Modern and Traditional Indian Dance at EMPAC with Shantala Shivalingappa [Berkshire on Stage]

Shantala Shivalingappa
Shantala Shivalingappa

From India to Europe, and at our very own Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in 2008, Shantala Shivalingappa has been acclaimed for her exquisite versatility. She breaks new ground with her contemporary solos while evoking two millennia of history with her 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, one created with the legendary Pina Bausch, that pairs her sensuous and precise dancing style with new forms. This is followed by an excerpt from Swayambhu, a Kuchipudi-based performance choreographed by Shivalingappa, danced in shimmering silks and in rhythmically complex and playful dialogue with four master musicians. All in all it can be described as a two-for-one event, a dynamic double program of contemporary solos and traditional Indian dance.

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