<bgsound src='http://www.esnips.com/doc/6eb520aa-23dc-45e5-a613-72096df0d36f/ALARULU-KURIYAGA---SpSailaja'></bgsound> Kuchipudi Kalakar: Arunima Kumar
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Arunima Kumar

Photo Credit - Avinash Pasricha
Artist Name: Arunima Kumar
Place: London, UK

Email : arunimakumar@hotmail.com
Phone : (44) 07503993833

Profile and picture posted with permission from the artist

Arunima is one of India’s most versatile leading Kuchipudi dancers and is the recipient of Sangeet Natak Akademi’s prestigious Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskaar for 2008 , awarded by the President of India ,to artists who have demonstrated exceptional talent in the  fields of music, dance and drama. She recently performed at the Commonwealth Games in India 2010.

Arunima has given over 150 performances prestigious cultural festivals and venues in over 20 countries. Arunima moved to London in 2009 and has given over 50 performances and workshops across UK. She aims to build a strong base for the form internationally through Performances, Teaching, Choreographic works, Educational workshops and Community projects. She has collaborated with many young international artists to create exemplary works.  

Arunima started learning Kuchipudi at the age of 7 initially under Padma Bhushan Smt Swapnasundari. She is a senior disciple of Padmashree Guru JayaRama Rao and Vanasree Rao and has been performing for over 15 yrs. The Kuchipudi Dance Academy formally launched her in 1995 where she performed her ‘Rangapravesham’ at the Triveni Kala Sangam, New Delhi. 

She has been recognized with the Sangeet Natak Akademi award 2009 , Sahitya Kala Parishad Scholarship for Dance in 1998 , the Shringarmani title by Sur Shringar Samsad.in 2001,she is empanelled as an Established artiste with the I.C.C.R. )Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Ministry of External Affairs) and is an A grade artiste of the All India Radio and Doordarshan.

Arunima’s performances reveal a confident and intellectual dancer with individuality. Enthralling Abhinaya (art of expression), confident communication with her audiences and contemporary interpretations of traditional Padams, Javalis (traditional songs) and other compositions mark her successful performances. Her energetic dance-renditions combine perfect technique, rhythmic
precision, riveting facial expressions and enormous grace. .

Sure of rhythm and full of zest, Arunima is today widely acknowledged in the field of Kuchipudi.
 Her notable performances include the 2010 India Commonwealth Games, Rashtrapati Bhawan (President House , Delhi) , Sydney Opera House , Canberra Festival , EXPO in Hannover and Lisbon , Nehru Center in London, Tagore Center in Berlin, Asian Arts Festival in Manila ,Kuchipudi Convention in USA in 2008, Purcell Room, Southbank London in 2009 , Khajuraho Dance Festival in 2010 , Hyderabad Arts Festival , Kuchipudi Festival  etc. 

She has also performed in several ballets like the, Chitrangada Ballet , where she played the role of Chitrangada ; ‘Nala Damyanti’ , where she played the role of Damyanti

She has been given outstanding reviews by eminent dance critics and her  dynamic profile have been featured across all leading newspapers , television and radio channels

Besides dance, Arunima has also excelled in academics. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from India’s prestigious St. Stephen’s College and then studied MSc in Finance and Accounting from the London School of Economics. Her outstanding academic performance led her to teach at the LSE summer school in 2002. .She is now focusing to build her own arts foundation to promote education and community work through performing arts.

Arunima has also successfully ventured into dance choreography and research to explore different creative aspects of the performing arts. It is her vision to learn from and add to the various dimensions of the Kuchipudi style so as to spread the beauty and excellence of the classical form across national and international forums.

She is also a keen pistol shooter and has won several medals in State and National Championships and is also the recipient of the Government of India Sports Talent Search Scholarship (1991-1992).

