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SPANDA - Bharatanatyam by Leela Samson and Company
Wellstone Center
St Paul, MN
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SPANDA - Bharatanatyam by Leela Samson and Company
'Spanda' - a vibration - is symbolic of the enduring and perpetual energy that is the life force of the universe. It incorporates the philosophical concept of 'Prithvi' - Mother Earth - as the center and source of energy in the universe, and equates it with the 'nabham' - the womb - as the origin of energy in the human body. It is a journey inwards seeking the essential 'center', the origin of movement and its source of strength.

Spanda explores rediscovery of the basic movements of Bharatanatyam and the need for a reinterpretation of its traditional vocabulary.  Spanda seeks to establish a more relevant dialogue between dance, music and stagecraft.

Leela Samson is among India's most dynamic and technically brilliant dancers, an outstanding representative of Kalakshetra, the famed institute for the classical arts founded by the late Rukmini Devi Arundale on the Chennai ocean front.

Distinguished as both a soloist and a choreographer, her personal style is unostentatious, serene and characterized by an impeccable technique that blends geometrical precision with vibrancy and an unfettered ease. Her rhythmic acumen is apparent in dance compositions containing varied and challenging percussion patterns.

Two documentary films, "Sanchari" and "The Flowering Tree" have been made on her works. Among the many honors conferred on her, Leela Samson was awarded the prestigious Padmashri (1990) by the President of India in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the art of Bharatanatyam as well as the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1999-2000) instituted by the apex cultural body of the Government of India.

In addition to achievements as a performing artist, she served her alma mater Kalakshetra as its Director from 2005-2012, and is the chairwoman of India's Sangeet Natak Akademi (2010-present) and Central Board of Film Certification (2011-present)

Samson's choreography is clean, crisp and complex. Nary a gesture, glance or breath is unintentional or thrown away. Dancers contain their energy like pressure cookers and work in perfect synchrony.
Washington Post, 2011

Here is someone who has understood that a sense of aesthetics is the most important ingredient for an artiste. There was this sense of style in every movement and every nuance, not overtly visible, but subtly so.
The Hindu, 2006



Wellstone Center
179 Robie St East
St Paul, MN 55107-2360
United States


Arts > Dance
Arts > Performance
Music > Global
Music > World

Minimum Age: 7
Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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