‘Princess’ diaries

This beautiful city-based danseuse has just opened a new art space in Bengaluru
The curly locked damsel has a lot going for her. The nimble-footed danseuse Rukmini Vijaykumar who performed her first solo at six, during the interval of her mom’s dance performance, will be taking centre stage at Chowdiah Memorial Hall on July 10. We speak to her in between her show rehearsals as she scurryied around at the LshVa art space, her dream baby where she plans to bring together artistes of all genres.
“The classical dance theatre production is called Prabhavathi. It’s a love story of Prabhavathi (played by me), an asura princess, and Pradyumna (played by Ram Kumar) using Bharatanatyam and Indian classical dance theatre. It is adapted from the 16th century Telugu novel, Prabhavati Pradyumnam. We had a 13-city tour in the US, and are now culminating it with this show on Friday with 12 dancers,” reveals Rukmini, the artistic director of Raadha Kalpa Dance Company.
Dance had been her calling and she took to it head on by graduating with a degree in bachelors of fine arts in dance, (modern and ballet) from the Boston Conservatory. No wonder then that she has been invited to perform at some of biggest dance events like Festival at Khajuraho, the Kalidas Samaroha in Ujjain, the Natyanjali in Thanjavur, Dasara festival in Mysore, Uttarardh Utsav in Modhera Gujarat, winter performances in Chennai, the Baadal Raag Samaroh at Bhopal, Konark festival, Downtown Dance Festival and many others.
Talking about the show that is in aid of LshVa, that will fund research in both visual and performing arts, Rukmini who has also studied Laban movement analysis, Alexander technique and pilates, states, “I’ve created LshVa, which is a space for artistes, emerging arts and somatic practices and there’s no space like this in the city. The art world always requires collaborations. The performing artistes don’t have continuous places to learn bharatnatyam or theatre. This is an appendage to their learning for professional dancers. I also teach pilates and there are trainers for kalaripayattu and contemporary dances like martial arts or influences of ballet and jazz based on release technique. We support choreographers who would need support or artistes who would need a space to get inspired. There would be art appreciation and film screenings to get the art community together for an understanding of the arts every month. We also support artist residencies, community outreach projects and anything that aids strengthening art pedagogy.”
Talking of her other hobbies, the lady who also has a certificate in acting from the Film Academy, LA and is fond of theatre, Rukmini says, “I also paint sometimes with water colours and like to paint a mix of figures due to my inclination towards the human body. I could pursue my artistic journey only due to the support of my parents, my brother and my husband, as they understand that dance comes first for me.”
( Source : deccan chronicle )
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