She is keenly interested in dramatics and has acted in a number radio and television programs (Yog Yatra on Star News), music videos (Euphoria), advertisements and short films (Documentary on New Delhi, International film , Microsoft , Globus) .She has recently done a cameo in a feature film directed by Prakash Jha – RAJNEETI.

Kuchipudi continues to be her abiding passion, which she pursues with relentless devotion.
Endowed with “a pair of large eyes, a mobile visage and attractive stage presence”. Arunima is a devoted dancer with a promising career ahead…..

Key Achievements and work:
·         Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskaar conferred by Sangeet Natak Akademi , 2009
·         Sahitya Kala Parishad Scholarship for Dance in 1998.
·         Shringarmani title by Sur Shringar Sansa, 2004.
·         She was invited to perform for the Hon’ble President of India at Rashtrapati Bhawan in June, 2006.
·         ‘Established Category Artist’ by the ICCR
·         ‘A grade artiste’ of the All India Radio and Doordarshan.
·         EXTEND scholarship sponsored by Arts Council England
·          Performed with over 400 dancers to break the Guinness book of World Records in Cupertino, California , 2008
·         New Choreography – with Fusion band ADVAITA
·         Outstanding  reviews and dynamic profile have been featured in all leading television and radio channels (Doordarshan, Sony, Aaj Tak, Star News etc) and newspapers including Hindustan Times, Times of India, Indian Express, Business Standard, India Today etc.,
·         She features in the London School of Economics Newsletter for her outstanding performance at the Nehru Centre at London.
·         In an endeavor to share the joy of being closely involved with India’s rich cultural heritage, she also worked for SPICMACAY, a voluntary cultural organisation as its Planning and Finance coordinator. 
·         She is also an active sponsor and member of GATI, a young dancers’ forum.
·          She is building her own arts foundation to promote arts amongst youth , conceptualize and implement  projects in the filed of outreach  – ARTS EXTEND - to promote peace and harmony across small towns and villages.

Notable International Performances
Arunima has displayed her art in prestigious, international dance festivals abroad including

Recent performances in London 
·         Ireland Film Festival, April 2011
·         Mentoring – Daredevas, March 2010
·         Reading Arts festival, UK , October 2010
·         Milapfest- Dance India, August, 2010 Manchester
·         Film Festival of India , Her Majesty’s Theatre, Cineworld, July, 2010 London
·         Performance for British Army, July, 2010 London
·         Waterman’s Theatre, July, 2010 London
·         Performance for Pandit Ravi Shankar, July 2010, London
·         Nehru Centre ,London , July 2009
·         Royal Opera House ,London , July 2009  part of Akademi’s Frame by Frame Seminar
·         Dance India at Lowry, Manchester, August 2009
·         India Centre, Cardiff , August 2009
·         Purcell Room, Southbank Center, ‘Daredevas’ , November 2009
·         Arena Theatre , Wolverhampton, UK, March 2010
·         University of Liverpool , March 2010

Other international performances:
·         EXPO 1998, Lisbon, Portugal
·         India’s 50th year of Independence held in Bonn, Germany
·         EXPO 2000, Hannover, Germany
·         ICCR tour in 2003, Ministry of External Affairs of India, in prestigious venues in Australia, including Canberra Festival, Sydney Opera House, Melbourne, Brisbane.
·         ICCR tour Fiji, 2003
·         Arts Festival Thailand, ICCR tour 2003
·         Arts Festival Malaysia, ICCR tour 2003
·         International Festival, Indonesia , 2004
·         Asian Arts Festival, Manila , Philippines,2007
·         India Week Celebrations at Nuremburg and Frankfurt,2005
·         Tagore International Centre in Berlin in 2005
·         Nehru Centre in London, 2001, 2005
·         International Kuchipudi Dance Convention in Cupertino, California in 2008.
·         Indian Cultural Center, Malaysia, 2010
·         Kuala Lumpur Convention Center, 2010

Community workshops in London  :
·         Brentford Old Age Home, London
·         Barlby Primary school, London
·         Hounslow Old Age Home, London
·         Orpington – drug rehabilitation

