Ivan Pulinkala is a contemporary choreographer living and working in Atlanta, GA. Originally from New Delhi, India, Pulinkala moved to the United States in 1998 to pursue a Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance. In 2012, he received his doctorate in Higher Education Administration from the University of Alabama. Pulinkala began his professional training and choreographic career in India, where he served as the artistic director of his own company from 1994-1998. Pulinkala served as the choreographer-in-residence for Delhi Music Theatre for five years, and was named among the 25 Indian artists of the Millennium by the India Today Magazine in their December 1999 issue.

Ivan Pulinkala is the Chair of the Department of Dance at Kennesaw State University, a program he founded in 2005. He travels nationally and internationally choreographing and teaching dance. His work has been commissioned for concert dance (modern and contemporary ballet), musical theatre, as well as corporate and commercial film. His choreographic interest lies in altering physical space through the medium of dance, and he often collaborates with visual artists to create unique physical elements that are explored through his work. His movement philosophy blends the intellectual investigation of sociopolitical subject matter with the physical exploration of space, to create work that is physically dynamic, and infused with strong visual and theatrical elements.


Ed.D. (Higher Education Administration)
Pulinkala received his doctorate in higher education administration at the University of Alabama. His dissertation titled "Partnering for Change in Dance Higher Education" was an empirical case study evaluation of community engagement partnerships between collegiate dance programs and professional dance companies.

M.F.A. (Dance)
Pulinkala received his Master of Fine Arts degree from Mills College in Oakland, California in May 2000. His master's thesis titled "Piper of the Soul" was a choreographic and scholarly exploration of the principles of karma and reincarnation. Performed by the Mills Repertory Dance Company in March 2000, the written thesis of this work is currently housed at the F.W. Olin Library on the Mills College campus and was published as a book my Lambert Academic Publishing.

B.Com. (H)
Pulinkala received a Bachelor of Commerce with Honors degree from Hindu College, Delhi University in 1994.


Pulinkala has studied under a number of nationally and internationally known teachers and choreographers in both the U.S. and India. The following are some of the individuals who have strongly influenced his dance training and choreographic career:

Milton Myers (Alvin Ailey School/ NY City Center)
June Watanabe (Mills College)
Jeanne Solan (Netherlands Dans Theatre/ NY City Center)
Mary Cochran (Paul Taylor Dance Company)

Reggie Savage (Savage Dance Company)
Fernando Aguilera (Argentine National Ballet at the Colon Theatre)

Thomas Hagood (Mills College)

Mary Ann Kinkead (Mills College)
Susan Mcguire (Paul Taylor School)
Kathleen McKlintock (Mills College)
Molissa Fenley (Molissa Fenley and Dancers)
Peter Schabel (Broadway Dance Center)
Mark Morris (Mark Morris Dance Group)

George Pulinkala (Delhi Music Theatre)

Kennesaw State University

Pulinkala is the Chair of the Department of Dance at Kennesaw State University. Founded in 2005 under his leadership, the department currently enrolls more than 120 dance majors and offers a B.A. degree in Dance. Pulinkala teaches courses in contemporary technique, choreography, dance history, kinesiology, performance, and is the artistic director of the Kennesaw State University Dance Company. In 2005, he received the Board of Regents award for Teaching Excellence from Murray State University. Pulinkala has also received the KSU Foundation Award for his creative scholarship, and the KSU Clendenin Graduate Fellowship for his doctoral studies. He is committed to contributing to the development of the next generation of artists through his work as a dance educator and choreographer.

The KSU Department of Dance has received regional and national attention for Pulinkala's choreographic work at the American College Dance Festival. Pulinkala is the only choreographer in the history of the American College Dance Festival to have work selected for three successive national festivals. In 2008, "INCUBUS" choreographed by Pulinkala, was one of 29 dances selected out of a national pool of 430 to be performed at the National American College Dance Festival held at the Miller Theatre in New York City. In 2010, Pulinkala's work "CHAKRA" was selected for the second national year in succession to be performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. In 2012, Pulinkala's work "RHIZOME" was selected for the third successive year for performance at the National American College Dance Festival held at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. All these works were an artistic collaboration with scenic designer Ming Chen. Pulinkala's work was also selected for ACDF Southeast regional gala concerts in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012.

Guest Artist Residencies

Pulinkala has choreographed and taught for a number of professional companies, colleges and arts organizations:

FRESCO Dance Company- Tel Aviv (2013)

International Dance Exposure- Tel Aviv (2013)

Washington University at St. Louis (2009, 2012)

Tennessee Association of Dance (2012)

Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center- Shuler Awards (2011, 2012)

Brigham Young University (2011, 2013)

Georgia Shakespeare (2011, 2012)

gloATL (2010)
Atlanta Ballet (2006, 2007, 2009, 2010)

Alliance Theatre (2009)
University of South Carolina (2008)
Nirvana Films (2007)
Governor's School for the Arts, Tennessee (2006, 2008)
The Dancer's Studio (2007)
Middle Tennessee State University (2005-2007)
Atlanta Gay Men's Chorus (2007, 2008)
Spelman College (2006)
Modern Atlanta Dance Festival (2006, 2007)
Decatur Arts Festival (2006)
Shanghai International Theatre Festival (2005)
Shelter Repertory Dance Company (2005)
Full Radius Dance Company (2005)
Mundial Festival (2005)
Murray State University (2001-2005)
Western Kentucky University (2004)
Danceworx (2004, 2009)
Vanderbilt University (2003, 2004)
U.C. Berkley (2004)
Mills College (2004)
Contemporary Dance Exchange of Nashville (2003-2005)
University of Tennessee at Martin (2003)
American College Dance Festival (2004-2009)
City Lights Youth Theatre (2001)
Delhi Music Theatre (1994-2002)
American Embassy School (1997-2002)
St. George's College (1994, 1995)

Grants/ Awards


National American College Dance Festival (Kennedy Center 2012, 2010; Miller Theatre 2008)

Clendenin Graduate Fellowship (Kennesaw State University) 2010, 2011, 2012

KSU Foundation Award 2011

Distinguished Research and Creative Activity Award (KSU College of the Arts) 2011

Cobb Symphony Orchestra Award for Artistic Excellence 2010
National Endowment for the Arts (American Masterpiece Grant) 2010
Board of Regents Teaching Excellence Award 2005 (Murray State University)
KSU Faculty Incentive Grant 2006-07
Faculty Teaching Development Grant
Faculty Professional Development Grant
Committee on Institutional Studies and Research Grant
Individual Artist Fellowship Program Grant at the Kentucky Arts Council
Middle Tennessee State University International Guest Artist Grant



Integration of a Professional Dance into College (2011)

       Research in Dance Education

Piper of the Soul (2010)

Lambert Academic Publishing

The Sensuality of Indian Movement

Online- October 2009/ Print- January 2010

Polyphonic Dynamics as Educational Practice
Co-authored with Karen Robinson and Ming Chen
Theatre Topics (Spetember 2010)


Professional Affiliations

Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund Board

Cobb Energy Center Education Board
gloATL Advisory Council
American College Dance Festival Association (ACDFA)