Born in 1960 in Ahmednagar in Maharashtra, Shrimati Shakuntala Nagarkar was initiated in dance and music by her mother Chabubai Saleman Nagarkar, a well-known performer of Tamasha. Subsequently Shrimati Shakuntala was trained in Lavani and Tamasha by Govind Nikam and Basant Rao Ghadke.
She gained immense popularity as a lead dancer of Lavani and Tamasha performing with the troupe of Shri Keshav Rao Badge, a well-known folk singer and dancer who has himself been honoured by Sangeet Natak Akademi with its Award. Shrimati Nagarkar has travelled extensively within the country and abroad to participate in major festivals. She has more than three thousand performances to her credit.
She has received several honours for her work from organizations in Maharashtra. These include the title Lavani Samrajnee, bestowed on her in 1993.
Shrimati Shakuntala Nagarkar receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for her contribution to the Lavani music of Maharashtra.