Sa’s Adventures in Dance


The Sa Dancers mix many elements in their dance

The Sa Dancers mix many elements in their dance Photo - Sam Khan

The Sa Dancers

When different lives, different experiences intersect, you get something totally unexpected and fresh. That’s the story of  The Sa Dance Company – twelve dancers coming from diverse disciplines and filtering their moves together into something unique. Many of them are from Ivy League colleges and work at blue chip corporations but through it all they’ve kept their deep passion for dance.

Payal Kadakia, founder of Sa, is a MIT graduate who works in digital strategy for Warner Music Group. Growing up she trained in folk and classical Indian dance, so it was a given for her to start Chamak at MIT, a dance group which blends east and west. She also explored popular ‘filmi’ dance as a co-choreographer at Pooja Narang’s Bollywood Axion and is now studying classical ballet.

The Sa Dancers  - a mix of East and West

The Sa Dancers - a mix of East and West

The Associate Artistic Director of Sa is Drasti Panchal, a Boston University alum who works as a Senior Financial Analyst at Young & Rubicam, but in her personal life has ventured into all aspects of dance from traditional Bharat Natyam to Hiphop to folk. Drasti was a dancer with Fusion, a hip-hop dance troupe, and a co-founder of Chankaar, Boston University’s first South Asian dance troupe.

Together Kadakia and Panchal, along with their powerhouse pack of ten dancers, have created a wonderful blend of ancient and modern, Indian and western – very like the lives they lead. Each of the dancers has trained in Western and Indian dance forms from Kathak to Jazz to ballet, and they combine varied moves and rhythms to create a language all their own.

The Sa Dance Company, started just last year, has created a buzz with its appearances at the IAAC Downtown Dance Festival and at Fashion Week 2010. On May 14 and 15, the dancers will have a premiere showcase at the Ailey Citigroup Theater, conquering the west with bells on their ankles.  You’ll even spot director Mira Nair, who’s the chief guest,  at the May 14 opening. For those who really want to let their hair down and party there’s a reception on May 15 with the dancers. More information about this event here

(Photos courtesy – The Sa Dance Company)


About Author

Lavina Melwani is a New York-based journalist who writes for several international publications. [email protected] & @lassiwithlavina Sign up for the free newsletter to get your dose of Lassi!

1 Comment

  1. I will, as you suggest, “Watch this space for an inside look at the evening” – opening performance Friday May 14 of the Sa Dance Company at the Ailey Citigroup Theater with Mira Nair as chief guest. Also attending will be Project Runway’s Malan Breton, and Rujuta Vaidya, tour choreographer for A R Rahman, among other artistic leaders and celebs.