Rachna Nivas

Deemed by New York Times “an expert in all sides of her art” and by San Francisco Chronicle as “revelatory”, Rachna Nivas is an unparalleled artist with deep knowledge, an unrelenting protector of her rich lineage, and a courageous innovator of provocative works that defy social paradigms. After rising to principal dancer in legendary master Chitresh Das’ acclaimed company, she is now co-founder of the bi-coastal Leela Dance Collective and is building her own solo body of work in a new generative chapter of her artistic journey. Some of Rachna’s works include ‘Unedited’, her risk-bound tour-de-force solo improvised with live musicians; SPEAK, a cross-genre collaboration with leading tap artists; Son of the Wind, a large-scale dance ballad with live orchestra. Rachna was awarded the 2022-23 New York Public Library for Performing Arts Dance Research Fellowship. Notable tours of her works include LA’s Broad Stage and Ford Theaters, San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Mumbai’s Royal Opera House, New Delhi’s Epicenter, Maui Arts and Cultural Center, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center. As an educator, Rachna has trained and mentored hundreds of students. She is co-Artistic Director of Leela Academy and was Artistic Director of Leela Youth Dance Company, shepherding excellence, leadership, and empowerment amongst teens. She has taught in numerous educational residencies, most notably at New York’s Kuperberg Center for the Arts, New Orleans’ Treme Center, Miami’s Conservatory of Arts. She is currently Director of Leela New York, carrying forward the teachings of her lineage in New York City.