Samson received the impulses for her growth
as a dancer from Kalakshetra, the College
of Arts in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. She adheres
to the mould of the Kalakshetra technique
yet has grown out of its binding, believing
as she does that adherence to any school is
a point of reference only. She is however
deeply influenced by Rukmini Devi, the founder
of that institute and its philosophy.Leela
joined Kalakshetra in 1961. She left the institute
in 1975 as one of its leading dancers. Rukmini
Devi’s passing away in February 1986,
led to the creation of the Kalakshetra Foundation,
on whose first board she served as a member
for a three year term.
In 1975, Leela joined the Sriram Bharatiya
Kala Kendra, Delhi and started a department
of bharata natyam there. She left the institute
in 1990, and from then on for the next fifteen
years she taught privately in the tradition
of the guru-shishya parampara and trained
several dancers who have subsequently graced
the Delhi stage with their particular sense
of grace, knowledge and adherence to the best
traditions of the Kalakshetra bani or school.
As a dancer, her seemingly understated delineation
conceals a powerful and inspired inner source,
which gradually unfolds before the viewer.
She is a virtuoso performer and sensitive
interpreter of the nuances of this form. She
enjoys the reputation of being a dancer who
has excellent form in nritta and who has sensitive
abhinaya, as well. Leela has travelled extensively
and performed at leading festivals of dance.
She is widely acclaimed as a leading soloist
of the bharata natyam style of dance. For
thirty years she held the stage in Delhi both
as a dancer and as a teacher, as a writer
and as a choreographer of substance.