"Dance Allows Me to Touch the Deepest of Human Sorrows and Joys"
I often think I came to dance because it was the accumulated desire of generations. I heard stories that my grandmother, whom I never met, loved dance but held that secret close to her heart. A generation later, my mother found dancing magical, but growing up in a large, joint family at a time when India was rocked by the anti-colonial independence movement denied her opportunities to train. When I was born, my parents struggled to afford for me to dance. But despite economic barriers, I was determined to journey in it.
The gifts of dance practice are many: Precision, discipline, patience and humility are often talked about. Yet, if dancing were to be all about holding sculpturesque balances forever, or executing fast footwork, it would be difficult to sustain over the years. As a social-justice choreographer, I dance because it allows me to touch, metaphorically, the deepest of human sorrows and joys, to articulate often overlooked stories from global communities of women of color. For instance, when I dance in memory of 8-year-old Asifa Bano, brutally murdered in Kashmir in 2018, every cell of my body reverberates with her pain and enables me to hold up her story to light. At those moments, when I am most deeply inside my body, dancing expands my spirit, and I receive its greatest gift: to be connected to energies larger than myself, to the humanity I share with others.
Chatterjea in Mohona: Estuaries of Desire.
Paul Virtucio, Courtesy Ananya Dance Theatre
Dancing's demands have kept me humble. I have failed, I have sustained injuries, and I have learned to never take it for granted. My life has been about dancing at the crossroads of classical line and the passionate articulation of community organizing and justice advocacy. From my gurus and teachers, I have learned meticulous attention to detail in craft, and the rigor necessary to transform technique into artistry. From the community activists, who organized daily performances of street theater, I learned to cultivate energetic presence, bring urgency to every gesture and engage audiences with my gaze. To track all of this complexity while dancing means I have to be 100 percent present. And I thank dancing for this challenge, and for giving me the experience of being alive at every nerve ending.
What do Percy Jackson, Princess Diana and Tina Turner have in common? They're all characters on Broadway this season. Throw in Michelle Dorrance's choreographic debut, Henry VIII's six diva-licious wives and the 1990s angst of Alanis Morissette, and the 2019–20 season is shaping up to be an exciting mix of past-meets-pop-culture-present.
Here's a look at the musicals hitting Broadway in the coming months. We're biding our time until opening night!
If you think becoming a trainee or apprentice is the only path to gaining experience in a dance company environment, think again.
The University of Arizona, located in the heart of Tucson, acclimates dancers to the pace and rigor of company life while offering all the academic opportunities of a globally-ranked university. If you're looking to get a head-start on your professional dance career—or to just have a college experience that balances company-level training and repertory with rigorous academics—the University of Arizona's undergraduate and graduate programs have myriad opportunites to offer:
Yes, we realize it's only August. But we can't help but to already be musing about all the incredible dance happenings of 2019.
We're getting ready for our annual Readers' Choice feature, and we want to hear from you about the shows you can't stop thinking about, the dance videos that blew your mind and the artists you discovered this year who everyone should know about.
Ah, stretching. It seems so simple, and is yet so complicated.
For example: You don't want to overstretch, but you're not going to see results if you don't stretch enough. You want to focus on areas where you're tight, but you also can't neglect other areas or else you'll be imbalanced. You were taught to hold static stretches growing up, but now everyone is telling you never to hold a stretch longer than a few seconds?
Considering how important stretching correctly is for dancers, it's easy to get confused or overwhelmed. So we came up with 10 common stretching scenarios, and gave you the expert low-down.