Founding Artist, Artistic Director
Seibi Lee is a consummate kathak artist known for her powerful mastery, refined musicality, and dramatic brilliance in character portrayal. Seibi is a distinguished disciple of the iconic kathak legend Pandit Chitresh Das. She is one of the founders of Leela Dance Collective and is the Dean of Leela San Francisco.
Seibi has toured worldwide earning accolades and deep respect for her artistry. She received an Isadora Duncan Dance Special Award as part of the performing ensemble in Das’s East As Center and received two subsequent nominations for performances in Pancha Jati and Shabd. As principal dancer of the Chitresh Das Dance Company, Seibi evolved a singular perspective and style through the development of virtuosic character roles in several of Das’s critically acclaimed works: the scheming maidservant Mantara in Ramayana, the dual roles of the tormented demon Marich and beloved tribal prince Hanuman in Sita Haran, the belligerent General in Darbar, and in Das’s final work, the electrifying Guru in Shiva. Her outstanding portrayal of Hanuman became the inspiration for the central character and creation of Leela Dance Collective’s Son of the Wind – the full-length dance drama bringing to life Hanuman’s rarely told heroic and valorous adventures from the epic Ramayana.
Son of the Wind premiered at the Green Center in Sonoma in 2017, was featured at ODC Theatre in San Francisco in 2018, and in 2019 presented at the prestigious Royal Opera House in Mumbai, India and the Ford Theater in Hollywood.
Seibi has a profound passion for the expansive philosophy, dynamic range, and sophisticated rhythmic mathematics integral to kathak and is dedicated to bringing this art form to the world. Highly regarded for her teaching, Seibi has mentored many generations of dancers and in 2016, she was recognized by The Alliance of California Traditional Arts as Master Artist. She has produced several featured shows including Pacific Pathways, Aarambh, and Harvest Moon Festival. Seibi continues to forge her own unique path within the artistic tradition and, with the support of both the Haas Foundation and a 2-year Artist in Residence with the Oakland Asian Cultural Center, conceived and choreographed the mesmerizing solo work Houyi and Chang’e, – the heart-rending tale of great heroism and of tragically star-crossed lovers.
“Seibi Lee in the double roles of Marich, the retired roué, and as Hanuman, minister to Sugreeva, the wronged prince of the Monkeys, was magnificent” –Rita Feliciano, Dance View