Sheetal Gandhi is a National Dance Performance (NDP) and MAP award winning choreographer, performer, and teacher based in Los Angeles, CA. As a multi-hyphenated artist (singer, dancer, actor) her career has spanned genres and disciplines including her work as a creator and performer in Cirque du Soleil’s Dralion, playing a leading role in the Broadway production of Bombay Dreams, dancing throughout Ghana with the traditional West African dance company Novisi, and singing with the New York based, all-female a cappella group, Anamcara. Gandhi creates intercultural, interdisciplinary works that are sophisticated yet accessible, culturally specific yet ‘border-crossing’. In exploring traditional forms of dance and music through decidedly postmodern compositional structures – all to comment on the social world in which we live – her practice references the past, grounds itself in the present, and comments on the possibilities of the future.
Gandhi’s acclaimed solo dance-theater work, Bahu-Beti-Biwi, received the 2012-13 NDP Touring Award and has been performed widely across the U.S. and in over 5 countries: Harlem Stages (NYC), The Painted Bride (Philadelphia), ODC Theater (San Francisco), The Yard (Martha’s Vineyard), CSUMB (Monterey), the Maui Arts and Cultural Center and Kahilu Theatre (Hawaii), VSA Arts New Mexico, Goodhart Hall (Bryn Mawr), South Puget College (Washington), Florida Dance Festival, 24th St. Theater (Los Angeles), The Lab Theater (Minneapolis), Highways Performance Space (Los Angeles), The Joyce Soho (NYC), The Jacob’s Pillow Festival (MA), REDCAT (Los Angeles), Erasing Borders Festival (NYC), National Asian American Theater Festival (NYC), and more. Internationally, her work traveled to India, Mexico, Israel, Norway, and the Netherlands.
Gandhi is a recent proud recipient of a 2016 MAP Fund, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Past choreographic support has come from the James Irvine Foundation, New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, and UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures. She was also awarded two prestigious artist residencies in 2014 (Djerassi and Montalvo), the 2012 Annenberg Community Beach House Choreography Residency and was a participating member of the 2012 Choreographers in Mentorship Exchange (CHIME) Program. Her passion for intercultural exchange has been supported by the 2010 Asia Pacific Performance Exchange (APPEX), a Cultural Exchange International (CEI) fellowship in Amsterdam, and an invitation to attend the Tanzmesse International Festival for Contemporary Dance in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Gandhi’s commitment to artistic innovation, personal transformation and social change informs her teaching and continues to lead her to work with various artists and non-artist communities – both locally and abroad. She received her M.F.A. in dance from UCLA and is currently on faculty at Pomona College in Claremont, CA. Major artistic collaborators include choreographers Shyamala Moorty and Ulka Mohanty; composers Derrick Spiva; lighting designer Tony Shayne; and performance artist Dan Froot.