Artistic Director Bio

Ananya Chatterjea, Artistic Director

ANANYA CHATTERJEA, artistic director, choreographer, dancer

Ananya Chatterjea is dancer, choreographer, dance scholar, and dance educator, who envisions her work in the field of dance as a “call to action” with a particular focus on women artists of color. She is the Artistic Director of Ananya Dance Theatre, a company of women artists of color committed to the intersection of artistic excellence and social justice ( She is also Director of the Dance Program and Professor in the Department of Theater Arts and Dance in the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

Ananya is the proud recipient of a 2011 Guggenheim Artist Fellowship for Choreography. She was named “Best Choreographer” by City Pages in 2007 and has received awards from the BIHA (Black Indian Hispanic Asian) Women In Action organization, the MN Women’s Political Caucus, and the 21 leaders for the 21st Century Award from Women’s E-News (, for her work weaving together artistic excellence, social justice, and community-building. She was honored by the Josie Johnson Social Justice and Human Rights Award at the University of Minnesota (2008).

Recent engagements include an artist residency at the New Waves Institute in Trinidad (2011), a plenary performance at the National Women’s Studies Association Conference (2010), performances at the World Dance Event at NYC’s Dance Theater Workshop (2010), the keynote address and performance at the 2009 International Conference of Pedagogy and Theater of the Oppressed (2009); teaching and performance at Bates Dance Festival (2008), performances and panel presentations at Erasing Borders Festival (NY, 2008), teaching at the American Dance Festival (2008), performances, workshops, and master classes at the O’Shaughnessey’s Women of Substance Performance Series (2008). Her most recently completed choreographic project Tushaanal/fires of dry grass (Sept 2011) was reviewed as “an intricately wrought yet wholly powerful work” that “that alternately shimmers and scorches with fervent intensity” (Star Tribune, 9/9/11) and received standing ovations from audiences.