Rajni has been creating and directing original performance work since 1999. Her work ranges from large-scale performance installations made through an in-depth collaborative process to small solo interventions in public spaces. In 2013 she decided to take a break from making performance and is currently writing a PhD under the supervision of Professor Geraldine Harris at Lancaster University.


Rajni Shah as Elizabeth I, Mr Quiver - image by Theron SchmidtRajni Shah as Elizabeth I, Mr Quiver - image by Theron Schmidt
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Rajni performs in Mr Quiver - image by Theron SchmidtRajni performs in Mr Quiver - image by Theron Schmidt
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Rajni Shah in Dinner With America, Hastings - image by Manuel VasonRajni Shah in Dinner With America, Hastings - image by Manuel Vason
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'Song' was a performance at Independent Dance's What Remains festival in London in 2016, performed by Natacha Omikemi Bryan, Collin Clay-Chase, Emma Frankland, Kazuko Hohki and Sheila Ghelani.


Rajni performed as part of SPIELART's Woodstock of Political Thinking event in Munich, with a short piece entitled Hope.

2009 - 2012

The third in a trilogy examining cultural identity, Glorious explores what it means to live in a place, and the messy but beautiful business of being a community

2008 - 2009

give what you can, take what you need is a playful exploration of notions of community and conversation through gift exchange.  It toured in 2008-2009 alongside Dinner with America.


A public intervention as part of the 'mis-guides' by Wrights and Sites at the Belluard Bollwerk International festival in Fribourg, Switzerland.

2007 - 2009

Dinner with America was the second in a trilogy of performances addressing the complexities of cultural identity in the 21st century.  It toured 2008-2009.

2005 - 2008

The first in a trilogy of performance installations questioning cultural identity, Mr Quiver provides an unusual take on questions of representation, ethnicity and what it might mean to be British


Erupting unexpectedly into beautiful, entangled dance, or into exquisite, tense stillness, The Awkward Position took a fresh look at that age-old question, what are we doing here?


The Most Unlikely People Confess to their Dream was a series of intimate solos incorporating performance art, installation, writing, dance and original music, in which each performer’s dream was mapped onto the body of another.


Upon a Blighted Star was a short duet conceived as a direct response to the events of September 11th and reactions to these events within the United States of America


A Winter show, As If Traveling Through Snow was an hour-long duet exploring separateness and the longing for union.


Rajni’s first full-length show, hold each as we fall was performed by Gemma Brockis, Meredith Evans, Triona Kennedy and Rajni Shah.

other collaborations and research projects

2017 - 2018

Feminist Killjoys Reading Group (FKRG) is a research and performance project that Rajni is directing in collaboration with the Western Sydney based theatre company Urban Theatre Projects.

2014 - 2015

Lying Fallow was a series of gatherings for 30 people exploring the notion of 'lying fallow' - curated and produced by Mary Paterson, Rajni Shah, Susan Sheddan and Tiffany Charrington.

2014 - 2015

'Experiments in Listening' was the name for a series of three dialogues that took place between September 2014 and March 2015.


An evaluation of Glorious, May 2013, by Elizabeth Lynch


Beyond Glorious: the radical in engaged practices symposium took place in June 2013


Rajni Shah Theatre Lancaster residency in preparation for the new musical, Glorious


A 60x60 film commissioned by motiroti as part of their 360° series.


The Future is on the Table #3 is the culmination of an open dialogue which started when artists Gwylene Gallimard and Jean-Marie Mauclet (South Carolina, US) sent as presents 58 homemade three legged stools. In September 2008, all the projects will come together in Charleston, South Carolina for a month of exhibitions and events.


A continuation of the research series small gifts in which Rajni has been exploring the potential role of gifting in opening up new conversations and perspectives in society.


Rajni worked with Guillermo Gómez-Peña's company La Pocha Nostra and a group of UK collaborators to create a new catwalk performance at the Arnolfini in Bristol in November 2007

2007 - 2014

Rajni Shah and Lucille Acevedo-Jones have collaborated with renowned photographer Manuel Vason on a number of occasions, creating performance events specifically for camera.

2006 - 2007

A series of performance interventions using gift as an opening to conversation, includes essays


Rajni choreographed and performed in this short film by Theron U. Schmidt which was originally screened as part of the live performance The Crossing at 7Stages Theatre in Atlanta GA, USA.


Miss America was conceived in collaboration with artist Ruth Laxson and poet Jerry Cullum, and was performed at the Marcia Wood Gallery in Atlanta, GA during one of Ruth's exhibitions.

2002 - 2016

Point and Place is a group of artists from across various disciples who come together regularly to talk, eat and make new works. In 2007 they produced their first piece of work together, a limited edition collaborative bookwork, which won the Birgit Skiold Award for Excellence in Book Arts at the London Artist Book Fair 2007.


Spinning 101 was a collaboration between Rajni Shah and visual artist Martha Whittington commissioned for the 2001 Seen + Heard festival in Atlanta GA.

Rajni offers workshops in developing performative presence for adults, which can be booked alongside a performance or separately. Each session provides dedicated time for artists wishing to explore their own performative presence.

A private research and development tool, Rajni has established a solo practice called ‘clowning days’.