Our Philosophy . . .

"Be the change you want to see in the world."  -Mohandas Gandhi 

Shakti Caravan is an international collective of artists, entrepreneurs, and idealists who share their craft with the city of Udaipur, Rajasthan, India. We rarely limit our projects to one space, one time-line, or even one specific outcome. We are all, however, equally united behind the idea that the arts are a catalyst for positive social change. We develop creative projects in local communities which both sustain themselves and provide work and learning opportunities for people in all walks of life - regardless of class, gender, race. Our programs build community and push people to recognize the humanity in themselves and others. 

How Did This Begin? Two Companies. One Mission. 

The Vanaver Caravan World Dance & Music Co. 

The Vanaver Caravan (TVC) is an internationally acclaimed nonprofit dance and music troupe based out of New Paltz, New York.  We envision a world where people understand and respect one another – where our differences unite rather than divide us.  Recognizing that the arts often communicate what words fail to express, the mission of The Vanaver Caravan is to inspire, through dance and music, the harmonious co-existence of world cultures and traditions, and to promote peace and celebrate our humanity.

Founded in 1972 by Bill and Livia Vanaver, The Vanaver Caravan has had a long, successful history of professional touring, humanitarian and human rights work, peace advocacy, and widely celebrated arts-in-education programs.  Working alongside organizations such as the Friendship Ambassadors Foundation,  Sloop Clearwater, and Auroville, our high-spirited, down-home performances and workshops have brought light and joy to diverse audiences across the globe.  

Shakti Academy of Performing Arts & Healing

Shakti Academy is the product of a small NGO called Big Medicine Charitable Trust, based in Udaipur, Rajasthan, India. Our work is democratic, ecological, and centers around human rights. We develop communities committed to leading the world towards peace and nonviolence. We work with local artists and activists to create a continuous stream of festivals and education programs in Udaipur, which aim to inspire change and collaboration between Udaipur, locals and international artists with whom we partner.  

Our mission is to build upon the best of Udaipur's cultural legacies in collaboration with local/global visionaries to create a 21st century model for sustainable heritage cities. With the development of the Shakti Academy of Performing Arts and Healing, we aim to put our mission to practical use: Shakti Academy will be an international hub for creative thinkers, activists, and virtuoso artists to come together and share their traditions. The academy will be a space in Udaipur where class, gender, and economic means become irrelevant and the arts are a primary avenue for growth and social change.   

Together, we created the Shakti Caravan. Our programs work towards our combined mission to create change through the arts.

  • Arts in Education
    • Vanaver-trained teaching artists (who hail from all across the globe) teach world dance in Udaipur Schools
    • Create Dance Performances for school communities
  • Gender Equality 
    • Endorsed by Arun Gandhi, this program teaching Martial Arts and self-defense courses for women and men
    • Peace and non-violent communication.  Movement, trust, and healing-arts workshops
  • Cultural Exchange
    • Ongoing dance exchange programs between local Udaipur dancers and Vanaver dancers in both New York and Udaipur. 
    • Work with the Friendship Ambassadors Foundation to create companion tours
    • Link study abroad & volunteer opportunities (current - NYU Tisch School for the Arts)
  • Performances & Workshops 
    • We perform and teach at theaters, weddings, universities, cafes, festivals, and holiday celebrations throughout Udaipur. 
  • Ecology & Environment
    • Outreach: Arts projects, workshops, festivals, and advocacy programs to clean up Udaipur's lakes, and streets
    • We are also working with city officials to create more sustainable, comprehensive waste-treatment programs  

Meet Our Team.