Born in Madras, India, brought up in Paris, Shantala 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, earning praise and admiration from all.
Acclaimed as a rare dancer by artists and connoisseurs the world over, 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, Bamboo Blues and Sacre du Printemps), Ushio Amagatsu (Ibuki). Together with Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui she created Play.
Such experiences make her artistic journey a truly unique one.
Today, Shantala shares her time between touring, expanding her choreographic work in the Kuchipudi style, and collaborating with various artists in the exploration of dance, music and theatre.