Ananya / অনন্যা চট্টোপাধ্যায় ‘s work as choreographer, dancer, and thinker brings together contemporary dance, social justice choreography, and a commitment to healing justice. She is the creator of Ananya Dance Theatre’s signature movement vocabulary, Yorchhā, and the primary architect of the company’s justice- and community-oriented choreographic methodology, Shawngrām. She is a 2011 Guggenheim Choreography Fellow, a 2012 and 2021 McKnight Choreography Fellow, a 2016 Joyce Award recipient, a 2018 UBW Choreographic Center Fellow, a 2019 Dance/USA Artist Fellow, and recipient of the 2021 A. P. Andersen Award. Her work has toured internationally to the Bethlehem International Performing Arts Festival, Palestinian Territories (2018), Crossing Boundaries Festival, Ethiopia (2015), Harare International Dance Festival, Zimbabwe (2013), New Waves Institute of Dance and Performance, Trinidad (2012), Aavejak Avaaz Festival, India (2018), and Ocean Dance Festival, Bangladesh (2019). Domestic tour venues include the Kelly Strayhorn Theater (Pittsburgh), John Michael Kohler Arts Center (Sheboygan), Dance Place (Washington), Maui Arts & Cultural Center (Maui), and Painted Bride Theater (Philadelphia), among others. In response to the Twin Cities Uprising (2020), she created the Kutumkāri (Relationship-making) Healing Movement series with a particular invitation to BIPOC women and femme healers. Ananya is Professor of Dance at the University of Minnesota where she teaches courses in Dance Studies and contemporary practice. Her second book, Heat and Alterity in Contemporary Dance: South-South Choreographies, re-framing understandings of Contemporary Dance from the perspective of dance-makers from global south locations, was published by Palgrave McMillan in November 2020.
Thomas F DeFrantz
Thomas is Professor at Northwestern University, and director of SLIPPAGE: Performance, Culture, Technology, a research group that explores emerging technology in live performance applications. He co-convened the Choreography and Corporeality working group (IFTR) from 2005-2013, and acted as President of the Society of Dance History Scholars from 2011-2014. He has taught courses in dance, gender, race, theatre, and Black studies at New York University, Yale, Stanford, Hampshire College, Hollins University, Duke University, the University of the Arts, and the University of Nice. His books include Dancing Many Drums: Excavations in African American Dance (2002), Dancing Revelations Alvin Ailey’s Embodiment of African American Culture (2004), and Black Performance Theory (2014). His creative productions include Queer Theory! An Academic Travesty, commissioned by the Theatre Offensive of Boston and the Flynn Center for the Arts, and Monk’s Mood: A Performance Meditation on the Life and Music of Thelonious Monk, performed in Botswana, France, India, South Africa, and New York City. He convenes the Black Performance Theory working group. In 2013, working with Takiyah Nur Amin, he founded the Collegium for African Diaspora Dance, a growing consortium of 350 artist-researchers that staged the conference “dancingBLACKtogether” in 2022. He recently taught at New Waves Institute in Port of Spain, the SNDO in Amsterdam, and ImPulsTanz in Vienna.