Shivani Thakkar, is a dancer, choreographer, and actor, with the good fortune of having worked internationally. She is currently the Associate Artistic Director of Manu Kala Mandir Dance Productions and Founder and Choreographer of the MKM BollyStars – Canada’s Premiere Bollywood Dance Troupe.
Shivani’s work includes specialties in Bharata Natyam (Indian classical dance), Bollywood, Tap, Jazz, and Ballet. Performance credits include: Disney’s Step Up 3-D, Nickelodean’s Big Time Rush, Bellydance Superstars’ Bombay Bellywood Japan Tour, Canadian tour of Dvaya: A Confluence of Male Female Spirits, Bollywood films Chance Pe Dance and Deewana Hue Pagal, Vanitha Film Industry Awards (India), Opening Ceremonies – Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (office of Los Angeles Mayor Villariogsa), Mayor’s Evening for Business and Arts (Calgary) and more. Her choreography can be seen in the Global Intel Print Ad “Our Superstars”, Omni Canada’s Bollywood Top Ten, POP! -A Michael Jackson Tribute (MTLA Theatre), Girish Karnad’s Naga Mandala (USC), and for various dance companies including Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company (Washington DC), Vinok World Dance (Edmonton, Canada), John Britto Dance Company (Chennai, India), Karmagraphy, and her own MKM BollyStars. She was a Principal dancer in Shatarang a special performance part of the exhibition Gifts of the Sultan running at the Los Angeles County Museum of Arts (www.lacma.org). Other credits include The Sensual-S at the Smithsonian Museum, Feats Festival of Dance (2008, 2009), IAAC’s Erasing Borders: Festival of Indian Dance (NYC), Battery Dance Company’s Downtown Dance Days (2008), DC Dance Festival at Dance Place (2009). She was a panelist at the 2011 Hollywood Fringe Festival for the discussion Women in the Arts Breaking through the Glass Ceiling.
Shivani has performed in the Vagina Monologues 2008 at Aratani Japan American Theatre, is a company member of the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum (Los Angeles), has interned in TV production with ABC Television studios and has presented guest lectures at University of Southern California (annually), University of Calgary, and Howard Community College (Maryland). She is currently the host for the TV show Take One, a biography style show, on IND TV, launching in February 2012.
She’s the 2008 Winner of Verizon Wireless and Saavn Bollypop US National Dance Competition, 2010 Nominee for the Enbridge Emerging Artist Award (Office of Calgary Mayor, Dave Bronconnier), is a recipient of grants from Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute, and the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, and was a finalist for the Miss India Canada 2011.