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Lived Experience: The Choreographies of Ananya Chatterjea and David Roussève

  • Author(s): Williams, Alessandra
  • Advisor(s): Roberts, Allen F
  • et al.

This paper shows how Ananya Chatterjea and David Roussève reinterpret their lived experiences to create choreographies about the politics of diaspora on the concert dance stage. I examine how Chatterjea's reconstruction of "classical" Indian dance forms becomes the artistic foundation of her company Ananya Dance Theatre. I analyze how Roussève reinterprets an African American blues music "tradition" to construct the thematic framework of his company REALITY. As their choreographies cross boundaries of culture, race, nation, and sexuality, I argue that their work reveals the complex histories of diasporic communities. Additionally, this paper uses the autoethnographic method to discuss how these choreographers helped me to analyze cross-cultural engagement as a collective inquiry into lived experiences. A video of the performance I created from this particular research is included as supplementary material.

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