Sutradhar Institute of 
Dance & Related Arts 
Anila Kumari

Anila Kumari is an eminent Kuchipudi dancer, writer, and storyteller who has had an international career in teaching and performing. By the age of thirteen she had performed on stage and television in the United States, Kenya, Iran, and Indonesia. She has trained under gurus Padma Shri Pralad, Vedantam, Padma Bhushan Kalanidhi Narayanan , Padma Bhushan Vempati China Satyam and her mother the renowned Nilimma Devi. Anila is lead dancer and choreographer for Devi Dance Theater. 

Her training in Thang Ta (a rare form of Martial Arts from east of India) has lent exacting precision to her dance rendition. Anila's most innovative choreographic work was set to an African American spiritual “Long White Robe” that was highly acclaimed in the Washington Post. She is recipient of Master Apprenticeship Awrad 2012-2013 by Maryland State Arts Council.  She has been interviewed and has danced for a BBC documentary on world dance. 

Anila won accolades from reputed dance critics as well as first place in India's National Junior Dance Competition in New Delhi. In 1993 Anila was interviewed by the BBC and won the Individual Artist award by Maryland State Arts Council. After graduating from the University of Maryland, Anila assisted a project funded by AIIS (American Institute of Indian Studies) to research the Indian dance code of hand gestures.

With an analytical approach to art and health modalities she has brought her program to underserved inner city kids in Washington DC as well as Maryland. She has designed programs to create diversity awareness, communicate healthy body image and encourage creative writing among teenagers. Anila has also taught a summer course at the Peabody Conservatory at John Hopkins University.    


Her article “From the Diary of Sita” appeared in a book entitled “In Search of Sita” and is published by Penguin Books ISBN 9780143068181. Her forthcoming dance guide book for children “Dancing Feet on a Global Stage” has been in part been funded by Maryland State Arts Council, Fannie Mae, and Sutradhar Institute of Dance and Related Arts. She is currently writing a children’s version of the Ramayana.