“Part Stephen Hawking, part yogi and all feminist attitude…”
- Victoria Looseleaf
“Sheetal Gandhi used Indian heel-stamps and turns, alongside western-style isolations and floorwork, to create an eloquent, inventive, virtuosic dance-theater piece that kept the opening-night audience transfixed.”
- Heller, Nancy G. The Inquirer.
“So adept is Gandhi at capturing the distinct physical characteristics of each embodiment, she seems to literally morph from one to the next, as if there were a cast of dozens of her Indian relatives populating the stage”.
- Seidman, Carrie. Herald-Tribune.
“...it’s through her nuanced physicality that she connects best...inhabiting the skin of each of her creations as easily as she wraps herself in a length of striped fabric...”
- Gluckstern, Nicole. SFBG Pixel Vision Blog.
“There was not a single wasted gesture or sound. Gandhi’s talent takes over the characters, stage and her audience and envelops them all in her tale. The music by Joseph Trapanese adds another rich layer to this already engaging piece of art.”
- Kennedy, Megan. Exploredance.com.
“The collective narratives of a daughter-in-law, daughter and wife, weaved through the storyline like a needle puncturing through the past to complete a "quilt" that only Gandhi could create with her unique ability to reach into your chest and evoke an emotion through Indian dance.”
- Joseph, Lauren. Examiner.com.
“Gandhi gives these women voices, often in a dialogue with an unseen person. They are funny, self-aware and poignant, perhaps none more so than the eight-year old who, dressing for her wedding, wants to know why she had to be married so young.”
- Felciano, Rita. Dance View.
“A considerable actor, weaving Gujarati, English into...dialogues, she showed herself to be an adroit mover, combining powerful singing of haunting old Rajasthani folk songs, so pertinent in making a statement on life situations. Sheetal is a special talent.”
- Venkataraman, Leela. The Hindu.
On “In | Expiration”…
“Steadfast and supple, the piece is borne by terrific physical force: neat turns and brave accelerations of body and voice feel to do as much direct transmission of meaning as the nimble rhetoric and storytelling.”
- Lenihan, Jean. Fresh Pencil.
“Part Stephen Hawking, part yogi and all feminist attitude…Feeling safe is not part of the illuminating, ‘In|Expiration.’ ”
- Looseleaf, Victoria. Fjord Review.
“Not a line of speech, nor a punctuating stomp is ever out of place...They whirl and spin in perfection unison, like effortlessly synced electrons circling within a microcosmic atom.”
- Campodonico, Christina. Medium.
"Gandhi is adept in bringing large subjects of the cosmos, breath and matter and making them live, visually accessible actions...Using breathing as sound and conjuring Prana... the dancers managed to project a palpable passion and energy into the theater that was undeniably genuine and therapeutic. Sheetal Gandhi is at the forefront of the movement of artist practitioner as activist.”
“Sheetal Gandhi and Ulka Mohanty can act, dance and verbalize so effortlessly that the seamless dualities of themselves as speakers and dancers literally became conjoined like Siamese twins or as a spiritual guide like Vishnu with multiple faces and voices. I am not usually a follower, but I would follow Gandhi and Mohanty…”
“Alternating between stinging sighs and sucking gasps, Gandhi and Mohanty, as if under a telepathic spell seem to catch each other’s breath, creating an intricate harmony of respiratory rhythms. The only words that make it out of their virtuosic windpipes are “I can’t breathe,” echoing the final words of Eric Garner. The breathless statement leaves its mark on the night, haunting every eye, pore, ear and mouth.”
- Campodonico, Christina. Medium.
“Here...are Eric Garner’s last words, made palpable, made into art, the politics of dance, the politics of the body. Indeed, it is almost too much to bear. But bear we must, as a collective sense of mourning stuns, with the healing power of art the last vestige of hope we cling to.”
- Looseleaf, Victoria. Fjord Review.
On Other Works…
“The work takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to the idea that we go through life surrounded by innocent forms of superstition...Playful and inventive it was great fun to watch!”
- Farber, Jim. DailyBreeze.com.
“(the)piece gives us lulling torsos swathed in white costumes, and vine-covered tree branches, with…wind-chimes making that grief frisson through the audience.”
"they scratch and scrabble…twaddling onto hay bales, heads bobbing…into funky chicken syncopated rhythms…this work is hella funny!" - ~
”The drums are nodal points for ingenious combinations featuring the purest sort of mime, absent “clever” conceits or tricks.”
“...capture the big hearted, global creativity this choreographer and these dancers deliver.”
- Singer, Toba. Criticaldance.com.
TESTIMONIALS & KUDOS
“Sheetal is an extraordinary theater artist with whom it was a great pleasure to work with.”
- Rick Shiomi (Artistic Director, Mu Performing Arts)
“Through her tremendous level of craft and deep knowledge of both traditional and contemporary forms, she creates powerful performances that directly communicate her moving stories.”
- George Lugg (Associate Director, REDCAT)
“Your wonderful performance spoke
to me in so many different ways...
I just wanted to live in that
world a bit longer.”
- Alison Regan (audience)
“Your ‘one woman’ show actually
represents millions of women around
the world...I was blown away.”
- Heather Baer (Performer and Aerialist with Project Bandaloop)
- Taisha Pagette (choreographer, writer, Professor at UC Riverside)
“truly inspiring...you brought
me to tears”
- Greg Stickroth (audience)
“A lot of women in my family felt they could open up to me, and through those conversations I started to understand the struggles that women in India face, especially newly married women. It broke my heart, and from a very young age, I wanted to do something.”
- Thakkar, Komal. “Nine Who Dared”; Dance Magazine
“Sheetal Gandhi’s gentle persona and youthful, lilting voice belie the emotional power behind her one-woman performance piece…”
- Pflaumer, Andrea. SF Examiner.
“As a choreographer and dancer who has worked all over the country and the world, Gandhi has made travel into something of an art.
- Thayil, Jeet. India Abroad.
“What I'm always trying to do in my work is to get people to feel like they're in someone else's shoes,” Gandhi says.
- Kawaguchi, Kellyn. L.A. Weekly.
“Her creative choreography blends the complex rhythms, strikingly percussive feet, and fluid, almost calligraphic arm and hand motions of kathak with more contemporary turns, jumps, floorwork, and choreographic motifs.”
- Friedes, Deborah. Dance In Israel.
“Sheetal Gandhi has lived in Ghana, India, Canada and New York, honing a distinctive dance and choreography style that respects tradition while aiming to break from it.”
- Tsering, Lisa. India West Entertainment.
“Since the young Chinese acrobats in Dralion required a lot of attention...Gandhi found herself in the enviable position of being given carte blanche to mold her own character.”
- Tsering, Lisa. India West.