Rukmini Vijaykumar

Rukmini is the Artistic Director of her Classical Dance Company, Raadha Kalpa, the Director of her Art Space, LshVa, and the founder of The Raadha Kalpa Method, a pedagogical system for the practice of Bharatanatyam. One of the most sought-after Bharatanatyam soloists of her generation, Rukmini has performed all over the world. Her style, a unique reflection of her artistic practices. She stands apart with her innovative choreography, athleticism, arresting emotions, and attention to detail.

She has performed as a soloist all over the world, including the Jacobs Pillow Festival (USA), The Drive east festival at LaMama Theater (New York), The India Dans Festival at Korzo Theater (The Hague), Milapfest (Liverpool), Temple of Fine Arts (KL) amongst numerous other venues. She was noticed for her role as “the goddess of love” in Pandit Ravi Shankar’s Opera, ‘Sukanya’, produced by The Royal Opera house, London, 2017.


Rukmini’s primary training and rigorous practice of Bharatanatyam was under Guru Padmini Rao, Guru Narmada Rao, and Guru Sundari Santhanam. Her ideas of dance are influenced greatly by the movement philosophy of the Natyashastra, which has been preserved through the research of Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam. These codified movement structures, known as Karanas, were taught to Rukmini at a very young age by Guru Sundari. Also a student of western forms of dance, she graduated in 2008 with a BFA in Modern dance and Ballet from the Boston Conservatory, USA.

Having had training from the best of both worlds of dance, her choreographies draw from the ancient, retaining tradition even while making them relevant to a contemporary world. She was a recipient of the Jiri Kylian grant for choreography and a resident choreographer at Korzo theater, the Netherlands in 2018. Her productions, Nayani, Prabhavati, Abhimata, Talattu, and The Dark Lord have toured India and the world extensively. Her more recent work, Turiya, MALA, The Muse, and Unrequited were created within the contemporary idiom and have been appreciated for their creative approach to the Bharatanatyam vocabulary. Her dance films, Yoganiyoga, and Namami Yoga Vidye have been viewed and appreciated by millions on online platforms.

Rukmini constantly questions and revisits her perceptions as an artist and finds ways to challenge her own opinions at every juncture, keeping her work relevant and alive. Her Bharatanatyam practice doesn’t confine itself to a particular style or bani, but rather allows itself to adapt to varied choices of aesthetics and dynamics, making her versatile as a dancer. 

An avid yoga practitioner, she began her studies of yoga as a teenager under Guru Arun of Prashant Yogashraya, learning for many years in the Iyengar yoga tradition. Curious about the mechanics of the body she studied Anatomy and Physiology at the Boston University and Nutrition, Biomechanics, Exercise Physiology at UCLA. Over the course of 15 years of research, Rukmini developed The Raadha Kalpa Method, a pedagogical system for the practice of classical Indian dance forms and Bharatanatyam specifically. Based on the idea of ‘neutrality in both mind and body, the system attempts to create a dancer that is simultaneously efficient, precise, and imaginative. 

She was awarded the title of Arsha Kala Bhushan from Swami Dayananda Saraswati in 2013 and received the Big FM award for a dancer of the year from Jaya TV, the same year.

Rukmini’s enthuse in theater and acting prompted her study of Film and Theater at the New York Film Academy and at the Ivana Chubbuck Studios. She has received much appreciation for her roles in both theatre and film.

Her first movie, ‘Bommalattam’, in Tamil, directed by Bharathi Raja, offered her a challenging role where she plays a young. Subsequently, her dance number ‘Kana Kangiren’ in the movie ‘Ananda Tandavam’ was a huge success in the Tamil film industry. She appeared in a supporting role, as Rajinikanth’s sister in the film ‘Kochadaiyaan’, and also had a guest appearance in the Bollywood movie, “Shamitabh”, directed by R Balki.  She was nominated for the Filmfare award for ‘best-supporting actress’ for her role as Krishne in the Kannada movie ‘Bajarangi’. In 2018 she played the supporting lead in Mani Ratnam’s “Kaatru Veliyidai”. She is currently filming for Dasara, a Kannada movie directed by Arvind Sastry.

Though Rukmini’s interests and training are varied, her true passion lies in dance. Her dedication to dance and constant effort to strive for perfection are epitomized in every performance of hers. Her daily practice and incessant hours in the studio, have made her a performer who grows with each performance and every experience. A true student and a ‘forever blossoming artist’.


Contact Me

Please fill out the form below for any queries realted to events, production or training.