For Department of Modern Dance Visiting Assistant Professor A’Keitha Carey, dance is more than a vehicle for entertainment; it’s a way to tell stories and stay connected to your roots. It’s also an agent for making societal change, which is an idea she explores in her doctoral research. As part of her exploration, she is launching her series Fusion: Art & Social Justice on April 21and 22 at the University of Utah.
Carey describes her research process as “rooted in ideas concerning ‘identity’ and ‘citizenship,’ questioning how marginalized bodies in colonized spaces maintain their sense of identity, whether that is expressed through language, movement, food, dress, adornment, etc. For me, the abject body, the citizen from below and beneath, one who challenges the racial, sexual, gender, and/or ethnic norm are whom I am interested in. Those voices that are silenced due to them being deemed as ‘other’ or being silenced due to their subjugated knowledge or their interest in wanting to express this identity moniker, these are the voices that my work speaks to and for.”
Because of this, it is no surprise that while she was a student, Carey became interested in renowned arts activistDr. Ananya Chatterjea. Dr. Chatterjea is a Professor of Theatre Arts & Dance at the University of Minnesota, and Artistic Director of Ananya Dance Theatre.
“As a student, I read her work and become even more familiar with her in my doctoral program; she is truly a wonderful model, illustrating how theory and practice coalesce producing educational, transformative, and transgressive works that express her theme of A Call to Action,” Carey said. “Dr. Chatterjea is an agent of change, one who’s work is premised on similar principles as mine. We are both interested in this idea of dialogue and how these conversations do in fact provide opportunities for people to ‘stand together in difference.’”
To launch Fusion: Art & Social Justice, Carey has arranged for Dr. Chatterjea to visit the University of Utah for two separate events, a performance and a lecture. Both events are free and open to the public.
Tuesday, April 21
9:40 – 11:35 am
Hayes Christensen Theatre
Marriott Center for Dance
Lecture: Thoughts on Contemporary Dance
Wednesday, April 22
2 – 3:20 pm
Hoopes Seminar Room
Marriott Library 2130N
“Through her artistry that proffers social justice and activism as recurring themes, Dr. Chatterjea reinscribes her mission ofPeople, Power, Dances of Transformation. I am beyond privileged to have this national and international luminary at the University to share, facilitate, and inspire us all,” said Carey.