In October 11, 2016, Shaheen founded Amala Collectiv, a Bharatanatyam dance school and performing arts collective committed to the South Asian Arts diaspora. The school is based in Laguna Beach and Irvine, California and is in partnership with OC Music and Dance, Orange County’s only nonprofit dance and music school committed to Nurture, Inspire and Empower youth to find and follow their passion.
On August 24 and 25th, 2017, Amala Collectiv will stage an Artists’ Workshop and Performance featuring Rukmini Vijayakumar. Please stay tuned for details!
Shaheen Sheik-Sadhal, former Co-Director of ArtWallah, a Los Angeles-based South Asian diasporic arts festival, began studying Bharatanatyam at age 7. For 16 years, Shaheen practiced the vintage Pandanallur / Tanjore style under the guidance of Malathi Iyengar and was a lead dancer with the Rangoli Dance Company. Shaheen has also further explored Abhinaya (Bharatanatyam art of expression) under Bragha Bessell. In 2005, 2006, and 2008 Shaheen was honored with Lestor Horton Dance Award nominations for her performances in ‘Ragamalika Varnam,’ ‘Kodhai’s Dream,’ and Jatiswaram (Kodhai’s Drearm). The Los Angeles Times described Shaheen’s portrayal of Krishna in ‘Kodhai’s Dream’ as “commanding” and her performance of the Jatiswaram as “a breathtaking finale showcasing [her] dexterity in accelerating cycles of intricate footwork, swift turns and sweeping arm gestures.”