Shakti as The Nullarbor Nymph Images and Projections by Jorg Hacker  
    VasantaMala Dance Company as other "Nymphs"    

Kumiko Takayama, Fumiko Inamori,

Fumiko Shimayama, Mayura Nishimura  
    Choreography by Shakti Lighting by Jorg Hacker  
    Shakti Jorg Hacker  

Born in 1957 in Kyoto , Japan to an Indian father and Japanese mother, Shakti grew up with rich cultural heritage of Japan and India . She studied yoga with her father and dance with her mother and with foremost gurus of India .
While earning an M.A. in Indian Philosophy at Columbia University in New York City , Shakti studied modern dance with Martha Graham, Alvin Ailey and jazz with Luigi.

Upon returning to Japan , Shakti developed a unique hybrid form of dance blending an array of Eastern dance traditions and yoga with Western jazz and contemporary rock resulting in an exotic, erotic, and shocking effect.
She has been performing worldwide to great critical acclaim. Her unique and mesmerising performances have touched and tantalised audiences everywhere.
She is called the "Dancing Phoenix"(New York Times), "Camp Asian Vamp" (London Time Out), and "Nymph of Sensuality" (Yomiuri Press).
Shakti was nominated into the top 3 in "100 Japanese the World Respects", by Newsweek Japan .
Now she is an Australian citizen, she hopes to create a similar impact there too.

“In Shakti the fiery emotion of ancient India contrast with the calm ethereal realm of of Oriental Buddhism.
Her dancing genius creates compelling tension that plays and entices, and entwines and teases, and finally expresses and unifies these two unique “Ways”
as only true art can do:
beyond logic, words, and time.”

New York Times

Dance genius has been used to describe more than once the fiery mix of beauty, brains, artistic ambiguity and tantalizingly sexual cheekiness that makes up the brilliance we know as Shakti.

But Shakti is more than just a dancer. She has become a beacon for those that wish to throw away the shackles of the world in which we live but never quite dare to.”

G. King – director Southwest Anglo-Japanese Society

Shakti challenges:

Perceptions of erotica
Nature of dance
Meaning of culture
Borders of art
Philosophy of life

Jörg M. Hacker received a doctorate in Atmospheric Sciences (Dr. rer. nat.) from the Meteorological Institute of the University of Bonn , Germany in 1980. Until 1982, he held the position of Research Fellow at that institute. In 1982, he took up a position as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Flinders University of South Australia in Adelaide/South Australia. There, from very small beginnings, he built up Australia's National Research Aircraft Facility ARA – Airborne Research Australia , which today is Australia's only National Facility engaged in using and operating aircraft for atmospheric and environmental research. Today, he is ARA's Director and Chief Scientist, and also holds the position of Associate Professor within Flinders University . He was instrumental in securing one of the very few civilian high altitude research aircraft (the Grob G520T Egrett which can fly research missions to altitudes as high as 15km) for the facility and is now flying regularly as mission specialist in this aircraft all over the world..

His research work spans a wide area, with special emphasis on the atmospheric boundary layer and the development of innovative instrumentation and measurement strategies using airborne platforms. He was co-author in more than 50 publications in internationally refereed journals and more than 100 Conference Papers. He pioneered the concept of using cost-efficient small aircraft for atmospheric research, including the research described in the current paper.

JM Hacker holds a pilot's license with several special endorsements and has more than 5,000 flying hours in a wide range of aircraft, including flying gliders over the Andes in South America up to 12.5km. In the context of his research, he also regularly flies aircraft as low as 10m above the ground.

For his international science activities, in 1994 together with colleagues Professor Helmut Kraus ( University of Bonn ) and Professor Peter Schwerdtfeger ( Flinders University ), JM Hacker received the prestigious Max-Planck-Prize, awarded jointly by the German Alexander-von-Humboldt-Foundation and the Max-Planck-Society. Together with H.W. Grosse, he holds the World Record for flying a self-launching glider over a 500km triangle at an average speed of 172km/h.

Since 2000, he also got increasingly involved in the Performing Arts in support of his wife Shakti. Together, they did two productions, “Empire of the Senses” and “Classique Nu”, where Jorg contributed videography and assisted in the design and style of the shows. He is also responsible for the lighting design and technical side of Shakti's shows and other logistics. Shakti and Jorg are active in running arts venues at many festivals worldwide through their company “The Garage International”.





Kumiko Takayama Fumiko Inamori
Fumiko Shimayama Mayura Nishimura

The 'Nymphs' who run with Shakti.
Kumiko Takayama and Fumiko Inamori have been dancing with Shakti for 30 years. They are part of her dance company as well as the VasantaMala Indian Dance Troupe which specializes in Indian dances both classical and contemporary and folk.

Kumiko teaches in Shakti Studio Tokyo while Fumiko teaches in the VasantaMala Indian Dance Institute in Kyoto .

Fumiko Shimayama has also been with the company for over 25 years. She also teaches in Kyoto. She has traveled extensively with Shakti and the group.

Mayura Nishimura is the youngest of the company. She started learning dance with VasantaMala at the age of 5 and has continued and has joined the company now and is touring with them. She is also actively teaching the younger students.

All have performed with Shakti worldwide.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe for over 10 years. (1994-2005) Avignon Festival (since 1996)
Adelaide Fringe (since 1996)
Montreal Fringe (1997-2006)
London – Sadlers Wells
Moscow – Russia Concert Hall
Kiev – Lenin Theatre
New York – Lincoln Centre
Sydney – Town Hall
India – Delhi , Kolkota, Hyderabad , Mumbai
Japan – Tokyo , Kyoto , Osaka , Yokohama etc.

Poetry recitation of the Nullarbor Nymph.

VasantaMala is the founder and director of the VasantaMala Indian
Dance Institute in Kyoto. She is the first Japanese woman to introduce
Indian Classical Dance in Japan.

Shakti and all the other dancers have been trained under her. She and Shakti work together to continue to create new shows. She is the artistic director of the Company.

VasantaMala has received the highest award in Japan for her dedication to her art. She is known to be a "living treasure".

She is also a renowned poetess and has published many poems of which many have received awards.

All poems in the Rinne version of the Nullarbor Nymph have been written and performed by her with the exception of the opening poem which is taken from the creation myth of the Rig Veda.

"Rinne" version of the Nullarbor Nymph has added a depth and a new perspective to the show.


Click here to read "Poetry of the Nullarbor Nymph"
* The Journery Begins
* Metamorphose
* The Wheel Turns