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Yana Lewis

Jazz dancer, Ballet dancer, choreographer

Yana Lewis
   Biography

An international ballerina, director and choreographer, Yana Lewis was born in the UK, and has lived in India since 1998. Her dancing career began at the age of 2 in London, and from that moment on dance has been not just been a passion but a way of life. She is also a dedicated practitioner of Iyengar yoga for more than 20 years. She came to India on the 80th birthday of her guru, Shri B. K. S. Iyengar, a visit that sparked off a lasting and deep-seated affinity to India and the beginning of in-depth research into Indian culture and dance.


Yana considers yoga as a medium to travel deep inside and practices and teaches it regularly. She has developed her own signature style by marrying her love for yoga with ballet. She has also made a contribution to ‘Iyengar', The Yoga Master’ book through a chapter on ‘The Dancer’s Posture’.


In 2002, she founded the Yana Lewis Dance Company in India, specialising in classical ballet and jazz, with a diverse repertoire including Hawaiian, African tribal and street jazz. Biannually, she stages and choreographs large-scale dance productions featuring her Company and Academy.


The Lewis Foundation aims to lay the foundation for classical ballet in India, train interested and gifted dancers, sponsor exceptionally talented Indian dancers for full-time vocational dance training abroad, and bring dance to less privileged street children in India.

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Yana Lewis
Yana Lewis
Students of Lewis Foundation of Classical Ballet
Students of Lewis Foundation of Classical Ballet
   Career
Yana has performed extensively both on stage and on TV, and has produced and directed her own shows in the UK and India. Her work covers a broad spectrum – from modern dance companies to classical ballet solos playing principal roles in ‘Sleeping Beauty’, ‘Coppelia’, ‘Swan Lake’ and ‘Peter and the Wolf’. Her work also includes choreographer or feature artiste for numerous music videos, with Elton John, Bryan Adams, Phil Collins and Ray Parker Junior from Ghostbusters. Yana has performed extensively for BBC TV’s longest running music show. Her TV credits also include ‘A Proper Nureyev’ and ‘The Young Ones’.

In 2004, The Enchanting Extravaganza enthralled Bangalore audiences with performances from the Company and over 400 students from the Academy. The first day of the show was open only to less privileged children from several NGOs while the second was for the public. The same year also saw the devastating tsunami. The Foundation responded immediately by collaborating with the Red Cross and hosting a fund raiser which collected over Rs. 9.5 lakhs.

In 2005, a unique interaction with a multinational company for their annual celebrations made the Foundation come up with the concept of “Make a Difference Day” where corporate instead of celebrating with gala dinners can organise a dance camp for street children. In 2006, as part of the ‘Dance for a cause’ initiative, in collaboration with the Inner Wheel Club of Bangalore, the women’s wing of the Rotary club, the Foundation raised over Rs. 3 lakh for Mitra Jyothi, an organisation for persons with disabilities.

In 2009, as part of the follow up to an Indo-Swiss collaborative event, the Company went to Switzerland to perform at the Client National Institute of Fashion Tech., Winterthur, Switzerland. In the same year, we came up with our second production, Fantasy & Fairytale, a showcase of sequences from famous ballets and musicals like Coppelia, Midsummers Night Dream, Gulliver’s Travels & Cats, that attracted a wide ranging audience from the international community in Bangalore to local connoisseurs of art and dance. Following the tradition of previous productions, the first day of the show was open only to the less privileged children from various NGOs. This production was possible due to generous contributions from our patrons and sponsorship from companies like Mercedes Benz, Abharan Jewellers, Vividha and Fitness & Fairies.

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