Ananya Dance Theatre
In Shaatranga: At the Edge of New Worlds, choreographer Ananya Chatterjea uses indigo dye and blue jeans as a metaphor to explore relationships among global south communities linked by ancient Indian Ocean trade routes. Indigo, an important export and import on the ancient trade routes across Asia and Africa mirror the modern phenomena of blue jeans, whose ubiquitous presence in global commerce falls differently on colonized skin.
Meaning “seven-colored” in Chatterjea’s native Bengali language, the title asserts that global women who engage in world-making refuse to be seen in only blue – the sorrow and defeat that has historically framed them. Instead, they share their multifaceted stories that express not only their pain, but their joys, laughter, and the work they do, that goes largely unrecognized, to create positive force in their communities and the world. Stories of ancient and current global trade challenge colonial narratives and reveal the deep histories hidden inside the fabrics we wear every day.