The two Bharatanatyam dancers, Arun Mokkapati and Rithika Ashok will be presenting Nayika pieces from their Kuchipudi repertoire. Which of the 9 would they perform? Come watch on Feb 8th 2020!
All 8 pieces deal with EIGHT conditions (awastha) of the heroine with respect to their hero, as prescribed within the Natyashastra by Bharata muni. 2 of these pieces will be portrayed by the dancers. Bios below:
Arunima Mokkapati is a senior at Fairfax High School and has been attending Sindhura School of Bharatanatyam for the last 8 years. Over the last several years Arunima has performed in many programs such as the Cherry Blossom Festival at Washington D.C, the Pentagon Cultural Event, charitable performances for Uplift A Child and Annual Days. Arunima has been a very passionate dancer since the age of three. She initially started learning Ballet and Kuchipudi and moved on to learn Bharatanatyam when she moved to India. She was also selected this past summer for the 2019 Virginia Governor’s School of Visual and Performing Arts and Humanities for dance. She is currently expressing her dancing passion by voluntarily teaching at Chinmaya Somnath. Under the tutelage of Smt. Priya Krishnan, Arunima intends to continue Bharatanatyam and various other art forms in college.
Rithika Ashok, freshman at the College of William and Mary, has been training under the tutelage of her mother, Shanthi Ashok for the past 15 years. Rithika began dancing in Nrityanjali Dance School from the age of three and joined the professional Dance Company at the age of eight.
For the past nine years, Rithika has performed at the prestigious annual Virginia Dance Coalition,
and has also performed at the Diwali Celebration which was attended by Governor Terry McAuliffe. As a core member of the Nrityanjali Dance Company, she has played a major role in two productions for the benefit of the charity organization, as well as their two productions in 2019, Adi Shankaracharaya’s “Shanmatham” and “A Myriad of Folklore.”
In 2009, after winning the VA/DC Regional competition, Rithika competed at the state level of
the popular dance competition, Boogie Woogie. Representing Virginia, among other state level
participants she won the National Championship. She was chosen to represent the US, and travelled to the International Championship, which was telecasted internationally. In addition, in 2017, Rithika was selected as a Top 5 Finalist for the prestigious Cleveland Thygaraja Aradhana competition.
Rithika’s immense love for dance inspired her to take a diverse range of dance styles including
jazz, tap, ballet, pointe, modern, flamenco and contemporary. She was invited to be a part of ETAP
(Encore Theatrical Arts Project) in 2012. As a part of ETAP, she has performed in several Broadway-style Christmas musical productions and spring shows. In 2016, she toured and performed in South Africa with ETAP, performing at several prestigious venues. In the summer of 2017, she was selected to attend the competitive Virginia Governor’s School for the Performing Arts. In 2019, she was awarded a dance scholarship by the prestigious Virginia Dance Coalition.
Rithika has also had the privilege to train under renowned gurus such as, N. Srikanth, the
Dhananjayans, Priyadarshini Govind, Sheejith & Jyoti Krishna, Bragha Bessel, Leela Samson, Parimal
Phadke, Indira Kadambi, and Poornima Gururaj. In 2018, she was selected to perform alongside Sri N. Srikanth and Smt. Aswathy Nair in their production of Aranya Kandam, where she showcased the plum role of Soorpanaka. Rithika’s devotion towards dance has been imparted by her mother and guru who has motivated her to become the dancer she is today.