Purno.1: NextGen ChoreoLab Showing

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Featuring works by the first cohort of artists in this program: 


Kealoha Ferreira


Sacred Space | Owaŋka Waḱaŋ

Victoria Marie


Melting Face

Alexandra Eady


This program will be followed by a brief Q&A with the artists.


Mentors: Sharon Bridgforth, Ananya Chatterjea, Talvin Wilks

Additional process mentorship: Cara Hagan

Curators: Sarah Bellamy, Ananya Chatterjea, Anh-Thu Pham

Lighting Design: Mike Grogan

Film documentation: Darren Johnson

Tech Operator: Andre Allen

The Shawngrām Institute for Performance & Social Justice and Ananya Dance Theatre thank the Dance Program at the University of Minnesota for additional support and our individual donors for their continued generosity.

This program is supported by the Jerome Foundation.

Program Notes


Concept, Choreography and Performance: Kealoha Ferreira

Sound: Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti and Kealoha Ferreira

Movement Aesthetic: Yorchhā, with investigations of movement generated through Oli (Hawaiian chant) techniques.

Gurgling seed. Swelling sprout. Possess, disturb, inspire. E noho ʻoe i ka wai. Agitate, probe, rouse our remembrance of life; of living healed existence. Indeed you stir the upper air, probe the buried spring, cause opposing currents to meet. Indeed, a surf of fresh water rises. A grove of koa spreads. Ride, flow, run, go, as water swiftly enacted.

This piece takes inspiration from the chant E Lono E, found in Nathaniel B. Emmerson’s Pele and Hiʻiaka: A Myth from Hawaii. It was shared with me by Kumu Kekuhi Kealiʻikanakaole, who synthesized one of the Lono processes as, “Water processed by the Earth to have a particular charged, healing quality, like ionized water.” This mele came in the midst of the Covid pandemic, the Uprising and Stop Line 3 movements which broke open an aquifer of potent and unprocessed hulihia that shook my understanding of solidarity and relationality to its core. This chant teaches me to recognize the frequency of that upheaval as the same frequency water undergoes to transform itself. It gave me a way to practice holding and creating that frequency in my body, encouraging hoʻoulu to grow from within, expanding in all directions of time.

Sacred Space | Owaŋka Waḱaŋ

Concept, Choreography and Performance: Victoria Marie

Hand Drum Beat: Victoria Marie

Song: Crow Hop by Northern Wind

Nature Sound: Lullify, Laura’s Woodland Warbler 

This performance piece is a personal healing story of exploration into fancy shawl dancing which is a dance my spirit feels called to. The particular dance style beat is Crow Hop which imitates the way a crow moves across the ground. I am a descendant of those held captive at Fort Snelling (Bdote) during the US-Dakota War of 1862, and bringing back traditional and cultural teachings into my family and to our relatives still learning has become a life long dedicated journey of reclamation, decolonization and healing. My performance is an invitation into a glimpse of the sacred space I’ve created through exploring the beauty, playfulness and power of cultural reconnection.

Melting Face

Concept, choreography and performance: Alexandra Eady

Sound: Folklorics 1- PJ Roduta, Lunar Love-Mop Mop

This piece explores ideas of melting, flowing and condensing. Traveling down a river full of many histories and stories that can only be understood by listening to the whispers, witnessing, and feeling. This first iteration of this work also looks to find connections to the rhythms of the earth. Rhythms that are buried, rhythms that come from above, rhythms of our beating hearts that guide us forward and connect us back. Finally, this piece embraces the cycle of love and the many different faces we see on our loved ones as they move through life. What is the process of watching someone understand, and how does this inform my own understanding? This piece allows space for release. 


Sharon Bridgforth A 2023 USA Artist Fellow, a 2022 Winner of Yale’s Windham Campbell Prize in Drama, Sharon Bridgforth is 2020-2023 Playwrights’ Center Core Member, a 2022-2023 McKnight National Fellow and a New Dramatists alumnae. A Doris Duke Artist, she has received support from Creative Capital, MAP Fund and the National Performance Network. Her work is featured in Teaching Black: The Craft of Teaching on Black Life and Literature, Mouths of Rain an Anthology of Black Lesbian Thought, Feminist Studies Vol 48  Number 1, honoring 40 years of This Bridge Called by Back and But Some of Us Are Brave! Sharon’s new book, bull-jean & dem/dey back (53rd State Press) features two performance/novels produced by Pillsbury House + Theatre in Minneapolis 2023. Sharon has collaborated with Ananya Chatterjea Dance Theatre since 2014. More at: https://www.sharonbridgforth.com.

Ananya Chatterjea‘s work brings together Contemporary Dance, social justice choreography, and a commitment to healing justice. She is the Artistic Director of Ananya Dance Theatre (www.ananyadancetheatre.org), a company of Black and brown femmes. She is the creator of ADT’s movement signature vocabulary, Yorchhā, and the primary architect of the company’s justice- and community-oriented choreographic methodology, Shawngrām. She is currently creating Michhil Amra (We are the procession), inspired by global protest movements (premiere September 2023). Her second book, Heat and Alterity in Contemporary Dance: South-South Choreographies (2020, Palgrave McMillan), re-frames Contemporary Dance from perspectives of dance-makers from global south locations. She is a 2011 Guggenheim Choreography Fellow, a 2012 and 2021 McKnight Choreography Fellow, a 2016, Joyce Award recipient, a 2018 UBW Choreographic Center Fellow, a 2019 Dance/USA Artist Fellow, and the 2021 A. P. Andersen Award. Ananya is Professor of Dance at the University of Minnesota.

