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Press Release


From the ashes rise the phoenix, symbolising hope.  A 1000-kilometer journey along the devastated coastline resulted in a 100-meter painting depicting the power and determination of the survivors rising from the ashes to recreate their lives. This collaboration of painting and dance is dedicated to the survivors of the earthquake.


2 unique artists join together to produce an amazing piece of work dedicated to the survivors of the 2011 Great Eastern Japan Earthquake.


4 years have passed by but the devastation is still there, but one can see the determination and strength of the people of the region who are struggling to rebuilt their lives and to come to terms with their losses. 


Keisuke Watanabe, an award winning internationally recognised painter, travelled along the coastline of the Tohoku Region 2 years after the quake and was moved by what he saw.  He journeyed 1000 kilometers and produced an artwork 100 meters long. He had drawn virtually non-stop for 10 days. 


And for him, the only dancer who had the power and energy and creative force to dance the meaning of his art was Shakti, also known as the “Dancing Phoenix”.

Shakti is also an internationally acclaimed dancer who has performed in various theatres and festivals, both international and fringe, worldwide. Her training in classical Indian Dance and yoga shows the discipline in her movements and spirituality in her expressions. 

But the show came closer to reality than expected.  The piece was created in September-November 2014.  The earthquake and tsunami/Fukushima had happened.  The ending, Fire, was put as the symbol of ressurection.

But beginning of 2015 there was the worst bushfire in 30 years in the Adelaide Hills.  The fire burnt for days and approached Shakti's home in the hills.  They fought the fire for 4 days.  20% of their land was burnt to ashes. BUT the phoenix does rise from the ashes.  Within 2 weeks small green shoots sprung up from the black land.  Nature is strong.  There is life after destruction as long as it is natural.  For man-made destruction like Fukushima - we can only pray.

Read  Shakti's personal message of the Adelaide Hills Bushfire.


The show premiered in the Adelaide Fringe 2015. 

It was then taken to Kyoto to the ALTI National Theatre on 25 April 2015.  (Sponsored by The VasantaMala Indian Dance Institute and supported by the Kyoto City Government and the Indian Embassy.The show in Kyoto will be a 2 hour opus titled "MAHAKALA"  based on TS Eliots's "4 Quartets" culminating in the  "Appasionata".

It has then been taken to the Avignon Festival  in France from 10-24 July where it received rave reviews.


Both artists, Shakti & Watanabe are from Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan.  Both have won distinguished awards from the government and have a CV taking you around the world. 


Part 1           Earthquake                         symbolising 2011 Great Eastern Japan Earthquake

Part 2           Tsunami / Fukushima      symbolising the tsunami and the destruction caused by nuclear plant

Part 3           Fire                                         Apassionata  / Phoenix Rising from the Ashes

                                                                        symbolising the Adelaide Hills Fire in January 2015


Artistic Director                                       Shakti & VasantaMala

Choreography                                         Shakti

Live Painting / Artwork                           Keisuke Watanabe


Dance                                                            Shakti & the VasantaMala Dance Company 
Poetry Recitation                                      VasantaMala


Lighting  & Sound                                     Jorg Hacker

Photo by Jorg Hacker / design by Shakti Design

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