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Abhilash Ningappa

Abhilash Ningappa is the Founder and Artistic Director of Play Practice Artists Residency based in India. He is recognized as a performer, choreographer, and teacher both nationally and internationally. Abhilash holds post-graduate degrees from SEAD (Salzburg) and APASS (Advanced Performance and Scenography Studies) (Belgium) and is a trained yoga practitioner and martial art teacher in Kalari Payattu and contemporary dance. Abhilash has won the Pecda award for “Architect of Self Destruction” and has taught in many studios around the world. He has choreographed works and collaborated with artists, and is known for his workshops on Story Boarding, "Embodying Critical Situation," improvisation and composition, all focused on performance as a practice. For the past 5 years, Abhilash has been organizing Play Practice Apprenticeship program and Yoga Practice Teachers training program. In 2019, he launched the first Fight Practice martial arts workshop and also organizes yearly residencies for artists in India.


Abhilash Ningappa's workshop focuses on improvisation based on martial arts principles. He has developed a unique method and practices that empower dancers to make choices and explore the possibilities of movement through composition. Through creative choices, dancers can recover and revisit movements, leading to the creation of a performance.

The workshop starts with a warm up session that leads into various movement practices influenced by martial arts and contemporary dance. This progression ultimately leads towards improvisation practice.


Abhilash's research focuses on sensorial perceptions and their relation to early life and memories. In his workshop, he emphasizes the fundamentals of movement, such as breath, speed, and energy, involving the core structure of the body, influenced by different methods of kalari payattu and other martial arts. The focus is on the dancer's relationship with the space and the people around them, creating a unique and embodied experience.

Overall, Abhilash Ningappa's workshop offers dancers a holistic and embodied approach to improvisation based on martial arts principles. Through his unique method, dancers can develop their creative choices, expand their movement possibilities, and create dynamic performances.

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