Artistic Director | Choreographer | Dancer
Bollywood dance sensation Leena Patel is one of the UK’s most accomplished and leading Asian performing artists. Her work has stretched from training young, fresh talent to a professional level through to choreographing celebrities.
Birmingham born Leena, carried out her first dance performance at her local community Diwali show at the age of eight. Thereafter her parents quickly saw her passion for dance and enrolled her into formal dance training at the Midlands Arts Centre in Birmingham. For over a decade she trained extensively in Bharatanatyam under the guidance of Chitraleka Bolar and Kathak with Sonia Sabri. She displayed the body of a natural dancer from a young age and developed classical movement vocabulary with ease. This provided Leena with the discipline and a strong base that she strongly believes is a necessity in the dance industry. She carried out her debut solo at the tender age of 14 and began her professional choreographic career shortly after this. In addition to this Leena was one of the first batch of students to complete her ISTD Bharatanatyam examinations.
Her debut solo performance opened up a door of opportunities and she was beginning to be recognised as the face of a promising artist. She began to tour the country with various dance-drama productions with Chitraleka Dance Company. At such a young age she had already performed at renowned venues across the country, including Birmingham Symphony Hall, CBSO, NEC and London’s Royal Festival Hall. She worked on collaborative projects with the ‘Birmingham Royal Ballet’ and India based contemporary dance company ‘Samudra’.
She was scouted by Midlands based ‘Sampad’, South Asian Arts Organisation; who gave her a further platform to develop her talent with collaborative drama productions. She was then specially commissioned to produce work for the ‘World Urban Festival’ in Vancouver where she made her international debut. Leena was one of the resident artists at the first international Dance Intense programme; which saw internationally acclaimed South Asian artists come together for a collaborative week of intense training in body conditioning, dance and choreographic training.
After being crowned as the first UK Bollywood Dance Champion; Leena moved to London to further her studies. She enrolled onto medical school at Barts and the London University. She joined Flex FX Productions in 2006 and quickly ascended the company hierarchy where she achieved a choreographic role within 6 months. She continued to develop her commercial and Bollywood choreography further on this platform.
She has choreographed and performed in various projects at renowned venues over the country; including ‘Dhamaka ‘07’ at the Royal Albert Hall; ‘Bollywood Showstoppers’ and ‘Bollywood Showdown’ at the O2 Arena over 3 consecutive years, ‘Essence – the Musical’ which toured the UK and multiple projects abroad. She was the lead dancer, head choreographer and co-director for London based ‘Bolly Flex’ for 5 years who made their debut on Sky One’s ‘Got to Dance’.
Her work has reached out to the Bollywood industry in India and she has choreographed and performed with top celebrities; Shahid Kapoor, Sonakshi Sinha, Jacqueline Fernandez, Ali Zafar, Malaika Arora Khan and Bipasha Basu.
Leena’s mainstream work has featured on Channel 4’s ‘Stand up to Cancer’, and BBC’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing’. She co-choreographed a pilot commercial for ‘Muller Yoghurt’, which was released nationally in Germany and worked on a commercial with Gary Linekar for ‘Walker’s Crisp’. Leena was rewarded with much praise for her Bollywood choreography for WILL.I.AM at the ‘BBC Music Awards’. She also co-choreographed for the prestigious ‘Nobel Peace Prize Concert’, which took place in Oslo, Norway in 2014.
Following her extensive body of work Leena has now been recognised as a public figure and she has presented as a guest judge at various UK Bollywood Dance Competitions.
Leena has embraced her classical dance training and integrated this with her passion for Bollywood dance and has created a niche in the industry. Her vision and unique adaptation of Bollywood choreography makes her one of the most sought after British Bollywood Dance Choreographers.
Leena has a multifocal vision within the arts and entertainment sector. In addition to continuing her professional development she aims to continue developing young talent and preparing the next generation of dancers for success in the industry as well as providing them with a platform. She hopes to bridge the gap in Bollywood Dance Entertainment between the UK, the USA and India to bring the talent together and work in unity to help solidify the basic infrastructure of the industry. She hopes to build and maintain a new style of dance ‘Commercial Classical’ which she will build on her platform with LPL.
Let the soul speak, Dance to your heartbeatLeena Patel