When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It's to enjoy each step along the way.
One felt the emotional togetherness and sense of rigorous abandon in male and female dancers, Leela’s choreography revelling in each dancer’s individuality.
The Hindu, 17 October 2014
“Disha”, the group presentation by the Spanda Dance Company…was for minds willing to think of the box of conditioned grooves, a refreshing delight. Leela Samson’s choreography, while not for a moment straying from rootedness in the Bharatanatyam technique, explored its micro elements for a unique interpretation of group aesthetics… The minimalistic but intensely involved approach found each dancer, while acutely aware if the repetitive movement and the kind of emotive vibrations it drew from the body, simultaneously conscious of space and the group togetherness which enriched movement with a resonance and energy all its own. …The jaunty forward stride and typical shoulder movements and the innumerable formations, dancers profiled moving in different directions, the patterns forming and dissolving all the time with the visible enjoyment of the dancers, made for a great sense of joy.
The Hindu, 10 January 2014
[Spanda] did something rare. It unified what we perceive as the opposing approaches of the traditional dancer’s heritage extensions, and the contemporary artiste’s departures for finding new forms. …Whether it created a new expression, vocabulary or dynamics became a secondary concern. More important, you could lose yourself in the joy (ullasam) the dancers brought to their performance.
The Hindu, 4 January 2002
The dancers swayed, mingled, transferred energy to each other…wandering, losing way…then returning in perfect sync and direction. Like the directionless finds direction. They danced in endless space out what looked like confines of the body.
The Hindustan Times, 14 October 2001
Leela Samson’s Spanda was a celebration of wonderful choreographic inputs in the bharatanatyam mode. Splicing new abstract ideas with movements that looked familiar and yet were charged with the pulse of the new….Spanda was a pointer to where Indian choreography in the classical dances could be headed to in the next century.
The Pioneer, 24 February 1999
[The] exploration of inner and outer space held its taut, sooksham balance for nearly two hours and at the end of it, no one present at the inaugural show of Leela Samson’s new group, Spanda, could have remained uncharged by the connection.
Shanta Serbjeet Singh
The Hindustan Times, 25 September 1995
In the seminal work of Leela Samson’s choreographies for Spanda, the phanda (noose) around Bharatanatyam has at last – and probably mercifully – been snapped. The newly formed group of dancers called Spanda presented four dances at Kamani Auditorium last week. Their presentation marked the efflorescence of the search for a contemporary idiom by classical dancers.
Spanda’s clarity of choreographic vision and the amazing advantage of group dynamics will be its lasting contribution to the world of Indian dance.
Bharatnatyam can never be the same again.
The Pioneer, 21 September 1995
[Leela Samson] extends herself now into creative choreography, with the launching of a new group, Spanda, who premiered to an overflowing Kamani [auditorium] last week. …Taking on from the Upanishadic concept of time and space with and without as the frame and the Vedic idea of Prithvi or the earth as the life-embracing womb, and the birth of the universe as a transformation of the Purusha, the opening piece, Aakash, attempted to reflect this comprehension. …A unique beauty seemed to be unfolding, and a premonition that there are more petals here to emerge in its hidden state of genesis lent a certain excitement.
19 September 1995