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Mythili Kumar Enchants HTA Audience

April 2004
Mythili Kumar Enchants HTA Audience

Mythili Kumar, an acclaimed performer and teacher, both in India and the US, presented an impressive Bharatanatyam recital at the Hindu Temple, Riverdale (HTA) auditorium on February 28. The two-hour program was a rare treat and provided a well-balanced choice of both traditional and contemporary ideas that focused on the varied nuances of dance choreography.

All the items showcased were interesting and educative, and were well received, particularly by the enthusiastic students of dance who had come in large numbers. One of the best presentations of the evening was Varnam that highlighted the dancer's proficiency in both nritta and nritya. Also, while dancing for the Kshetrayya padam, Mythili Kumar did a wonderful job in expressing her love for Krishna, the man with incomparable looks and qualities.

With the Panchali Shapadam, she took the audience with her into the court of Dritarastra and made them watch and feel the pain of Panchali, when insulted by the Kauravas. Apart from these items, the Tillana was made special with Mythili Kumar's intricate rhythms and sculpturesque poses.

Mythili Kumar has studied Bharathanatyam extensively with several well-known teachers and gurus in India. She is an accomplished artiste proficient in Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, and Odissi. She has trained over 500 students and presented over fifty arangetrams and has extensively toured many places both in India and US, giving performances since her migration to US in 1978.

"Having been associated with performing and teaching Bharatanatyam for over 35 years, I find it interesting to reflect on the many facets of Bharatanatyam that have made such a difference in my life and have inspired me to cling to this art form for so long," said Mythili Kumar, while addressing the Atlanta gathering.

The HTA program also brought to the fore the talent of Siddarth Kelam, the oldest student of the Kalaivani School. He accompanied Mythili Kumar on the mrudangam, with a thorough understanding of the technique. Siddarth is a student of Subra a well-known mrudangam player in Atlanta.

The event, a major happening in the Atlanta Indian classical dance scene, was a colorful committed pursuit into the varied aspects of dance choreography. A dedicated team of student volunteers under the guidance of Padmaja Kelam, founder of the Kalaivani Dance and Music Academy (KDAMA), made it a successful attempt.

The dance recital was part of the artiste couple Sudarshan and Padmaja Kelam's objective to feature local artistes and artistes of international repute.

Padmaja Kelam thanked her sponsors, volunteers and all others who helped make the program a success.

-Sriram Ravi


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