Acclaimed for her exquisite performances across India and Europe, Shantala Shivalingappa offers a dynamic double program of contemporary solos and traditional Indian dance. A renowned performer in Kuchipudi, a 2,000-year-old Indian style that fuses dance, music, and theater, Shivalingappa has been called “a total revelation” and “divinely gifted” for her grace, finesse, and powerful presence on stage. She has also performed with some of the greatest contemporary theater and dance artists working today, including Maurice Béjart and Peter Brook, bringing her stamp of classical mastery to contemporary works.
The program begins with two solos that pairs her sensuous and precise dancing style with new forms. This is followed by an excerpt from Gamaka, a Kuchipudi-based performance choreographed by Shivalingappa, danced in shimmering silks and in rhythmically complex and playful dialogue with four master musicians.
This performance is part of MoHu, a 9 day-long arts festival happening all over Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer, and Saratoga counties. The festival features theatre, dance, music, visual and random acts of art from 150 artists and arts organizations throughout the region.
Born in Madras, India, and brought up in Paris, Shantala Shivalingappa is a child of East and West whose artistic journey is truly unique. She grew up in a world filled with dance and music, initiated early 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. Driven to bring Kuchipudi to Western audiences, she has performed in festivals and theaters worldwide. She has worked with some of the greatest contemporary theater and dance artists of our times, including Maurice Béjart, Peter Brook, Bartabas, and Pina Bausch.
"It was, though, the incandescent sensuality of the Paris-based Shantala Shivalingappa that electrified the audience—I would have defied anyone in deSingel's Rode zaal that night not to have responded warmly to her sensational display of Kuchipudi dancing. This was a performance packed with expressiveness and vivacity, where both passion and grace could be seen in a single movement of the body.”—De Morgen, Antwerp, Belgium