Featuring Rina Mehta, Rachna Nivas, Michelle Dorrance, & Dormeshia

“…an evening of rhythmic magic.”

– Los Angeles Dance Chronicle


“…a sunny break from our me-first fractured world.”

– Los Angeles Times


Video Gallery

To view additional videos of SPEAK visit our YouTube Channel.

Show Information

Concept: Rina Mehta & Rachna Nivas
Choreography: Rachna Nivas, Rina Mehta, Dormeshia, Michelle Dorrance
Original Score: Jayanta Banerjee, Allison Miller, Carmen Staaf
Lighting Design: Dave Robertson
90 minutes, 4 dancers, 6 musicians
Download Technical Rider



SPEAK Connects the Dots Between East & West with Global Message
Big Island Music Mag

American troupe treat Mumbaikars to an evening of Kathak and Tap dance
Times of India

Rhythm Speaks
Asian Age

Tapping into Kathak

Dance Card: Indian kathak dance and American tap will meet as equals in SPEAK at Z-Space
San Jose Mercury News

Leela Dance’s SPEAK mixes kathak and tap
SF Gate

Rhythm unites tap, Indian classical dancers
SF Examiner

Leela Dance set to bring two powerful kathak performances to California
India West


What Audiences are Saying

“The East spoke to the West without using words. It made you feel nothing else matters as long as we can experience beauty like this. Humanity will triumph in-spite of all the adverse events happening around us.”

– SPEAK Audience Member, 2015


“The talent showcased by each performer is beyond comprehension. Their dedication, passion and deep love for the art that transcends all boundaries could be clearly seen in every segment.”

– Ena Sarkar, CEO of WomenNowTV


“”It was the first time in a long time I felt so proud to be a woman and really just bask in the glory in what we all can accomplish together.”

– SPEAK Audience Member, 2015


“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 Seiwert, Artistic Director of Amy Seiwert Imagery


“Speak is a bona fide hit. The quality of the artistry and the production is top notch. Audiences flocked to the performances and continue to rave weeks later. Z Space is proud to have been part of Speak’s debut.”

– Lori Laqua, Executive Director, Z Space


Upcoming Performances

March 23-27, 2020
Page Theatre, St. Marys University of Minnesota
Winona, Minnesota
April 14-18, 2020
North Carolina State Live
Raleigh, North Carolina
April 20-22, 2020
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida
April 23-25, 2020
South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center
Miami, Florida


Previous Performances

February 12, 2020
Maui Arts and Cultural Center
Maui, Hawaii
February 14, 2020
University of Hawaii
Hilo, Hawaii
February 16, 2020
Kahilu Theatre
Wamea, Hawaii
February 20, 2019
Royal Opera House
Mumbai, India
February 21, 2019
GD BIrla Sabhagar
Kolkata, India
February 24, 2019
Gurgaon, India
March 22-24, 2018
The Broad Stage
Los Angeles, CA
March 24-25, 2017
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
San Francisco, CA
March 27-29, 2017
College of the Holy Cross
Worcester, MA
December 18-19, 2015
San Francisco, CA

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation
New Music USA
California Arts Council
National Endowment for the Arts
Zellerbach Family Foundation
The Esper A. Petersen Foundation





Indian Kathak dance and American tap dance, continents and ages apart, share parallel stories of struggle and perseverance. They 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, Rina Mehta, Rachna Nivas, Michelle Dorrance, and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards 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.

Musical Cast:
Allison Miller, Drums and Composer
Carmen Staaf, Piano
Todd Sickafoose, Bass
Jayanta Banerjee, Sitar and Composer
Debasish Sarkar, Vocals
Satyaprakash Mishra, Tabla

Booking Information:
Elka Samuels Smith
Divine Rhythm Productions