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« Dance and music are powerful catalysts that can propel you to a heightened state of being, a dimension beyond the perception of our senses where we can experience a flow of pure energy that seems to connect us to the source of existence itself.  »

- Shantala Shivalingappa

© Laurent Paillier

« Luminosity and clarity defined her, as if she were made of light and glass. »
- Financial Times

Born in Madras, India, brought up in Paris, Shantala Shivalingappa is the child of east and west. She grew up in a world filled with dance and music, initiated at a tender age by her mother, dancer Savitry Nair.

Deeply moved and inspired by Master Vempati Chinna Satyam’s pure and graceful style, Shantala dedicated herself to Kuchipudi, and received an intense and rigorous training from her master.

Driven by a deep desire to bring Kuchipudi to the western audience, she has performed in important festivals and theatres (such as: Théâtre de la Ville/Paris, Sadler’s Wells/London, Mercat de les Flors/Barcelona, Jacob’s Pillow Festival/USA, New York City Center, Herbst Theatre/San Francisco), earning praise and admiration from all. Acclaimed as a rare dancer by artists and connoisseurs in India and Europe, Shantala combines a perfect technique with flowing grace and a very fine sensitivity. Since the age of 13, she also had the privilege of working with some of the greatest artists of our times : Maurice Béjart «1789…et nous», Peter Brook for whom she played Miranda in «The Tempest» and Ophelia in «Hamlet», Bartabas «Chimère», Pina Bausch «O Dido», «Néfès», and «Bamboo Blues», Amagatsu «Ibuki». Such experiences make her artistic journey a truly unique one.

Today, Shantala shares her time between touring with her solos and expanding her own choreographic work in the Kuchipudi style. Passionate about human encounters and the artistic journey they trigger, she also revels in collaborating with various artists in the exploration of dance, music and theatre. In 2013 Shantala was awarded the prestigious «Bessie» dance award in New York City for her Kuchipudi solo «Shiva Ganga».

In 2014, she performed in «AM I», a piece by Sydney-based «Shaun Parker & Company» at the Sydney Opera House, with a cast of 13 Australian dancers and musicians.

She also created «Blooming» with Charles ‘Lil Buck’ Riley, a wizard in jookin’, an exhilarating street-dance style from Memphis, Tennessee.

In 2014 and 2015 she worked on two projects in Barcelona: first «Impro-Sharana» a danced-concert with her long-time friend the Catalan singer Ferran Savall and four musicians, and then «We Women» Sol Pico, Julie Dossavi, and Minako Seki. In 2017, Shantala co-created «BACH-Jour 1» with cellist Sonia Wieder-Atherton and stage director Stéphane Ricordel. This program was performed at the Louvre - Abu Dhabi, and at Théâtre Montfort in Paris. In 2018 was the premiere of «aSH» a piece by Aurélien Bory for Shantala. This final part of Aurélien Bory ''Trilogy of Portraits'' was premiered at the Festival Montpellier Danse in June 2018, and is since on tour in Europe and worldwide, to great acclaim.


KUCHIPUDI / Classical Indian dance

Shantala Shivalingappa



RYTHM CREATION: B.P.Haribabu & N.Ramakrishnan


SET DESIGN: Shantala Shivalingappa & Nicolas Boudier

VOCALISTS:  J. Ramesh, B.P.Haribabu & N.Ramakrishnan

FLUTE  K. S. Jayaram

COPRODUCTION: Per Diem & Co – Pierre Barnier

Centre National de Création et Diffusion Culturelles Châteauvallon

Centre Chorégraphique National de Roubaix – Carolyn Carlson

Sunny Artist Management Inc., Montreal, Canada

Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Becket Massachusetts, USA

International Festival of Arts and Ideas, New Haven, Connecticut USA

DURATION  85 minutes

CREW  1 dancer + 4 musicians + 2 technicians + 1 tour manager

SET-UP  12 hours


Width 14m / Depth 10m  / Height 5.5m

Width 40ft / Depth 33ft  / Height 18ft
AUDIENCE SIZE   Small and medium size venues


- Talkbacks

- 2 Films are available for audiences (artistic and documentary)



In Sanskrit, AKASHA means Sky or Space.

It is said that Akasha originates in sound, which is a vibration, or said another way, a form of energy and movement. This Space is manifested in various ways at different levels of perception. Starting from the space we perceive around us, the space which surrounds us, the space of the universe which contains everything we know (in Indian thought, this Space is the fifth element and completes the four-fold Air, Water, Fire, Earth), and ending in its subtlest form : that of Space beyond space-time. The Infinite, Undefinable, Space of Being. Inconceivable by mind, imperceptible to senses, it pervades, as well as holds and contains all that exists.


Akasha is self-luminous and the Source of Everything. Through the vibrations of sound and movement, through the pure, timeless energy that emanates from them, that Infinite Space rises, boundless within our own self, one can almost feel it expanding.

AKASHA was presented among others, in theses prestigious venues : The Institute Of Contemporary Art (Boston, Massachusetts), International Festival of Arts and Ideas (New Haven, Connecticut), Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival (Beckett, Massachusetts), Carolina Performing Arts (Chapel Hill, North Carolina).

Shantala is the only Kuchipudi dancer to be awarded the New York ‘’Bessie’’ Award.




Presentation film Shantala  EN FINAL-1.j

Europe representation

[H]ikari Production

(Nantes, France)

Contact : Gaëlle Seguin

Phone : + 33 (0) 983 018 100

Email :


30th November 2022 – SANGITA (Carnatic gig) – Ankara Concert hall, TURKEY

3rd December 2022 – SWAYAMBHU (Kuchipudi dance) – Théâtre du Parc – Andrézieux-Bouthéon, FRANCE

7th December 2022 – SWAYAMBHU (Kuchipudi dance) – Opéra Comédie – Montpellier, FRANCE

8th December 2022 SANGITA (Carnatic gig) Opéra Comédie – Montpellier, FRANCE

12nd December 2022 – SWAYAMBHU (Kuchipudi dance) – Opéra de Monaco, FRANCE

14th-23rd February 2023 – aSH (Aurélien Bory) – Théâtre de la Ville, Paris, FRANCE

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