Leela Samson Leela Samson is a dancer, a teacher, a writer and a choreographer of Bharata Natyam. She has been deeply influenced by the philosophy and the work of Rukmini Devi. In 1995, she formed a dance group called Spanda, to review the traditional vocabulary of Bharata Natyam?both pure dance and interpretive dance?and its findings were seen as path-breaking by the critics. She has been the subject of two documentary films, Sanchari and The Flowering Tree. She is the recipient of the Sanskriti and the Sangeet Natak Akademi awards and has been honoured with the Padma Shri and Nritya Choodamani. In May 2005, Leela took over as director of the Kalakshetra Foundation. She loves music, books and animals.