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Ananya Chatterjea

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Name  Ananya Chatterjea

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Ananya Chatterjea is a contemporary Indian dancer and scholar. She is the founder, artistic director, and choreographer of Ananya Dance Theatre, a professional, contemporary Indian dance company composed of women artists of color. She is also a professor of dance at the University of Minnesota. Originally from Bengal, India, Chatterjea now lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


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Ananya Chatterjea Ananya Chatterjea links dance social awareness Minnesota Public

Chatterjea grew up in Kolkata, India where she was trained in Indian classical and folk dance, particularly the Odissi style. Growing up she struggled to reconcile the beauty of dance she was learning and practicing with the injustices around her. This began her journey to explore contemporary Indian dance rooted in social justice. In the early 90s she moved to New York City to begin studying at Columbia University. Chatterjea now lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota where she is a professor of dance at the University of Minnesota and leads her dance company.

Ananya Dance Theatre

Ananya Chatterjea John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Ananya Chatterjea

After teaching dance for several years at the University of Minnesota, Chatterjea founded Ananya Dance Theatre in 2004. Ananya Dance Theatre is a contemporary Indian dance company composed of women artists of color. They combine artistic excellence with a philosophy of social justice to tell the stories and struggles of women around the world. Their themes include environmental injustice, colonization, capitalism, and more. “We’re artists. So we are not responsible for legislative shifts,” says Chatterjea. “That’s not what we do. Our work is in opening the ground, creating a space for questions, for provoking discussion, and for offering images that then resonate in people’s minds. So the way in which we understand our impact is when audiences come back year after year to see the work. When audiences come for a community conversation.”

Ananya Chatterjea Ananya Chatterjea links dance social awareness Minnesota Public

Ananya Dance Theatre premieres one new show annually in the Twin Cities and tours with performances, workshops, and dialogues throughout the year. Ananya Dance Theatre has presented in 12 other US cities and 12 other countries. They recently presented the keynote performance at the Crossing Boundaries Festival & Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


Ananya Chatterjea Ananya Chatterjea
  • The choreography of Chandralekha: re(de)fining the postmodernist/feminist awareness in and through dance. Chatterjea, Ananya, SDHS Conference, MN, 1996.
  • How Can the Subaltern Speak?: Chatterjea, Ananya, Dancing Female: Lives and Issues of Women in Contemporary Dance, 1997.
  • Chandralekha: Negotiating the female body in cultural/political signification. Chatterjea, Ananya, CORD Conference, 1996.
  • Dance research in India: A brief report: Chatterjea, Ananya, Dance Research Journal, 1996.
  • In Search of a Secular in Contemporary Indian Dance: A Continuing Journey: Chatterjea, Ananya, Dance Research Journal v36 n2 (20041201): 102-116, 2004.
  • So Much to Remind Us We Are Dancing on Other People’s Blood: Moving toward Artistic Excellence, Moving from Silence to Speech, Moving in Water, with Ananya Dance Theatre: Omise'eke Natasha Tinsley, Ananya Chatterjea, Hui Niu Wilcox, and Shannon Gibney, Critical Transnational Feminist Praxis edited by Amanda Lock Swarr and Richa Nagar, 2010.
  • References

    Ananya Chatterjea Wikipedia

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