January 10, 2023

National Endowment for the Arts awards grants to Ananya Dance Theatre and 43 other Minnesota organizations

The National Endowment for the Arts has approved a $10,000 Grants for Arts Projects award to Ananya Dance Theatre. The grant will support the creation and production of Michhil, the company’s work of contemporary dance theater that will premiere in September 2023.

Ananya Dance Theatre is among 1,251 grantees across America, totaling $28.8 million, selected to receive this first round of 2023 funding in the Grants for Arts Projects category. The national awards include $1+ million to 44 Minnesota organizations. A complete list of grantees is here.

Michhil is contemplated as a full-length dance theater work that draws on the disruptive energies and experiences of the Covid-19 pandemic to reimagine the pristine, untouchable notion of staged concert dance and to reshape the artist-audience relationship. Structurally, Michhil juxtaposes interruption – not a globally-shared experience – and the insistent, concurrent, embodied resistance movements in BIPOC communities to lift up multiple pandemics of intersectional violence. 

Michhil builds on the hallmark of Ananya Chatterjea’s choreographic style – non-uniform ensemble dancing – and is repeatedly interrupted by invited audience members whose improvised processions take over the stage and house. Artists regroup, and the choreography restarts from a new place, proceeding through different group formations. The work concludes with an exploration of liberation as the worlds of stage performance, and audience processionals merge and emerge in different, non-oppositional adjacencies.