Dancer Rukmini Vijaykumar: “Mesmerizing”

By Jyoti Kulkarni

HOUSTON: Indo-American Association of Houston’s presentation of “Krishna: A Calling to Lord Krishna”, last Friday on June 9 at the Match theater, was truly mesmerizing. The classical dance performance featured Bharat Natyam dancer Rukmini Vijaykumar.

Born in Hyderabad, India, Rukmini studied Bharatnatyam under Guru Narmada, Guru Padmini Rao and practiced
Karanas for several years under the tutelage of Guru Sundari Shantaram a senior disciple of Guru Padma Subramanyam Rukmini also 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 and director Prakash Belawadi, in India. She also studied Fitness Training at UCLA and Anatomy and Physiology at Boston University. She is the artistic director of
her dance company Raadha Kalpa, where she teaches, choreographs and creates new Bharatnatyam, Modern and experimental theater work.

“I enjoy telling stories through movement. I can articulate better with dance,” explained Rukmini between her performances. This rendition of Krishna is a collection of traditional pieces seen from perspective of eminent poets who portrayed His Omnipresence in different forms. It began with Andal Kautvam’s words and Rukmini’s well choreographed dance created a portrayal of a devotee, who imagines Krishna as her groom. This was followed by
a Varnam by Lalgudi Jayaraman, where Rukmini danced beautifully and carried the audience with her on a Gopika’a journey to self realization through her longing for Krishna.

The audience was then treated to a very playful conversation between Krishna and Yashodama (son and mother) based on a Tamil folk song. Rukmini’s portrayal of a mother lovingly yet firmly trying to dissuade a demanding young Krishna was heartwarming. Rukmini then performed Lalita Lavanga an ashtapadi so beautifully that it was poetry in dance movement as a sakhi pleads with Radha to let go of her anger to make up with Krishna. The performance ended on an unusual and zestful Kalinga Nartana Tillana of Oothukadu Ventaka Kavi, followed by a
shloka on surrender.

This was Indo-American Association’s fourth performance introducing up and coming performing artistes. IAA Houston’s next event is Andean-Indian … Melodies of Folklore from India and South America on July 9, 2022 at 8 pm at the Match theater. Please visit to find out more about IAA’s future
performances and how you can become patron member or call 832-315-6582.