Notable Performances in India

·         Commonwealth Games India Solo recital, Raag Rang Festival , October 2010
·         ICCR HORIZON SERIES, Azad Bhawan, October 2010
·         Khajuraho Dance Festival, 2010
·         Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskaar Samaroh, Sangeet Natak Academy, Delhi ,September 2009
·         World Dance Day Celebrations, Habitat Center, May , 2009
·         World Dance Day celebrations, India International Center, sponsored by Natya Vriksha , May 2009
·          ‘Amrapali” ballet, 1987
·         Rangapravesham at the Triveni Kala Sangam, New Delhi , 1998
·         Hyderabad Arts Festival
·         India Habitat Centre, 1998, 1999, 2003
·         India International Trade Fair 1999, 2002, 2003, 2006,
·         SOPAN festival by Sahitya Kala Parishad
·         Delhi Tourism Festival at Santushti 2003
·         Bharat Yatra Festival in lucknow 2001.
·         Shringaramani Festival in Mumbai 2001
·         Kuchipudi dance festival in Kuchipudi Village
·         National Choreography Festival at Habitat Centre 2003.
·         Qutab Festival in 2003.
·         Young Dancers Festival at Kolkata sponsored by Sangeet Natak Academy in 2004
·         Legends of India Festival at Kamani Auditorium, Delhi, 2004
·         Kalidasa Festival at Nagpur in 2004
·         India International Center , 2004
·         Habitat World in September 2005
·         Virasat Festival at Dehradun in 2005
·         The Mardol Classical Dance Festival at Goa, 2006
·          Goa International Centre in 2006.
·         Biotech Conference in Hyderabad in 2006
·         Nehru Centre in Mumbai in 2006
·         Pratishtitha Festival where she played the role of Chitrangada in ‘Chitrangada’ Ballet, Habitat Center, 2006
·          Ugaadi (AP Bhawan) Celebrations in 2006.
·         Jhansi Mahostav in 2006
·         Chamba festival in 2006
·         Mammalapuram festival in Chennai in 2007
·         Jugalbandi with Kathak, choreographed by Pdt. Birju Maharaj at Holi Ke Rang Mahotsav (sponsored by Kalashram) at Habitat Centre in March, 2007.
·         Budh Mahotsav in Patna, May 2007 (where she performed the dance ballet Vasavadatta on Rabindra Sangeet Choreographed by her gurus).
·         Jaya Samiti in Mumbai in June 2007 organised by Hema Malini
·         Radha Asthami in Barsana, September 2007
·         Indo-European Conference organized by ICCR, September 2007.
·         Fusion concert with Rock Band Advaita, September 2007
·         Sahitya Kala Parishad young dancer’s Festival, September 2007.
·         Neemrana Fort Palace in Oct 2007
·         SAARC Band festival November 2007,
·         JNU Delhi November 2007 ,2008
·         Delhi International Arts Festival December 2007,
·         HCL concert series, December 2007
·         Haridas Sammelan, Mumbai, December 2007
·         Legends of India Festival at Nehru Center, Mumbai,, 2007
·         Brahma Gana Sabha in Chennai January 2008,
·         Nungambakkam Cultural Academy in Chennai , January 2008, 
·         Bhavbhuti Festival - Gwalior, February 2008.,
·          Ustad Allauddin Khan Samaoroh – Mahiyar, Gwalior, February 2008,
·         ‘Nal Damyanti Ballet’ at Akhil Bhartiya Mahakavi Shri Harsh Samaroh ,Varanasi , March 2008.
·         India International Trade Fair (Shakuntalam Theatre) on 20th November, 2008
·         State Day Celebrations at Andhra Bhawan, November ,2008
·         Pune (Air Force Station, Officer’s Mess, Lohegaon, Pune) on 14th January, 2009
·         Durga Puja Celebrations , Delhi , September 2009