December 8, 2022
Ananya Chatterjea (Ananya Dance Theatre photo)

RED WING, Minn. (Feb. 26, 2021) — The Anderson Center at Tower View in Red Wing, Minnesota, will honor choreographer, dancer and scholar Ananya Chatterjea with the 2021 A.P. Anderson Award for her significant contributions to the cultural and artistic life of Minnesota during an online ceremony at 7 p.m. Friday, March 26.
The hour-long virtual program on the Anderson Center’s YouTube channel includes a screening of a pre-recorded interview with Chatterjea by Anderson Center Director Stephanie Rogers, produced in the Tower View Barn by Treedome Productions, followed by an opportunity for participants to submit written questions for Ananya to answer on the live video stream.
“The breadth of Dr. Chatterjea’s accomplishments is matched only by the depth of her thought and philosophy that inform each new work and endeavor. It was a pleasure to talk with an incredible intellectual and social leader in our field, and I look forward to sharing our conversation through this year’s virtual award ceremony,” said Rogers.
Chatterjea’s work as choreographer, dancer and thinker brings together contemporary dance, social justice choreography and a commitment to healing justice. She is the artistic director of Ananya Dance Theatre, a Twin Cities-based professional dance company of BIPOC women, womxn and femme artists, and co-founder of the Shawngrām Institute for Performance and Social Justice.
Chatterjea said she is honored to receive the award and to “follow in the footsteps of so many giants.”
“It matters deeply that this is a Minnesota organization, but not located inside the Twin Cities; thus local, but not adjacent,” Chatterjea said. “It means that the consistent work I have tried to do through my work, in deepening roots and connecting to communities in the state in which I live and dance, is being recognized. This award brings prestige and an invitation to keep connecting with diverse audiences and welcoming them into the Dancing for Social Justice movement!”
Chatterjea received a 2011 Guggenheim Choreography Fellowship, 2012 McKnight Choreography Fellowship, 2015 Sage Outstanding Dance Educator Award, 2016 Joyce Foundation Award, 2018 Urban Bush Women Choreographic Fellowship and a 2019 Dance/USA Artist Fellowship.
In response to the uprising in the Twin Cities last year, she created the Kutumkāri (Relationship-making) Healing Movement series with a particular invitation to BIPOC women and femme healers.
Her second book, Heat and Alterity in Contemporary Dance: South-South Choreographiesre-framing understandings of Contemporary Dance from the perspective of choreographers from South-South communities, was published in Fall 2020 by Palgrave MacMillan.
Chatterjea is a Professor of Dance at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, where she teaches classes on Choreographing Social Justice, Dance History, and Contemporary Practice.
The annual award is named for Dr. Alexander P. Anderson, who invented the process for creating Quaker Puffed Rice and Puffed Wheat cereals. An educator, botanist, writer and naturalist, Anderson built Tower View Estate, which today is stewarded by the Anderson Center who operates the historic site as a hub to develop, foster and promote creative endeavors and the exchange of ideas.
Past recipients include dancer/educator Larry Yazzie, actor/director Lou Bellamy, sculptor/architect Siah Armajani, poets Robert Bly and William Duffy, photographer Jim Brandenburg and storyteller Kevin Kling.
The interview will be close-captioned. ASL interpretation for the Q&A will be available upon request. To request interpretation, please contact Stephanie at [email protected] or 651-388-2009 by March 12.
This exhibit is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

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