Inside the Pillow Lab: Ananya Dance Theatre


Inside the Pillow Lab is an intimate new film series that captures works in process and behind-the-scenes moments of what it’s like for artists to live, work, and rehearse together again in COVID-compliant residencies on the Pillow’s retreat-like campus. Ananya Dance Theatre is a company of cultural activists and BIPOC women, womxn, and femme artists who believe in the transformative power of dance. In dancing stories where the lives and dreams of typically marginalized communities occupy the center, they shift the landscape of mainstream culture, build understanding about arts and social justice, and empower artistic voices. Their artistic work unfolds through Yorchhā™, a unique movement aesthetic of contemporary dance that draws on traditional Odissi, the martial art Chhau, and Vinyāsa Yoga, and a social justice choreographic methodology, to celebrate a transnational feminist practice. Their work invites audiences to participate in their strategy of #occupydance, the movement of dancing as civic action. Ananya Chatterjea is Professor of Dance at the University of Minnesota. Her second book, Heat and Alterity in Contemporary Dance: South-South Choreographies, re-framing understandings of Contemporary Dance from the perspective of dance-makers from global south locations, was published in November 2020. Fresh off of a tour of their newest work "Dastak: I Wish You Me," Ananya Dance Theatre began the creative process for a new evening-length work during this Pillow Lab residency. Ananya developed "Nūn Gherāo (surrounded by salt)," an evening-length devised dance theatre piece, responding to the 1978-79 massacre of 10,000 refugees from Bangladesh on Marichjhnapi island in West Bengal, India, and adjacent stories of genocide and eco-displaced communities. RESIDENCY DATES: March 21-29, 2022 Ananya Chatterjea, Artistic Director Kealoha Ferreira, Artistic Associate APPEARING IN FILM: Ananya Chatterjea, Concert / Choreography Spirit McIntyre, Composer / Instrumentalist / Vocalist / Performer Mimi Mondol, Embedded writer Noelle Awadallah, Dancer Lizzette Chapa, Dancer Ananya Chatterjea, Dancer Alexis Araminta Reneé, Dancer Alexandra Eady, Dancer Kealoha Ferreira, Dancer Parisha Rajbjandari, Dancer MUSIC: Spirit McIntyre, Composition, Instrumentals and Vocals Mimi Mondol, Vocals FILMING: Erica Spizz Film produced by Nel Shelby Productions: Nel Shelby, Producer Caroline Haidet, Editor Benjamin Richards, Graphic Animation LEAD SUPPORT FOR THE 2021-2022 PILLOW LAB IS PROVIDED BY: The Mellon Foundation WITH ADDITIONAL SUPPORT FROM: Deborah & Charles Adelman Arison Arts Foundation The Barr Foundation Harkness Foundation for Dance Barbara and Amos Hostetter Christopher Jones & Deb McAlister Mertz Gilmore Foundation National Endowment for the Arts © 2022 Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, Inc.

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