Dancers

Ananya Chatterjea

Founder, Artistic Director, Choreographer, Dancer. Since 2004. Leader, Shawngram Institute for Performance & Social Justice since 2018.

Ananya Chatterjea/ অনন্যা চট্টোপাধ্যায় ‘s work as choreographer, dancer, and thinker brings together Contemporary Dance, social justice choreography, and a commitment to healing justice. She is the creator of ADT’s signature movement vocabulary, Yorchhā, and the primary architect of the

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Hui Nui Wilcox

Dancer, Founding member. 2004-2020.

Hui Niu Wilcox, Ph.D., has been moving and thinking with Ananya Dance Theatre since 2004. She is a Professor and Chair of Sociology at St. Catherine University. She also teaches in Women’s Studies and Critical Studies of Race/Ethnicity. Hui is grateful for the privilege of engaging in activism through dance, and for the loving support of her family and friends, especially Elliot, Claire, and Lynn. Hui is co-editor,

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Kealoha Ferreira

Dancer since 2013. Artistic Associate. Co-Leader, Shawngram Institute for Performance & Social Justice since 2018.

Kealoha Ferreira is a Native Hawaiian, Filipino, and Chinese dance artist from Oʻahu, Hawaii now residing in Mni Sota Makoce. Interweaving the embodied, transnational feminist practices of Yorchhā and Aloha ʻĀina, she creates work that explores relationality, reclamation, and continuum through an

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Alessandra Lebea Williams

Dancer 2007, 2009, 2015-present

Alessandra Lebea Williams, a dancer-scholar and assistant professor of dance at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, researches choreography, Asian and African American culture, and gender and queer theory. She has been awarded fellowships including the Inclusive Excellence Fellowship (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater 2018-2019), Eugene V. Cota-Robles Fellowship (University of California, Los Angeles 2010–2014),

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Alexandra Eady

Dancer 2011-2014, 2017-present. Rehearsal Assistant 2021.

Alexandra Eady entered into the space of Ananya Dance Theatre at the age of 16. The company’s commitment to social justice and intentional choreographic creations are what fuel her performance onstage. Alexandra teaches Yorchha workshops and master classes in schools across the Twin Cities metro area as well as nationally and internationally while on tour with the company. In 2020,

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Lizzette Chapa

Dancer since 2017.

Lizzette Chapa is a Mexican-American dancer and dance maker originally from The Rio Grande Valley, Texas, now residing in Mni Sota. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BFA in Dance in 2017. She is deeply drawn to the company's commitment to social justice issues, radical healing, and ancestral guidance. She is currently a movement instructor in the Twin Cities, utilizing the principles of

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Laichee Yang

Dancer since 2018. Graphic Designer since 2018.

Laichee Yang is a multi-disciplinary designer and artist who makes drawings, graphics, interactive installations, and photographs for digital and physical spaces. She is honored to have worked with organizations that include Ananya Dance Theatre, Indigenous Roots, Brownbody, and Fendika Cultural Center. Laichee is currently a master of architecture student at the University of Minnesota.

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Noelle Awadallah

Dancer since 2019. Assistant Stage Manager 2019.

Noelle Awadallah نوال  is a Palestinian-American improviser, performer, and dance maker who resides in Mni Sota. She graduated from Columbia College Chicago in 2018 with a BFA in dance. She joined Ananya Dance Theatre in 2019 and since has been fueled by the company's unwavering dedication to social justice issues and storytelling. Her personal

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Parisha Rajbhandari

Dancer since 2020.

Parisha Rajbhandari (she/her) is a Newari-Nepali dance artist residing in Mni Sota. Parisha explores movement through her Newa identity interconnected with multiple folk-dance traditions in Nepal. She grew up immersed in social dances and continues to participate and learn through the social dance community in the Twin Cities. She received her BA in dance from Minnesota State University, Mankato in 2020, and is furthering

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Alexis Araminta Reneé

Dancer 2021.

Alexis Araminta Reneé, affectionately referred to as Aloka, is a multiethnic Black and Brown identified visual artist, scholar, performer, choreographer and conjure woman bridging the divides between community healer, concert dance, theater, and film. Alexis creates interdisciplinary work that centers ritual, healing and social justice as  transformative liberation practices. She has studied, performed, and presented work

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Annielille (Ani) Gavino

Dancer 2021.

