August 8, 2019

Exciting, dynamic Sutrajāl debuts at The O'Shaughnessy, Sept. 20-21

Ananya Dance Theatre (ADT), the leading creator of contemporary Indian dance in the global arts and social justice movement, brings a seventh, inspiring production and collaboration to The O’Shaughnessy on Friday-Saturday, September 20-21, 7:30pm, as part of the Women of Substance series. They’ll unravel time and unwritten histories in Sutrajāl: Revelations of Gossamer as a poet, one of the few surviving humans in an imagined Broken City, bears witness. 

In this compelling dance performance, the narrative centers on the life-forms that flicker in and out in the circuitous streets and despair-laden corners of the Broken City. Who were the folks who danced all night at the Global Feminist Funk Underground Club, now haunted and empty? Who were the people who lived their lives fully here before they disappeared? How did they labor? Love?

Throughout Sutrajāl, the artists of ADT connect their performance with a philosophy of social justice, creating original dance theater about the extraordinary work and dreams of women around the world, and to inspire audiences through visual and emotional engagement. 

Sutrajāl (which means “network of connections” in Bengali) is conceived and choreographed by ADT Founder Ananya Chatterjea in collaboration with the artists of ADT, Stage Director Marcus Young, and with support of guest artists Tish Jones and Douglas R. Ewart, and guest dramaturg Sharon Bridgforth. Her creative team includes Renée Copeland (sound design and score composition), Kevin A. Jones (lighting design), Annie Cady (costume design), and Chelsea M. Warren (scenic design).

A free Audience Empowerment Workshop will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 3, 7pm-8:30pm, at the Shawngram Institute for Performance & Social Justice, 1197 University Avenue West, Saint Paul. ADT dancers will demonstrate and discuss excerpts from Sutrajāl, with an opportunity for attendees to then join the dancers in making movement together. Reservations are requested at

Tickets for Sutrajāl are $19-$32. There are discounts for groups, students, seniors, MPR and TPT members, and military. For more information and tickets, contact The O’Shaughnessy Ticket Office at 651-690-6700 or online at The O’Shaughnessy at St. Catherine University is located at 2004 Randolph Ave., Saint Paul.


Celebrating 15 years of linking dance and social action, Ananya Dance Theatre is a dance company composed of women artists of color who create People Powered Dances of Transformation™ at the intersection of artistic excellence and social justice. Their contemporary dance technique, Yorchha, draws on Classical Odissi, Vinyasa Yoga, and the martial art Chhau. Dancers and collaborators represent many cultural communities in Minnesota: South Asian, Chinese, Hmong, African American, Pacific Islander, Latinx, and mixed race. The ensemble’s composition as “women of color” is crucial, yet nuanced, including queer men of color and trans women of color. The company premieres one major work annually, and offers touring performances, classes, workshops, and dialogues. ADT is based at the Shawngram Institute for Performance & Social Justice, a women of color-centered space of embodied practice, located at 1197 University Ave. W. in Saint Paul. 


Located on the scenic main campus of St. Catherine University, The O’Shaughnessy is one of the Twin Cities’ premiere venues for showcasing the arts. Since opening in 1970, The O’Shaughnessy has presented a dazzling array of both local and national performing arts companies, including the Minnesota Orchestra, The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, James Sewell Ballet, TU Dance, The Indigo Girls, Joan Baez and countless others. In addition, the venue hosts public events, student and community performances and features multicultural programming with an emphasis on dance, music and theater. Known for its dedication to artistic development and collaboration, the venue has premiered over 400 new works by local and national artists. The O’Shaughnessy is the home of the Women of Substance series, which showcases the artistry and innovative work of women, both prominent and emerging in their fields, whose voices need to be heard.


For more than 20 years, the Women of Substance series has showcased women’s ideas, amplified their voices and honored their places on life’s stage. These artists, thinkers and change-makers challenge the status quo, make audiences to look at the world in new ways, and instill a deeper understanding of self, purpose and action. Through art and ideas, the series ignites women’s innate power, consciousness and sense of justice, motivating and inspiring others to take action and lead lives of substance. The Women of Substance Festival magnifies the mission, values and spirit of St. Catherine’s University.

Sutrajāl is supported by an Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts; the Ford Foundation; The MAP Fund, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the McKnight Foundation; and the Imagine FundSutrajāl  was developed with support from the Urban Bush Women Choreographic Center Initiative funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Ford Foundation. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Metro Regional Arts Council and the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.