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Director of Dance Ananya Chatterjea's Ananya Dance Theatre Launches New Four-Year Project With World Premiere of "Kshoy!/Decay!"

Following the stunning success of Ananya Dance Theatre's (ADT) trilogy on environmental justice, Director of Dance Ananya Chatterjea's company is launching a new four-year anti-violence project exploring the experiences of women of color across the globe. Launching the project is the world premiere of "Kshoy!/Decay!," which opens the Southern Theater's 2010/11 season, September 9-12, 2010. For more information about these performances visit the Southern Theater Website.

Ananya Dance Theatre explores femininity, power and social-justice issues affecting women around the world through a kinetically dynamic blend of classical Odissi dance, breath-driven yoga movement and the marital-art Chhau, performed by a band of women of color committed to artistic excellence. Mnartists.org described the dancers as, "indeed beautiful in their statuesque poses, performed with flawless technique. Their unwavering certainty is inspiring."

In "Kshoy!/Decay!" ("kshoy" is the Bengali word for "decay"), the company uses a potent metaphor--mud, as in dirt that sticks to skin--to explore the afterlives of African, Asian and other women of color forced to relocate or evacuate from their homelands. The piece investigates how women have worked through multiple and repeated histories of dislocation, relocation, evacuation and violence in the name of tradition. "Kshoy!/Decay!" doesn't "depict" or "speak for" these communities; rather, the work engages in collaborative research and community outreach to generate the singular choreographic experience that results in the commanding work for which ADT is known.

"Kshoy!/Decay!" is the first work in a new four-part investigation into violence, trauma, resistance and empowerment experienced by communities of color, using the elements of mud, gold, oil and water as metaphor. Performed with ADT's trademark emotional intensity, physical prowess and resonate storytelling, "Kshoy!/Decay!" is co-directed by founding artistic director Ananya Chatterjea, lauded by Women's E News as one of "21 Leaders for the 21st Century," and OBIE Award-winning theater artist Laurie Carlos. Internationally and nationally acclaimed vocal artists, Pooja Goswami and Mankwe Ndosi, are composing the score for "Kshoy!/Decay!"

Dr. Ananya Chatterjea 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.

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