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Leela Dance Collective

Los Angeles, CA         

Great art requires us to be extraordinary. Extraordinary in our effort, in our courage, in our selflessness.

The Leela Dance Collective brings together today’s leading Kathak artists to engage in the practice and creation of art that is at once grounded in tradition and boldly innovative. Artists at Leela strive to achieve technique at its pinnacle, to merge the lines between dance and musicianship, to traverse the depth and breadth of human emotion. Leela welcomes the collision of individual and at times divergent voices, believing vehemently in collective creativity – the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

From evocative stories of ancient India, to unadulterated rhythms that electrify, to dynamic collaborations that transcend boundaries, The Leela Dance Collective’s repertoire represents an expansive vision for Kathak dance.


Indian Kathak dance and American tap dance, continents and ages apart, share parallel stories of struggle and perseverance. They come together in this sensational collaboration that is rhythm, poetry, storytelling, music and dance.

SPEAK carries forward the legacy of iconic artists like Pandit Chitresh Das, Dr. Jimmy Slyde and James Buster Brown, while bringing to the forefront the voices of powerful female artists. Serving as the bridge between tradition and innovation, history and progress, Rina Mehta, Rachna Nivas, Michelle Dorrance, and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards create nothing short of magic on the stage. 

Joined by the world’s leading Indian classical and jazz musicians, SPEAK promises to thrill, provoke and move your spirit. 

SPEAK Finale

Kathak and tap come together in the finale of SPEAK.

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Rina Mehta & Rachna Nivas in SPEAK

An exchange between kathak, classical dance of North India and American jazz.

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