Presented in association with YBCA
Indian Kathak and American tap dance — continents and ages apart — share parallel stories of struggle and perseverance. Rachna Nivas and Rina Mehta, along with Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards and Michelle Dorrance 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, the dancers 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.

These women welcome the collision of their individual genres, using their art as a container for the larger conversation about connection. The reach across the perceived divide engages, entertains and educates.

—Amy Seiwart, Artistic Director, Amy Seiwart Imagery

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Regular Admission: $35–55

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Official trailer—SPEAK: A Kathak and Tap Collaboration

About Leela Dance Collective

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 embody their deep study under legendary master Pandit Chitresh Das — they 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.

Photo: Margo Moritz

Produced by Leela Dance in association with YBCA and co-presented by Chitresh Das Dance Company. Additional support from San Francisco Grants for the Arts and National Endowment for the Arts.

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is grateful to the City of San Francisco for its ongoing support.

YBCA Programs in 16-17
are made possible in part by:
The James Irvine Foundation

Additional Funding for YBCA Programs 16-17:
National Endowment for the Arts, Adobe, Abundance Foundation, Gaia Fund, Grosvenor, and Members of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

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The Leslie and Merle Rabine 2016-17 Performance Season is made possible in part by: Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Panta Rhea Foundation.

Additional Funding for YBCA Performances 16-17: Surdna Foundation,, and Zellerbach Family Foundation.

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Photo: Margo Mortiz