies an Isadora Duncan Award (2011). In December 2014, she won the Lakshmi Viswanathan Award for Tanjore Quartet from Sri Krishna Gana Sabha (Chennai, India) for her solo performance in the 2014 season. Rasika’s most notable choreography and direction was seen in Abhinaya’s productions, ‘Arjuna’ (2014) and ‘Vaanara Leela’ (2016). Anjana Dasu, Senior Company Dancer and Choreographer Anjana has been learning Bharatanatyam under Mythili Kumar for over ten years and performed her Arangetram in 2005. Since then and all through her undergraduate years, she has performed in several Abhinaya productions and toured with the company to several venues all over the USA. Additionally, she has danced with the company at the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival in 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011. Critics have praised her as "exquisite" and "a nuanced dancer with a glowing stage presence." She was awarded the first prize in the Papanasam Sivan competition held in 2008. She has given solo concerts in the Bay Area and India and has choreographed group pieces for Yuva Bharati and for ‘Arjuna –a warrior’s tale’. She has mentored several students towards their arangetrams and continues to teach classes. Anu Iyer, Company Dancer Anu has been learning Bharatanatyam from Smt. Mythili Kumar since the age of five and performed her Arangetram in 2003. She has performed in many of Abhinaya Dance Company’s productions and has also toured with the company. Anu’s role as Shiva in Jnana Ganga, a fundraiser for Chinmaya Mission’s New Building Project, received acclaim from the Bay Area community. During her undergraduate years at UC Davis, Anu founded the Bharatanatyam dance group, Apsaras, and choreographed classical/fusion pieces for the annual South Asian Student Organization’s cultural shows from 2006-2008. Her choreography and collaboration with Kathak dancers was well received by the UC Davis community. She enjoys teaching fitness classes, playing veena & keyboard, performing Carnatic vocal music, and graphic design. Anu obtained her Master's degree from the University of Southern California and currently works as a science teacher in Cupertino, CA. Pooja Sohoni, Company Dancer Pooja trained under Mythili Kumar and performed her arangetram in 2007. She participated in Abhinaya’s 30th anniversary series in 2010. In 2017, she performed Abhinaya’s ‘Gandhi’ in St. Louis, MO and San Ramon, CA. She also performed in Abhinaya’s 2017 fall concert ‘Apoorva Katha’. She is excited to return to the Bay Area and resume performing with the company. Drive East 2018 Featuring: Arushi Mudgal (odissi), Shijith N Parvathy (Bharatanatyam), Shruthi Kezhakepuram Purushotham (Mohiniyattam), Dr. Anwesa Mahanta (Sattriya), Mesma S. Belsare (Bharatanatyam), Sujit Vaidya and group (Contemporary), Kiran Rajagopalan (Contemporary), Navatman Dance (Bharatanatyam), Anuj Mishra and group (Kathak), Sandip Mallick and Group (Kathak), Preeti and Piyush (Kathak), Abhinaya Dance Company of San Jose (Bharatanatyam), Prabal Gupta (Kathakali), Dr. Ragunath Manet, Nehaa Mondal Chakravarty (Bharatanatyam), Bhavana Reddy (Kuchipudi), Alam Khan (Sarode), Vishal Vaid (Ghazals), Vinay Desai (Santoor), Navatman Music Collective (Carnatic Vocal Choir), Nirmala Rajasekar and Group (Saraswati Veena), Flute Raman Trio, Pt. Rattan Mohan Sharma
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    Abhinaya Dance Company - Bharatanatyam Group Recital - About
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