Annielille Gavino (she/they/siya) is a Filipinx, multidisciplinary movement-based storyteller, dance maker, and cultural worker. Ani uses dance, film, and literature as vessels for inscription, community engagement, resistance, and spiritual journeys. Her work has been supported by The MAP Fund, Leeway Foundation, Scribe Film, National Performance Network, Velocity Fund, Small But Mighty Arts, Painted Bride,

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Erica Jo Vibar Sherwood

Dancer 2021.

Erica Jo Vibar Sherwood is a queer, mixed Midwest Chicana with several generations of family connections to Mnisota Makoce. A community trained dance artist, Erica Jo’s movement is rooted in the teachings of her former Mexica Danza group, Kalpulli Yaocenoxtli, the Street and Club dance scene of the Twin Cities, and Yorchha. Her artistry is her healing as it centers stories of solidarity, ancestral

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Orlando Hunter

Dancer 2012-2013, 2019

Orlando Hunter is a choreographer who researches, illustrates and creates from an African-American male perspective. In his work he tackles issues resulting from a capitalistic imperialist patriarchal white supremacist system. Hunter grew up dancing hip-hop and graduated with a BFA in Dance from Univ. of Minnesota, where he performed works by Donald Byrd, Bill T. Jones, Carl Flink, Louis Falco,

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Marcus Young

Stage Director since 2013

Marcus Young 楊墨 is a behavioral and social practice artist making work for the stage, museums, and the public realm. He is a recipient of awards from the McKnight, Bush, and Jerome Foundations. He is founding artistic director for Don’t You Feel It Too? — an ongoing participatory street dance practice of social healing and inner-life liberation.

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Staff

Gary Peterson

Managing Director and Board Secretary

Gary Peterson has been a part of Minnesota’s dance community for 40 years. In addition to his work as managing director of Ananya Dance Theatre and research collaborator with Dr. Ananya Chatterjea, he has served as dance student, consultant, and as executive director of James Sewell Ballet, Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre, Zenon Dance Company, and the Southern Theater. He has

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Emma Marlar

Production Manager

Emma Marlar, originally from Kenosha, WI, resides in the Minneapolis area, balancing a career in the performance, creation, and technical aspects of dance. Since graduating from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities with a BFA in Dance in 2016, she has made space and taken on work that allows her to support others, spark conversation, create collaboratively, and pursue endless

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Board

Gina Kundan

Director and President

I am a founding member of ADT, so I have been around a long time and I have witnessed tremendous growth and maturity within this dance company. I see infinite possibilities in ADT’s future. ADT's work is crucially important – truly like no other – because it remains rooted in social justice and artistic excellence while also blazing new trails and challenging the often narrow and exclusionary concepts

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David Mura

Director and Vice President

I am the vice-president of the board for ADT. I have been on the board for over a year and a half. From the first time I saw the dancers of ADT, I have been impressed by their skills, technical expertise, and the beauty and passion of their work. What particularly draws me to ADT is the originality of their dance and the necessity of the vision embodied in that dance.

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Robert Lynn

Director and Treasurer

I first encountered ADT in 2004, when I was asked to prepare its application for tax exemption. I'm a CPA and - more recently - an attorney. A professional acquaintance who was then on the Board sought me out because nonprofits' tax compliance is one of my main practice areas. I've prepared the organization's tax filings ever since, through several changes in my own working life.

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Divya Karan

Director

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Sherie Apungu

Director

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Irna Landrum

Director

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E. Gaynell Sherrod, Ed.D.

Director

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Collaborators

Spirit McIntyre

Composer, Musician, Vocalist

Spirit McIntyre (spirit/they/them) is a Cellist, Vocalist, Lyricist, Reiki Practitioner, Compassionate Facilitator, and Visual Artist who promotes empowerment and healing by any medium necessary. They believe in: the importance of breath, the power of deep listening, holding space for complex emotions, healing intergenerational trauma, honoring lovability, and growing compassionately through

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Sharon Bridgforth

Dramaturg

Sharon Bridgforth, a Doris Duke Performing Artist, is a writer that creates ritual/jazz theatre. A New Dramatists alumnae, Sharon has received support from Whitman Institute, Creative Capital, MAP Fund, and the National Performance Network. Her work has been featured at: New York’s SummerStage Festival; Rites and Reason Theatre’s Black Lavender Experience at Brown University and

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Tish Jones

Spoken Word Artist

Founder & Executive Director of TruArtSpeaks, Tish Jones is a poet, performer, educator and organizer from Saint Paul, Minnesota. She has performed at CBGB, Kaplan Theater, The Walker Art Center, Intermedia Arts, The Cedar Cultural Center and more. Her work can be found in the Minnesota Humanities Center's anthology entitled, Blues Vision: African American Writing from Minnesota (Minnesota Historical

