Anjal Chande is a choreographer, composer, and writer, making dance-theater performances grounded in an improvisational practice and bharatanatyam roots. In 2007, Chande founded Soham Dance Space in Chicago. Her work has been presented by Sophiensaele in Berlin, the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, West Wave Festival in San Francisco, Drive East in New York, World Music Festival in Chicago, and multiple cities in India. She’s been recognized through the U.S. Fulbright Program, Ragdale Foundation, Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, and Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Anjal’s Lab Year project “This Is How I Feel Today” explores wealth inequality, intergenerational relationships, the politics of art, and the next cup of tea.
"I employ introspection as both an impetus for creation as well as a sustained tonal undercurrent in my dance-theater work. My work is grounded in stomps and rhythms of the feet and questions beneath the surface. It embraces and flows beyond Indian aesthetics to include an unexpected, unfamiliar mosaic of art that invites audiences to think and feel differently. Out of appreciation for self-reliance, I compose music and write prose to accompany my choreography, which ranges from raw to refined, from playful to pensive, and from casual to devotional.
My current practice, centered around improvisation, is about allowing the need-not-conform impulses present within my body to manifest, whether that be bharatanatyam technique, pedestrian habits, my mood or personality, or other subconscious influences. Improvisation allows disparate elements to organically emerge in spontaneous form, and as such, aligns with a spirit of research, discovery, and seeing things for what they are. My improvisational practice has allowed me to take down a structural facade, not one that was inauthentic but one that isn’t serving me anymore. This shift in artistic obligation resonates with my value for independent, critical thinking that is willing to unpack that which we take for granted."
—Anjal Chande, Artist Statement
DURING THE LAB YEAR
This Is How I Feel Today is a solo dance-theater performance that investigates how to make sense of the never-ending impulses that run through our heads, our everyday moments, and our contradictory experiences. The work is a personal peeling back of layers of privilege, complicity, convictions, and values. Through improvisational dance and storytelling, the work explores wealth inequality, the politics of art, and the next cup of tea. Chande will devote her CDF Lab Artist year toward an intensive phase of researching the dramaturgical possibilities for this evening-length show.
To see more, visit www.anjalchande.com.
Instagram/Twitter/Facebook: @anjalchande and @sohamdancespace
Photos: Kylie Bellard | Samir Mirza | Samir Mirza | Samir Mirza
Video: Wills Glasspiegel, edited by Brandon Calhoun