Our dancing, whether in performance, workshop, or rehearsal, produces Aanch, heat and desire, created when Yorchha™ fuses with Shawngram™. The elements in these dances – movement, juxtaposition and connection of stories, metaphor, conjure, and revolutionary prophecy – converge with commitment to spark the chemistry that is Aanch.
Physics (the theory of thermodynamics) reminds us that heat is produced when something is burned or when there is friction. In our work, the research on stories of injustice, struggle, love and courage cause a burning desire for access to beauty and justice resulting in choreographic responses to global issues.
Aanch also shapes our choreographic structure and performance. While a significant articulation of aanch is seen in our ensemble work, the choreography always highlights and respects the difference of body types. We commit to dancing together with precision, but not to sameness. The tension that is produced by juxtaposing difference catalyzes relationships and connections and forges heat.
This is also true of the way different stories and interpretations layer each other. For instance, in the stick section of Bandh, dancers push through space using long sticks. While the choreographic intention was to use the friction of the sticks pushing against the floor to create forward movement, one of the dancers, Kenna Cottman, interpreted it as a reflection of the Middle Passage, while another, Kayva Yang, interpreted it as the difficult journey of dispossessed communities to Taiwan. All of these interpretations intersected with each other within the choreography, highlighting our differences, and emphasizing our sharing of space in a coherent section. The distillation and vibration of difference within shared dances is Aanch.
Aanch is also desire for beauty and wholeness, particularly from the perspective of women from global communities of color. Recognizing that beauty and justice are not always easily accessible, and the fragmentation that often marks our lives, aanch articulates our desire. This is often seen in the choreographic relationships of love and connection that are staged through the work, and in the hope towards which our pieces move.