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Andrea (Queen Drea) Reynolds

Sound Designer, Vocalist

Andrea (Queen Drea) Reynolds, recipient of a 2017 Minnesota Emerging Composer Award administered by the American Composers Forum, is a vocalist, performance, and soundscape artist whose pieces are often conceived and created under the auspices of improvisational settings. Queen Drea has created work about depression in the Black community for Intermedia Arts, and about the

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Douglas R. Ewart

Instrumental Musician

The polymathic Douglas R. Ewart has been honored for his work as a composer, improvising multi-instrumentalist, conceptual artist, sculptor, mask and instrument designer, builder and more. As an educator, Ewart bridges his kaleidoscopic activities with a vision that opposes today’s divided world by culture-fusing works that aim to restore the wholeness of communities and their members,

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Pooja Goswami Pavan, Ph.D.

Hindustani Vocalist

Dr. Pooja Goswami Pavan is a Minneapolis-based performer, composer, teacher, and scholar of Hindustani (North Indian classical) vocal music. She received her early training in Hindustani classical vocal music from her father, Pandit Surendra Goswami, and later from Prof. Ajit Singh Paintal. Currently, she receives training in Khayal from her elder bother, Dr. Shailendra Goswami. Pooja earned a Ph.D. in

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Chelsea Warren

Scenic Designer

Chelsea M. Warren is a multidisciplinary theater artist with a focus on scenic and puppet design with an equal interest in both traditional and devised creation processes. This is her third project with Ananya Dance Theatre; previous works include Shaatranga, and Sutrajal. Having grown up in the Adirondack Mountains, Chelsea is drawn to robust, elemental stage pictures and is

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Kevin A. Jones

Lighting Designer

Kevin A. Jones has worked in the professional dance and theater community for nearly 40 years. He was resident lighting designer and production manager for James Sewell Ballet for 20 years. His designs have illuminated internationally acclaimed ballets such as Moving Works, Barrage, Appalachia Waltz, Your Move, and Guy Noir: The Ballet. Jones designed for Minnesota Dance Theatre, CAAM Dance, SOLO, The McKnight Dance Fellows, and many

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Annie Cady

Costume Designer

Annie Cady holds an MFA degree in Theatre Design and Technology from the University of Minnesota, and a BA in Theatre Arts from Simpson College. Her professional design credits include productions for Children’s Theatre Company, Normandale Community College, Commonweal Theatre, Ten Thousand Things, Jungle Theatre, Black Label Movement, Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company, AMP, and Threads Dance Company. http://www.anniecady.com/ 

Darren Johnson

Filmmaker

Darren Johnson is proud to have collaborated with Ananya Dance Theater for more than 15 years, traveling from Kolkata to Maui with interdisciplinary projects.  A writer and video producer whose work runs the gamut from documentary to experimental, he has tackled tough issues like implicit bias and diversity in the legal profession; aided and spotlighted innovation in the arts; and is currently producing a documentary about ADT, finishing a spoken word audiobook, and

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Dameun Strange

Composer/Sound Designer

Dameun Strange is a sound artist, multi-instrumentalist, and composer whose conceptual chamber works, choral pieces, and operas are focused on stories of the African diaspora, often exploring afrofuturist themes. Strange is compelled to express through sound, music, and poetry, the beauty and resilience of the Black experience, digging into a pantheon of ancestors to tell stories of triumph while connecting the past, present, and future. His sound

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Greg Schutte

Composer/Sound Designer

Greg Schutte is a composer, drummer, producer, and sound designer. As a touring drummer, Schutte currently plays with Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter Ryan Bingham. He has performed nationally and internationally with a variety of other artists, including Chastity Brown, Todd Clouser's A Love Electric, The Hornheads, Jelloslave, Lori Line, Anthony Cox, Empire Brass, Chuchito Valdez, Bernard Allison, and more. He performed on

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Michelle Kinney

Musician

Michelle Kinney, cellist, serves as Musician In Residence on the faculty of the University of Minnesota Dance Program. She holds a BA in cello performance, composition, and ethnomusicology/jazz studies from Northwestern University, and an MA in Performance Studies from New York University. Michelle is a grateful recipient of a 2014 McKnight Fellowship in Composition and a MRAC Next Step Fund Award. Her career has also been supported by the Bush Foundation, American

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