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. She subsequently presented solo classical works Dancing My Siva and Something Then, Something Now to sold out audiences at Sadler’s Wells and the Purcell Room (Darbar Festival).
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.
Seeta’s contemporary work in collaboration with the Australian choreographer and performer Lina Limosani is the one-woman show, Not Today’s Yesterday which takes a dramatic look at the whitewashing of history around the world. The show was a recipient of the Adelaide Artist Fringe Fund and premiered successfully at the Adelaide Fringe Festival in 2018 where it won Best Dance, and the Peace Foundation Award. The production toured around the UK in 2018 and 2019, including the Edinburgh Fringe as part of the British Council showcase. During the tour Seeta curated a series of lively and interesting post-show talks in association with a range of activists, historians and artists. The work went on to tour internationally including Australia, India, Italy and Egypt.
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 is currently being developed with an extended cast and full orchestra for a performance run throughout 2023.
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.