Ananya Dance Theatre: Dancing Louder Than Words


By Palak Jayswal, Arts Editor

Ananya Dance Theatre is fighting injustice through their artistic process. The Indian American group approaches the art of dancing through pieces that exude the virtues of justice and beauty. The group, comprised of women of color who are also cultural activists, strives to engage audiences with contemporary dance pieces that evoke a sense of community. In a time where there is rampant chaos and fear of embracing who you are, Ananya Dance Theatre is spreading the message that being yourself is beautiful.

The group is back on the stage with their 14th piece entitled, “Shyamali: Sprouting Words”. ‘Shyamali’ is a Bengali word that translates to ‘dark green.’ The piece explores the role dissent plays in growth and change, while simultaneously paying homage to those, women in particular, who fight injustice. It highlights the courage of those who are not willing to simply watch people be taken advantage of. It celebrates resilience in the time where resilience is all we have. According to the group’s official website, the connection to green refers to the “resilience of grass, which springs when trod upon.”

Founder Ananya Chatterjea wants the piece to evoke a sense of ‘dakini’, according to their official site. In Hinduism, ‘dakini’ is a wrathful female spirit that dances with intensity. This rage lives within the performers on stage, as well as infects members of the audience. Releasing it not only empowers chaos but relishes in the power that comes from fighting for what’s right. Chatterjea uses her choreography to show that in some cases, actions do speak louder than words. To learn more about Chatterjea and her messages through dance, visit

You can see the Ananya Dance Theatre perform at Kingsbury Hall on Saturday, Oct. 28 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. The cost is $20 per ticket for the general public, $10 for those 18 and under, and $5 for U students with an Arts Pass. Children under 6 are not allowed to attend the show.

You can order your tickets online here