Ananya Chatterjea

Founder, Artistic Director, Choreographer, Dancer. Since 2004.

I founded ADT in my search for dance that is meaningful. I had left behind the world of classical dance, in which I had trained for years. And while I still wonder at the beauty of the classical forms, particularly of Odissi, the form in which I have trained the longest with my guru Sanjukta Panigrahi, I believe that such idealized beauty might often be hard to access. Because I feel that I can only articulate the depth of my convictions, pain, desperation, courage, and love through dance, I needed to dance in ways that allowed me to reveal the nuance of human experience. The unfolding of emotional landscapes drives my choreography. My search for a contemporary dance language, also rooted in my cultural context, lead me through the research that was ultimately compiled in the formalization of the Yorchha technique.

Some of my favorite moments in the repertoire are ensemble sections, where I can sense our shared breath, the vibrations of the floor through collective footwork, and the palpable power of the artists who dance with me. While Water to be clear must run from Mohona (2013) demanded precision and flow simultaneously, the “stick section” from Bandh (2005) asked for emotional intensity, exact spacing, and balance in togetherness. I also hold dear dancing Chalchiuhtlicue’s Rage in Mohona, where I had to channel the goddess’ rage at human greed, and unleash tremendous energy; and the Flames on Silk solo from Tushaanal (2011), where every day I was overcome with the tragedy of women murdered for greed.