August 3, 2015

Ananya Dance Theatre's world premiere: Women's roles in global food system

The O’Shaughnessy opens its 2015-16 Season with the world premiere of “Roktim: Nurture Incarnadine,” a full-length dance concert performed by Ananya Dance Theatre and collaboratively created by choreographer Ananya Chatterjea, visual artist Seitu Jones and behavioral artist Marcus Young. A Women of Substance event, “Roktim” will begin outside The O’Shaughnessy at 7pm, Friday-Saturday, September 18-19 – rain or shine. The production will also end outdoors on The O’Shaughnessy plaza. Both beginning and ending sections involve audience participation.

Ananya Chatterjea

Ananya Chatterjea • Photo V. Paul Virtucio • Design Randy Karels

Related to the performance, there will be a “Roktim” Audience Empowerment Workshop, 6:30pm-8pm, Tuesday, August 18. The free, open rehearsal takes place at the Frey Theater at St. Catherine University, next to The O’Shaughnessy, 2004 Randolph Avenue, Saint Paul.

Inspired by the Seed Sovereignty Movement and farming practices in local communities of color, the three extraordinary artists from different cultures (South Asian, African-American, and Chinese) have engaged in combining art with community organizing, weaving together artistic process and social justice. They are partnering with Frogtown FarmDream of Wild Health, and Big River Farms to produce a dance theater piece reflecting the age-old work of women who cultivate and protect land and sustainable agricultural practices.

To prepare for “Roktim,” ADT has worked alongside farmers and the farmers have participated in movement improvisations, shared stories about their relationship to the land, and inspired movement that Chatterjea is shaping into choreography.

“Roktim,” meaning “blood red” in Artistic Director Chatterjea’s native Bengali language, honors women’s emotional and blood labor to create a just and sustainable food system.

Using forms of Indian dance, yoga and martial arts, “Roktim” will be a vibrant contemporary dance with a conscience. The new piece is part of a multi-year series of full-length dances by ADT exploring the kinds of work that women around the world do to nurture and support their communities.

Young helped direct Ananya Dance Theatre’s three most recent productions, “Aahvaan: Invoking the Cities” (2015), “Neel: Blutopias of Radical Dreaming” (2014) and “Mohona: Estuaries of Desire” (2013). Chatterjea recently collaborated with Jones on “Create: The Community Meal,” a multi-media public artwork that included an outdoor civic dinner served to 2,000 people on a half-mile long table (2014). Earlier, Jones designed the sets for “Duurbaar: Journeys Into Horizon” (2006). He is designing “Roktim’s” huge epic set in collaboration with artist Anne Henly and ADT dancer Lela Pierce.

“Roktim” will also include original poems written and recorded by Heid Erdrich and Diane Wilson, and a new sound-and-music score by Greg Schutte, Chatterjea’s longtime collaborator.

This production will begin and conclude outside The O’Shaughnessy on the front patio.

For more information and tickets, contact The O’Shaughnessy Ticket Office at 651.690.6700; ticket office is located on the main campus of St. Catherine University at 2004 Randolph Avenue, St. Paul. Tickets can be purchased online at

Tier 1 $27
Tier 2 $22
Tier 3 $17
Seniors and Students receive $4 off tickets; MPR, Military, TPT members, and St. Kate’s Community (faculty, staff, alumnae) receive $2 off tickets.
Groups of 10+ save 15% off tickets. *Prices include $2 restoration fee.

The O’Shaughnessy offers large print programs, seating for individuals in wheelchairs, along with accompanying companion seating located in the same area, and holds seating for patrons who are hard of hearing or visually disabled. If you have an accessibility request, please explain it to the ticket office.




“Roktim” is supported by a Challenge America grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.





This activity is funded, in part, by an appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the State’s general fund. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.


“Roktim” is supported by a grant from the Seward Co-op Community Fund.





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