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Abhinaya Dance Company of San Jose Presents SANCHAARI - ELABORATION, 5/26

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Abhinaya Dance Company of San Jose will perform on Friday, May 26th at the SF International Arts Festival, presenting Sanchaari - Elaboration in the South Indian classical dance style, Bharatanatyam.

The traditional framework of the 2000 year old classical Bharatanatyam dance has engendered many interpretations through its renaissance period of the early 20th century to the present time. 'Sanchaari Bhava', is a term that denotes the embellishment of the literal meaning of texts through the individual dancer's imagination, skill, and experience.

This production takes the audience on a journey through traditional solo dance pieces performed by dancers in the temples prior to the 20th century to the varied faces of contemporary Bharatanatyam. The traditional lyrics and rhythms are reimagined into elaborate group numbers and interpretations by choreographers of today. The concert will demonstrate the fact that this classical dance tradition is a living tradition, constantly evolving and allowing for the creative artists' elaboration of concepts and technique often influenced by the communities they are based in.

In one example, we juxtapose the traditional solo number such as the Alarippu (meaning blossoming in one rhythmic cycle) with Abhinaya's 'Pushpamala' a garland of Alarippus which elaborate the blossoming concept through varied rhythms and visualizations as well as with group choreography.

The company of eight dancers will present the choreography of Artistic Director Mythili Kumar & Associate Artistic Director Rasika Kumar.

Mythili Kumar, Artistic Director & Choreographer

An accomplished artist, Mythili Kumar performed extensively in India before moving to the U.S. in 1978. Her artistic ability and the high quality of her dance choreography have been recognized in the U.S where she has been awarded several Choreographer's Fellowships from the NEA. Mythili Kumar has taught at Stanford University and San Jose State University, and currently teaches a fall semester course at University of California at Santa Cruz. She was honored by World Arts West with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010 and received a "Sustained Achievement Award" by the Bay Area Isadora Duncan Award committee in, 2011.

About Abhinaya Dance Company of San Jose

Artistic Director Mythili Kumar founded the Abhinaya Dance Company of San Jose in 1980. Abhinaya has grown to be a leading multi-cultural organization in the South Bay, known both for its adherence to traditional South Indian classical dance as well as its innovative multi-cultural collaborations. Since 1986, Abhinaya has staged several full-length dance dramas choreographed by Mythili Kumar. Mythili Kumar's artistic excellence has been recognized by several NEA Choreographer Fellowships. She was honored by World Arts West with a Lifetime Achievement Award (2010) and by a "Sustained Achievement Award" from the Bay Area Isadora Duncan Award committee (2011). From 2006, Rasika Kumar (Associate Artistic Director and principal dancer) has been taking an active role in the direction and choreography of new productions presented by the company.

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