MEET 2024 HEADLINER seeta patel...

The award-winning choreographer and dancer Seeta Patel was born in London and began her training under the guidance of Kiran Ratna in 1990. She has since worked with a range of Bharatanatyam and contemporary dance professionals including Mavin Khoo, Padma Shri Adyar K Lakshman, Pushkala Gopal and Darshan Singh Bhuller. She has also performed and toured with a number of companies such as DV8 Physical Theatre, Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company, David Hughes Dance Company and Mavin Khoo Dance.

Seeta has presented solo and ensemble works at the Southbank Centre Purcell Room, Royal Opera House, ROH2 and Sadler’s Wells such as: Cycle of Change (2005), She Was Still (2005-6), Alter Ego (2007), Shringara (2009), Last One Standing (2010) and First Light (2014). Her solo classical London debut, Shringara: Journey of Desire, was performed to a capacity audience at The Clore Upstairs, Royal Opera House (June 2009), and then toured around the UK in 2010/11. 

Over the past 12 years, Patel has received numerous awards and bursaries for her creative and professional development. She was awarded the Lisa Ullmann Travel Scholarship to study in India (2005) and at the New York Film Academy (2013). In 2017, she received the Washington S&R Award for her work championing Bharatanatyam in the diaspora.

Seeta worked as a choreographic collaborator with the world renowned contemporary circus company, Gandini Juggling, for their production Sigma which premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2017 before touring in 2020 and subsequently won the Archangel Award, Total Theatre Award, and Asian Arts Award.

In tandem with her choreographic and performing work Seeta has worked in film, TV and theatre. She produced a multi award-winning short dance film, The Art of Defining Me in 2013, which gained national and international acclaim.

She was a judge, mentor and advisor for the inaugural BBC TV Young Dancer Competition and in 2016 choreographed a new play at the Theatre Royal Stratford East entitled The House of In Between.

Most recently, Seeta Patel’s critically acclaimed Bharatanatyam version of the iconic ballet, The Rite of Spring, toured the UK through 2019-2021, winning the 2020 Eastern Eye Arts, Culture and Theatre Award in the Dance Category and being nominated for best stage production by the Asian Media Group in 2019. The work has been developed with an extended cast and full orchestra for a performance run throughout 2023.

As a new National Portfolio Organisation with Arts Council England, Seeta Patel Dance is excited to develop more exciting projects in the coming years.

The constantly evolving world of South Asian Dance is developing as an integral part of the international dance landscape and Seeta Patel is a vital part of this growing business; she mentors and supports up-and-coming dancers and produces high quality work which entertains and engages an increasing audience both in the UK and abroad.

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GET TO KNOW seeta...

What are you most looking forward to as a Headliner of MOVE IT 2024? 

I’m looking forward to sharing the amazing Bharatanatyam dance form with new people. I hope more people will be as inspired by it as I am. 

What is the most important lesson you have learnt in your career so far?

Have high standards even when no one is looking.  

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? / Further career goals in the dance Industry? 

I would love to be able to share my work more internationally and create more exciting work with Bharatanatyam.

Do you have any advice for young aspiring dancers who want to get into the professional dance world? 

Practise even when you don’t have a show coming up. and drink more water 😁. 

What does dancing mean to you? 

Dancing is something that can inspire you whether you do it or watch it. Our bodies are so amazing.  

Are there any influences on your style of dance? 

There are too many incredible Bharatanatyam dancers in the world for me to name just one. But my late dance music teacher was a big part of my journey.  

What do you think is the biggest challenge that you face as a dancer? 

To stay resilient and motivated when things get tough. Especially if you get an injury.  

What do you think are the most important qualities for success in the dance industry? 

Hard work, self-motivation, integrity. 

What can we expect from your Main Stage Performance?  

I’ll be sharing some video of my biggest work The Rite of Spring. It’s an energising, vibrant work. It’s an ensemble Bharatanatyam piece accompanied by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Epic!  

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself  

I have the most adorable cat called Lupi Lu (and I went to medical school many moons ago).