Alexandra Eady is a contemporary dancer based in the Twin Cities of Mni Sota Makoce. Alexandra enjoys movement that is physically challenging and emotionally complex. She is interested in creating and dancing works that require sustainable intensity, maintain  connection to story, and do not leave behind ancestral guidance. Alexandra practices the contemporary dance technique of Yorchhā created by Ananya Chatterjea. In 2011, she became a member of Ananya Dance Theatre and continues to train under Dr. Chatterjea, perform, teach and tour with the company. In 2021 she received the Mcknight Fellowship for dance and worked in collaboration with Maria Bauman (MBDance) to perform a solo created by Maria as part of the “SOLO” Mcknight performance in Minneapolis. Alexandra is a teacher of movement in a variety of settings across the Twin Cities. Her training informs her teaching and she enjoys making different movement practices accessible for the communities she occupies. Alexandra works to bring her communities with her and dances in honor of those that have come before, the ones that are witnessing, and for future generations. 

Kealoha Ferreira (she/her/ʻoia), is a Kanaka Maoli, Filipino, Chinese dance artist from Nuʻuanu, Oʻahu. She began her performing and teaching career with Ananya Dance Theatre in 2013, becoming the Artistic Associate and a Co-Leader of the Shawngrām Institute for Performance & Social Justice in 2018. A practitioner of Yorchhā, and an emerging student of Oli and Hula, Kealoha works at the intersection of these transnational feminist and aloha ʻāina embodied practices to create spaces, classes, and performances that dig into the tentious and expansive nature of relationality while remaining rooted in cultural and kinesthetic specificity. She is grateful to deepen her learning through opportunities like Red Eye Theater’s 2020 Works in Progress cohort, BIPOC Leadership Circle curated by art Equity and Hālau ʻŌhiʻa and Oli Honua, land and water stewardship programs offered by Lonoa Honua. Kealoha offers weekly movement classes at the Shawngrām Institute and instructs Yoga at the University of Minnesota.

Mike Grogan has been active in the Twin Cities arts scene since 1990. In that time he has designed for numerous dance companies including Zorongo Flamenco, The Mixtape Collective, Joe Chvala and the Flying Foot Forum, Contempo Physical Dance and many others. Mike was a 2012 and 2014 SAGE Dance Award recipient for outstanding design.  Mike is currently a freelance lighting designer in the Twin Cities.

Victoria Marie is an enrolled member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate, Santee affiliated, and was born and raised on her ancestral homelands in Mni Sota (Minneapolis, MN). She is the owner of Indigenous Lotus, launched in 2017, with the intention to support indigenous relatives in healing through movement practices and knowledge sharing. As a mother and dedicated student and practitioner, Victoria is a 500-hour + 300-hour certified Yoga Instructor, Yoga of 12-Step Recovery Leader, and holds a degree in business. Recently, Victoria became a certified doula, Indigenous Lactation Counselor, and enrolled in an accredited Ayurvedic Health Counselor program. Prior to Indigenous Lotus, Victoria’s background includes direct youth work within the community for Native American/ Indigenous non-profit organizations in Minneapolis and Saint Paul since 2010. Her work has led her to teach and speak around the nation about movement and the importance of holistic healing approaches.

Talvin Wilks is a playwright, director and dramaturg based in Minneapolis and New York City. His plays include Tod, the boy, Tod, The Trial of Uncle S&M, Bread of Heaven, An American Triptych, Jimmy and Lorraine: A Musing, and As I Remember It with Carmen de Lavallade. Directing Credits: The White Card, This Bitter Earth, Benevolence, The Ballad of Emmett Till (Penumbra Theatre), The Peculiar Patriot (NBT/Woolly Mammoth), Parks (History Theatre), Cannabis: A Viper Vaudeville (HERE Arts/La Mama), Locomotion (Children’s Theatre Company) and The Till Trilogy (Mosaic Theatre). Dramaturgy Credits:  for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enough (2022 Broadway Revival), Dreaming Zenzile (New York Theatre Workshop/NBT), An American Tail (CTC), Between the World and Me (The Apollo), Scat!, Walkin’ with ‘Trane (Urban Bush Women), ink, Black Girl: Linguistic Play, Mr. TOL E. RanCE (Camille A. Brown and Dancers), In a Rhythm, A History, Necessary Beauty, Landing-Place, Verge (Bebe Miller Company). He is an Associate Professor in the Theatre Arts and Dance Department, University of Minnesota/Twin Cities and is a 2020 McKnight Theater Artist Fellow and a 2022 McKnight Presidential Fellow.

Ananya Dance Theatre invites you to join us for two more events this week!