You are here

Mythili Kumar

Lecturer in Dance
Education and Training: 
All dance training acquired under skilled private instructors (gurus) in India for over 16 years.
Odissi: Guru Shrinath Raut and Guru
Bharatanatyam: Smt Indra Rajan, Shri T.R. Devanathan and Smt. Kalanidhi Narayanan
Kuchipudi: Vedantam Jagannatha Sarma.
Teaching Interests: 

As founder and director of the Abhinaya Dance Company, Mathyli Kumar has trained over 100 students in their solo dance debut recitals or arangetrams. Mathyli Kumar has taught at San Jose State University, Stanford University, and a fall semester course in Indian dance for the past five years at University of California, Santa Cruz.

Selected Performances: 

The Mother (Annaiyai Maravenadi)a 45 minute piece on varied facets of the mother in the world. (November 1997) 

Sudha’s Story - dance to poem by Chitra Divakaruni about a young Indian dancer married to a jealous, abusive husband whose actions provoke her to take revenge (May 1998)

Nandanar Charitram- a 25 minute presentation of the travails of the outcaste farmhand, Nandanar (April 1994)

‘Gandhi’s Legacy- on Chavez and King’s life (May 1995)

Navarasa  - portraying the nine basic human emotions featuring solo numbers on ‘Panchali Sabadam’- the vow of Draupadi, and others. (November 1989)

Multiple Splendor  - a selection of the philosopher Aurobindo’s poems through dance (August 1989)

Tropical Flower – a collaboration with the poet Chitra Divakaruni for the Asian-Pacific Performing Arts Series; (March 1994)

Transition - depicting the conflict of an Indian immigrant to the U.S. (April 1992)

Over 50 solo pieces in the traditional repertoire format with new selections and lyrics


Rivers- a mystical journey (2008); Prithvi- the earth (2007); Ritusamhara-the six seasons (2006); Saakhyam- Friendship (2005); Poetry in Motion (2004); Surya-the sun god (2003), There once was a princess (2002)

Power of Saturn - a collaborative concert with ShadowLight Productions portraying the myth of King Nala who incurs the rage of the planet Saturn, venerated as a vengeful god (March 1999) 

Mayiladum Alagan (The handsome Lord on the peacock) - (February 1998)

Vande Mataram (Mother - I bow to thee) - (November 1997).

The Ramayana - a collaboration with Gamelan Sekhar Jaya portraying the Balinese and Indian variations of the epic Ramayana funded by the Rockefeller Foundation (April 1997, Bay Area venues

Multi-Splendored Ramayana - portraying the variations of the Indian epic Ramayana in several South-east Asian traditions (March 1996, Santa Clara, San Francisco) 

Gandhi-the Mahatma - portraying the key events that transformed an ordinary man into a great soul (mahatma) (May 1995, San Jose, San Francisco, Portland, Or, Lansing, Mi)

In the Spirit - a cross cultural collaboration with the San Jose Taiko group (March 1993)

The Guru - a collaborative production with Kathak maestro, Chitresh Das produced with a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. San Francisco, Berkeley & San Jose (October 1991)

Life of Annamacharya - (July 1994); Festival of Dussera (September 1992); Women Triumphant (November 1990); Epic Emotions (March 1990); The Splendor of the Infinite (September 1987); The Rhythm of Life (March 1987); Siva the Cosmic Dancer (May 1986)

Honors and Awards: 

Choreographers Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, 1989-1993,

Individual artist grant from the Arts Council of Santa Clara County , 1988

Outstanding artist Award from the Federation of Indo-American Assoc, September 1990

Choreographers Commission from the Bay Area Fund for Dance, 1992

Distinguished Artist Award from the City of Cupertino, 1992

Choreographers Fellowship from the Arts Council of Santa Clara County, 1993

Ethnic Dance Festival Honoree for outstanding contribution to world dance,1994

Teachers Recognition Certificate from the Natl Assoc. for Advancement in the Arts, 1998.

Titles - Singar Mani, Natya Traya Kovida, and Nritya Bharati awarded by cultural organizations in India. Title of Viswa Kala Bharati conferred in Chennai, India in December 1999. 'Abhinaya Kala Ratna' by the Hindu Temple Livermore, 2002

Office Hours: 

Please see the current Faculty Office Hours and contact sheet here, or contact the department office at