Work in Progress Showing and discussion on social justice dance co-presented with FSU’s Center for Global Engagement
Wed., Feb. 19 @ 5:30pm at the Black Box Studio in Montgomery Hall.
The Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (MANCC) welcomes Minneapolis-based artist Ananya Chatterjea back to Tallahassee from February 14-22 for her second residency to further her work Fires of Lost Homes, this time with five collaborators. Her residencies are the second set in a three-year partnership program with the Urban Bush Women Choreographic Center Initiative’s (CCI) Choreographic Fellowship program. CCI utilizes a two-pronged approach that advances the work of individual women choreographers from the African, and in the case of Chatterjea, Indian Diaspora while bringing about systemic change in the field of dance. Chatterjea’s March 2019 site-visit helped familiarize her with the MANCC staff and their specific roles in support of residency artists, MANCC’s facilities within FSU’s School of Dance, and the possibilities of research that then took place during her fall residency and will continue during this residency.
Situated at the intersection of contemporary Indian dance and social justice, Chatterjea’s work with her company, Ananya Dance Theatre, fuses tradition with innovation. In her explorations into how traditional and contemporary forms and structures meet, Chatterjea places great emphasis on footwork. She seeks to push the form forward by asking, for example, how to incorporate bells, which her company dancers do not wear on their ankles as they would in more classical forms. In the past, she has avoided using bells because of the traditional symbolism they carry. However, she is newly interested in figuring out how she can incorporate them into her contemporary work as an additional exploration into sound and vibration.
Returning from a recent tour of India where she continued her training with various master practitioners, Chatterjea is interested in the notion of journey and return through an exploratory lens. With this idea of journey comes the fact of migration and, more specifically, the partition of India, and also the discussion of a fraught border wall here in the U.S. She seeks to understand the ways in which large groups of people move to create more meaning in their lives.
In addition to these broad conceptual ideas, Chatterjea maintains a commitment to local communities, especially dialoguing with young people and women of color. While at MANCC this past fall, she had the opportunity to meet with Karen Woodall, Director of the Florida People’s Advocacy Center, as well as Shalini Goel Agarwal who serves as a Senior Supervising Attorney in the area of Criminal Justice Reform at the Southern Poverty Law Center. Additionally, with her collaborator and Artistic Associate, Kaeloha Alex Ferreira, Chatterjea taught two masterclasses for School of Dance students to engage them in her contemporary practice within a non-Western form and looks forward to teaching three masterclasses in this residency to continue to share her movement research with students. She also will work with undergraduate and graduate School of Dance students in the studio and hold a work-in-progress showing followed by an open dialogue about social justice dance on Wednesday, February 19, co-hosted with FSU’s Center for Global Engagement.
As part of MANCC’s Embedded Writer Program, Sharon Bridgforth will again work with Chatterjea during the residency in the role of writer and dramaturg.
Fires of Lost Homes will premiere at The O’Shaughnessy in St. Paul, MN, in September 2020.
These two residencies, as well as Chatterjea’s site visit, and Sharon Bridgforth’s participation in the Embedded Writer Program are supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.