Insight News

Feb 06th

Ananya Dance Theatre presents Mohona Estuaries of Desire

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ananya-dance-theatre.-moreechika-season-of-mirage.-photo-by-v.-paul-virtucioFollowing a successful run of Moreechika Season of Mirage at the Southern Theatre in the fall of 2012, Ananya Dance Theatre (ADT) will begin creating the fourth and final installment in the quartet on women and violence. The work will premiere in the fall of 2013. This work will be created by award winning choreographer Ananya Chatterjea with collaborator Laurie Carlos, Composer Greg Schutte, and designer Annie Katsura Rollins. 

Mohona Estuaries of Desire will examine water and the crisis facing communities as fresh water supplies dwindle. ADT will examine the impact of dwindling resources on communities of color and women throughout the world. ADT will collect stories from community members, activists and other artists working here in Minnesota and around the world on this important issue to tell a powerful story using their signature blend of forceful footwork and evocative movement.

“Mohona will bring together stories of the two mighty rivers, the Ganga and the Mississippi—both sacred, life-giving, and struggling with pollution—suggesting a crossing of women’s journeys with water, ”said Ananya Chatterjea

Leading up to the premiere of Mohona, ADT will collaborate with the locally based Indigenous People’s Task Force to create a performance ahead of the their annual Water Walk. The Water Walk is inspired by Native American elders and their fight for equality and protection of life’s most essential resource: water. The performance will happen in March. Stay connected to the ADT website ( for updates on this and the blog for more conversations about Mohona.

You can also follow the progress of Mohona by becoming a fan of Ananya Dance Theatre on Facebook.

Guest Choreographer at SPCPA
Ananya Chatterjea is one of the guest choreographers at the Saint Paul Conservatory of Performing Arts J-Term offerings on January 18th at the Ted Mann Concert Hall. For 13 days in January each year academic classes go on hiatus and students are immersed in rehearsals for an arts performance project. The students will get a first hand experience in ADT’s process of dialogue and movement. The performance is open to the public and ticket information can be found at the Ted Mann Concert Hall website.

Moreechika in Zimbabwe
Ananya Dance Theatre will take Moreechika to the Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA) in Zimbabwe. HIFA is a 6-day annual festival and workshop program that showcases the very best of local, regional and international arts and culture in a comprehensive festival program of theatre, dance, music, circus, street performance, spoken word, visual arts. Look for more updates on HIFA in the coming months though ADT’s website.

Give to the Max Fundraising a Success
Give to the Max Day on November 15th was a success! ADT raised $410 more dollars than last year. We gained 13 new donors and three new sustaining donors. The total raised during GTMD was $2,615.00.

If you wanted to give during GTMD, but didn’t get a chance to, you can always go to ADT’s website and donate. During 2013, we’ll be launching a new kickstarter campaign to support the company’s travels to Zimbabwe and the creation of Mohona Estuaries of Desire.

ananya-dance-theatre.-moreechika-season-of-mirage.-photo-by-jim-smithAnanya Dance Theatre received the MRAC Grant for Organizational Development
In November, 2012, MRAC awarded $228,612 to 25 organizations in its FY 2013 Organizational Development grant program. Ananya Dance Theatre was awarded $10,000 to work with a Strategy and Communications Consultant who will help grow Ananya Dance Theatre's profile and build new audiences and develop support for our work, locally and nationally, by building relationships and connections and generating touring opportunities, in conjunction with the company's tenth year celebration.

Ananya Dance Theatre received the Minnesota State Arts Board, Arts Access Grant.
ADT was one of 40 organizations (of 80 applicants) to receive one of the arts access grants from the MSAB. ADT will create a workshop and dialogue series that connects targeted underserved communities with the experience of dance, and create access to concert dance through specific choreographic exercises and offering tools to interpret abstract movement.

Ananya Chatterjea
Dr. Chatterjea, recipient of the 2013 McKnight Fellowship for Choreography and winner of the 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship for Choreography, serves as Director of Dance and Associate Professor of Dance in the Department of Theater Arts and Dance at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Trained initially in Indian classical and folk dance traditions, she became well known at a young age as a practitioner of the Odissi style of classical dance under the tutelage of her internationally acclaimed guru, Sanjukta Panigrahi. She performed and toured widely, dancing with diverse community-based companies and government initiatives. In addition to numerous awards, her work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, Asian Arts Initiative, the Minnesota State Arts Board, and the McKnight, Jerome, and Bush foundations.

Recent performances include Downtown Dance Festival (NYC, 2008); Erasing Borders Festival (NYC, 2008); Underground Theater (Syracuse, 2008); New World Theater (Amherst, 2007); Museum Theater (Singapore, 2007); Conwell Theater (Philadelphia, 2007); Contemporary Asian Dance Festival (Osaka, 2006); and Indonesian Dance Festival (Jakarta, 2006). Her work is celebrated for creating a unique model for bringing together the “fierce commitment, high energy, and quite grace” of her artistry, a feminist consciousness, and empowerment work with diverse communities of color. She’s also lauded for expanding the emotional and formal boundaries of Indian dance, and for the passion of her own dancing.

Ananya Dance Theatre (ADT) is a singular company of women artists, primarily of color, who work at the intersection of artistic excellence and social justice. Inspired by the commitment and passion that infuse women’s movements worldwide, the artists in this company create original works that reflect women’s lives, foster strong communities, address social-justice issues, convey power and create beauty. ADT has been lauded around the world for its riveting, emotionally charged and virtuosic dance works. ADT is also sought after for community-building programs that empower individuals and strengthen underserved groups through movement and creativity. Taken from the Bengali word ananya (na•anya), “like whom there is no other,” ADT is the standard-bearer for dance that articulates ideas and expresses women’s lives to mobilize social change.


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