can’t trust the bols
Premier 2012, Asia Society, NY
commissioned piece by Asia Society and supported by
New York Live Arts


Originating with the idea of debate: this piece questions the duality of individualism verses collective consciousness.

The element of challenge amongst the dancers and musicians in can’t trust the bols exhibits the desire to be heard, to communicate, to find your truth amidst the contradictions, confusion, and multiple voices. 

Choreography : Parul Shah

 history of unforgetting

World Premier 2008, Dance New Amsterdam, NY


Paying tribute to the devadasis, or temple dancers, of India, this piece depicts the artistry and inner lives of the women who created and preserved the classical arts (dance, music, poetry) of India for centuries. “History of Unforgetting” looks beyond the academic picture of these women, often reduced to courtesans, to reveal their importance to the classical tradition as well as recognizing how society allowed their displacement eventually leading to a life of debauchery.

“History of Unforgetting” attempts to understand the plight of the devadasis’ at that time making parallels to modern day life and examining the political, social issues that are still relevant today.

Medium : dance, spoken word, music
Choreography : Parul Shah
Composer : Nicolas Lelievre

precious cracked earth

World premier, Fall for Dance Festival, 2004,
City Center, NY


Inspired by the movements of Indian village women, “Precious Cracked Earth” illustrates the simple vigor of daily rural life. Using a distilled and energetic Kathak technique, the piece evokes abstract images of strength and struggle.

Narrative Note:

Along the riverbank, they squat on their haunches, beating their wash and capturing fish with their hands. Their feet match the color of the soil, cracked around the edges. They carry water pots and walk with straight backs and faces of long-suffered, simple beauty. Along the way they laugh, fall in love, make amends, and plan their escapes until twilight. -Reena Shah

Choreography: Parul Shah


Rushing in my Mind
Sun to Stars Dance Festival, 2006, NY 

Ideas about unrecognized encounters and collisions form the seed of “Rushing in my Mind.” As fear and anxiety pollute modern society, this piece explores man’s increasing unawareness of his environment. Highlighting the dynamic nature of Kathak movements, “Rushing in my Mind” examines how experience leaves permanent, and sometimes unconscious, imprints on our lives.

Narrative Note:

The touch is light, often forgotten. Nothing heavy or stifling. Nothing that forces our notice. Until then suddenly, without the least awareness, we find ourselves in new rooms, the wrong street, looking out onto a better view. Everything and nothing has changed and we continue, marking our way, marking the way of others.

Choregraphy: Parul Shah