Dancer, Founding member. Since 2004.
I am a proud founding member of Ananya Dance Theatre. Joining ADT in 2004 marks a significant shift in my life. I am more connected with the Universe when I dance, because, as Maya Angelou said, “Everything in the Universe has a rhythm, everything dances.” I dance with Ananya Dance Theatre because our vision of artistic excellence and social justice speaks to how I want to be.
My favorite ADT moment was in Bandh (2005), when the ensemble of ADT women breathed and moved together on stage for the first time in history. We sat deep in chauk, our hands clasped in “turtle” in front of our chests, and our gaze focused and fierce. The magic of the moment also lay, literally, in my protruding belly: Baby Lynn moved with me in uterus. One-year-old Claire had attended almost all of our rehearsals and was getting a grip of the emerging ADT repertoire. Ananya Dance Theatre is the village that raises my children. My daughters and I have become who we are today thanks to that moment, and countless other powerful moments since then. How we see ourselves as dancers, persons, and women of color has been shaped and reshaped by the people we encounter and the community we build. Another important moment for me was performing the solo dance Ganga in Mohona (2013) with both of my daughters on stage. The presence of Claire and Lynn, 10 and 9 years of age, helped me access the joy and power of healing and transformation— the essence of Ganga.
Ananya Dance Theatre’s work fuels my passion for transformative education through critical embodied pedagogies as a Women’s Studies professor and Chair of Sociology at St. Catherine University. Spurred by ADT’s environmental trilogy (2006-2009), I have become an activist and organizer in the environmental justice movement. My journey with ADT attests to the power of politically conscious dance making as a call for action.