The O’Shaughnessy Women of Substance Series
Ananya Dance Theatre presents “Roktim: Nurture Incanadine”
Ananya Dance Theatre
September 18-19, 2015 @ 7:00pm
The O’Shaughnessy at St. Catherine University
2004 Randolph Avenue, Saint Paul
Tickets: $17-$27 (discounts available)
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The O’Shaughnessy opens its 2015-16 Season with the world premiere of Roktim: Nurture Incanadine, a full-length dance concert performed by Ananya Dance Theatre (ADT) 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 7:00pm on 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.
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 Farm, Dream 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 in 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.
Tickets for Roktim are $17-$27. 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; summer business hours (through Sept. 8) are Mon.-Fri. 12-4pm; ticket office is located on the main campus of St. Catherine University at 2004 Randolph Ave., St. Paul. Tickets can be purchased online at oshag.stkate.edu.
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. Additionally, Roktim is supported by a Challenge America grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Knight Arts Challenge.
ABOUT ANANYA DANCE THEATRE (ADT)
Celebrating 11 years of linking dance and social action, Ananya Dance Theatre is a contemporary Indian dance company composed of artists of color who create performance about the extraordinary works and dreams of women around the world. ADT creates and presents people-powered dances of transformation at the intersection of artistic excellence and social justice. www.
ABOUT THE O’SHAUGHNESSY
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. www.oshag.stkate.edu