« 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
CHOREOGRAPHER, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR & PERFORMER
ADDITIONAL CHOREOGRAPHY Vempati Ravi Shankar
ARTISTIC ADVISOR Savitry Nair
RYTHM CREATION B.P.Haribabu & N.Ramakrishnan
LIGHTING DESIGNER & TECHNICAL DIRECTOR Nicolas Boudier
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 : About 1h25
CREW : 1 dancer + 4 musicians + 2 technicians
+ 1 tour manager
SET-UP : One day prior to the show
STAGE DIMENSIONS : Width 40’ / Depth 33’ / Height 18'
for proscenium arch minimum opening (12.2m x 10m x 5.5m)
Lighting grid ideal minimum height 23‘ (7m)
Wall to wall stage width 46’ (14m)
AUDIENCE SIZE : Small and medium size venues
OUTREACH : 2 Films are available for your audience
(see at the bottom of this page)
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).
« Gorgeous cannot even begin to describe Shivalingappa moving through space. »
- The Globe and Mail
« It’s tempting, [...], to call Ms. Shivalingappa divinely gifted. »
- New York Times
A DOCUMENTARY (52 min.)
BY EZRA BELOTTE-COUSINEAU
DIRECTED, WRITTEN & EDITED BY Ezra Belotte-Cousineau
PRODUCED BY Ilter Ibrahimof - Sunny Artist Management Inc
La Petite Caisse de Boubou, Kathy Corey & Dr. Mruthyunjaya (Jay)
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Valérie Cusson
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER Audrey-Anne Bouchard
WITH THE SUPPORT OF E.M.P.A.C. Rensselaer University & Hélène Listerlin – Dance Curator
ADDITIONAL FOOTAGE A COURTESY OF Simon Brook «SUR UN FIL» (2012) «Le Fil de la Danse», Les Films du Caducée, & Marianne et Claude Maurin (1989)
EDITING CONSULTANT John Blouin
CONTEMPORARY & CLASSICAL PROGRAMS BY
SHANTALA is a 52-minutes portrait of dancer-choreographer Shantala Shivalingappa: the film follows her across the world, allowing us to witness how this extraordinary artist expresses the unique cultural and spiritual traditions of Kuchipudi, the classical Indian dance form she practices, and revealing as well her journey in contemporary dance, through diverse collaborative works of sheer beauty and deep emotion.
SHANTALA was shown in prestigious dance film festivals around the world, such as CINEDANS Dance on Screen Amsterdam, Festival Cinédanse in Quebec City, Tanzrauschen Intenational Dance on Screen Wuppertal, Intermezza dance film festival and Tanečních Filmů Prague and Shall we dance? in Cologne.
A production of Sunny Artist Management and La Petite Caisse de Boubou, in collaboration with Empac - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
A DANCE FILM (15 min.)
BY MARLENE MILLAR & PHILIP SZPORER (Mouvement Perpétuel)
CHOREOGRAPHER, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR & PERFORMER
DIRECTED & PRODUCED BY Marlene Millar & Philip Szporer (Mouvement Perpétuel, Montréal)
CINEMATOGRAPHY BY Kes Tagney
EDITING OF TEASER Saria Chatila
Filmed on location in Anegundi and Hampi, India in February 2017.
The production was made possible with the generous support of : Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Kishkinda Trust/Shama Pawar (Anegundi),
and Danse Danse (Montréal).
BHAIRAVA evokes facets of Shiva, the Lord of Dance, as both the destroyer of evil and the guardian of time. He is fierce and drives terrible deeds, but he is also the Divine Protector and Supreme Guardian; his intention springs from pure compassion. In this work, carried by a strong and deeply evocative musical score and by the singular energy of the ancient site of Hampi, dancer and choreographer Shantala Shivalingappa embodies the presence and distinctive qualities of Bhairava. With her technical mastery and refined expressivity, she alternates between moments of precise symbolic gestures and more abstract body language surging from the powerful and omnipresent persona of Bhairava, creating a vivid incarnation of the deity.
BHAIRAVA was directed and produced by veteran dance-filmmakers Marlene Millar & Philip Szporer (Mouvement Perpétuel, Montréal) with cinematography by Kes Tagney. This 15-minute site-specific dance for camera film was filmed on location in Anegundi and Hampi, India in February 2017. The production was made possible with the generous support of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Kishkinda Trust/Shama Pawar (Anegundi), and Danse Danse (Montréal).
With Cie.111-Aurélien Bory
A piece by Aurélien Bory
for Shantala Shivalingappa
PRODUCTION Compagnie 111 – Aurélien Bory
COPRODUCTION (in progress) ThéâtredelaCité – CDN Toulouse Occitanie, Festival Montpellier Danse 2018, Agora – PNAC Boulazac-Nouvelle-Aquitaine, La Scala – Paris, L’Onde Théâtre Centre d’Art, Vélizy-Villacoublay. With the participation of ENSATT-Lyon.
DESIGN, SCENOGRAPHY & DIRECTION Aurélien Bory
CHOREOGRAPHY Shantala Shivalingappa with Shantala Shivalingappa
PERCUSSIONS Loïc Schild
DRAMATURGY Taïcyr Fadel
LIGHT DESIGN Arno Veyrat
MUSIC Joan Cambon
aSH is the final opus in the trilogy of portraits of women, ten years after it began in 2008 with Questcequetudeviens?, followed by Plexus in 2012. In this trilogy, where I take as a starting point not space – which is my usual theme in theatre –, but a woman, a person with a story; a living being who unfolds through dance.
Shiva, god of dance, dwells in Shantala Shivalingappa. According to the texts, Shiva has over one thousand names. He is a god of creation and destruction. Lord of cremation grounds, he covers his body with ashes. Shantala Shivalingappa has constructed her dance in the image of this god, whose vibration keeps the beat of the world.
Ash is not merely the solid residue of perfect combustion : it is here a process. It is part of a cycle of death and birth which begins from nothing, the start of any form in the theatre, and leans towards an ephemeral form before disappearing. Shantala’s dance resembles a kolam, a flour drawing made on the ground in the morning and destroyed by the wind during the day, and made again the following day. A geometry has embedded itself in her body through the movements of her Kuchipudi, repeated thousands of time. Circles, points, symmetries, spirals, fractals… her dance seems to be a representation of the very structure of the world.
The way the syllables link together in Shantala Shivalingappa is a dance in itself. For aSH, a title made up of the first and last initials of her name, I would like the entire space to have a rhythm. I would like the space to express itself first as a vibration, which is then picked up, transformed and prolonged infinitely by the percussionist Loïc Schild. Shantala’s dance is created based on her journey from India to Europe, from Kuchipudi to Pina Bausch, from Shiva to Dionysus, god of theatre, who some say are born of the same god. Shantala is always travelling between Madras, her birthplace, and Paris, where she lives. Her dance is a perpetual pendulum, much like our meeting: somewhere between the Hindu mystique and quantum physics.
Aurélien Bory - November 2018
Europe representation by [H]ikari Production (Nantes, France)
Contact : Gaëlle Seguin
Phone : + 33 (0) 983 018 100