Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

“Past Forward” by Leela Samson and Spanda Dance Company

November 14, 2015 @ 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

- $25,35

Saturday, November 14, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. (Seating at 7:15pm)

An inward journey of the soul, experienced through the body of the individual and the group collective. From the external to the internal – exploring one’s search for the light and the truth.
From macro experiences, we begin a journey inwards of the jivaatma. This search is every man’s constant endeavor and is personified in the ego of the ‘individual’ as much as it is in the ego of the ‘many’. In group and solo expression, the individual need for introspection, searching for the presence of something greater leading to better understanding oneself and the role in a group.

The journey leads to a celebration of music and movement, which causes the individual soul to unite with the Brahman. Music truly is the food of love.

Spanda, a group founded in 1995 that presents works conceived and choreographed by Leela Samson, explores group dynamics in Bharatanatyam. Spanda, which means a vibration or pulse, is symbolic of the enduring and perpetual energy that is the life force of the universe.

The need to rediscover learnt vocabulary challenges and excites Spanda. While retaining the geometry, the variety and grammar of this ancient form one can reduce movement to its truest expression. Spanda deliberates text, musical traditions and movement vocabulary and exposes the dancer and viewer to the stillness within them. Spanda seeks to establish a relevant dialogue between dance, music and stage craft.

For more information about Leela Samson and Spanda Dance Company, go to http://www.leelasamsondance.com

Leela Samson is a dancer, teacher, writer and choreographer of Bharatanatyam. She has been deeply influenced by the visionary Rukmini Devi Arundale, who founded Kalakshetra, the premier academy of arts in Chennai.

Leela joined Kalakshetra as a young child and her formative years were spent imbibing the nuances of Bharatanatyam and related arts at the feet of celebrated gurus. Over years of independent work, her dance has metamorphosed from representing the best of her alma mater into a unique personal expression, which is at once unostentatious, serene, philosophical and joyful.

A well-loved and respected teacher, Leela has also trained several students who are now accomplished dancers and teachers in their own right. In 1995, she formed a group called Spanda, to explore group dynamics in Bharatanatyam.

Leela has been the subject of two documentary films, Sanchari and The Flowering Tree. She has also authored several articles as well as two books, Rhythm in Joy (1987) and Rukmini Devi: A Life (2010).

She is the recipient of several prestigious national honors, including the titles “Padmashri,” “Kalaimamani,” and the Sangeet Natak Akademi, Sanskriti and Natya Kala Acharya awards. Leela has served as Director of the Kalakshetra Foundation, as Chairperson of India’s apex cultural body, the Sangeet Natak Akademi, and Chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification.

Leela lives in Chennai, where she continues to dance, choreograph, teach and write.


One felt the emotional togetherness and sense of rigorous abandon in male and female dancers, Leela’s choreography revelling in each dancer’s individuality.”

Leela VenkataramanThe Hindu, 17 October 2014

(Leela) treated rasikas to a style of dance that was replete with visual imagery, sophistication and understatement. … Leela epitomized the sophistication she believed in.

Rupa SrikanthThe Hindu, 19 December 2008


November 14, 2015
7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Event Categories:


University of Minnesota St. Paul Student Center Theater
University of Minnesota, 2017 Buford Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55108 United States
+ Google Map