Rajni has been creating and directing original performance work since 1999. Their work ranges from large-scale performance installations made through an in-depth collaborative process to small solo interventions in public spaces. In 2013 Rajni left behind the idea of being a 'career artist' and the many damaging compromises that were involved in pursuing a success-based narrative on other people's terms.

Rajni Shah as Elizabeth I in Mr Quiver. Photo by Theron Schmidt.
Rajni Shah as Indian bride in Mr Quiver. Photo by Theron Schmidt.
Rajni Shah in Dinner with America.  Photo by Manuel Vason.


  • Song (2016)

    'Song' was a performance at Independent Dance's What Remains festival in London in 2016, performed by Omikemi (then Natacha Bryan), Collin Clay-Chase, Emma Frankland, Kazuko Hohki and Sheila Ghelani.

  • Glorious (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

  • Hope (2009)

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

  • Dinner with America (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.

  • give what you can, take what you need (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.

  • Altars of us all / speaking to strangers (2008)

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

  • Mr Quiver (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.

  • The Awkward Position (2002)

    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?

  • Upon a Blighted Star (2001)

    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

  • The Most Unlikely People Confess to their Dream (2001)

    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.

  • As If Traveling Through Snow (2000)

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

  • Hold Each As We Fall (1999)

    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

  • Feminist Killjoys Reading Group (2017-2019)

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

  • Experiments in Listening (2014-2015)

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

  • Lying Fallow (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.

  • The Future is on the Table (2008)

    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.

  • Living the Dream (2008)

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

  • Collaborations with Manuel Vason (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.

  • New Barbarians: collaboration with La Pocha Nostra (2007)

    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

  • everyone, everyone (2003)

    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.

  • Point and Place (2002-2017)

    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. They have since made a collaborative game together.

  • Miss America (2002)

    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.

  • Spinning 101 (2001)

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