Dancer/Choreographer - Transcultural Collaborator - Arts Presenter -Scholar/Writer - Cultural Activist
With a career spanning 4 decades and over 1000 performances in 15 countries, Anita is one of India's most recognized dance icons.
"I am in dance because this is my own way of connecting with myself and the world. I consider myself a contemporary classicist.
All my ideas are from traditional sources, but they can also be from readings and from nature: a lotus flower floating in a small brass vessel, a child blowing soap bubbles, even a piece of paper flying in the wind gives me inspiration.
The whole world of ideas and a host of people and their mannerisms can all be suggested by a flicker of an eyelid, a flourish of the hand and the attitude of the body. The ideas come from many sources but I use them and put them together in my own style of dance, movement and theatre techniques.
When people see my work, they can tell that it is Indian in spirit but very contemporary in approach.
Folk dancers and drummers who dance every evening after a hard day's work in the fields, traditional temple performers whose lives depend upon serving GOD during important festivals, actors who fuse movement with voice culture, young performers and students all over the world who want to learn new movement and the dynamics of cultural memories embedded into our South Asian bloodstream - these are the artistes who are the focus of my work.
I call myself a cultural activist because I believe in my culture. My culture doesn't mean just the performing arts. To me it stands for finding out about my roots and knowing who I am. And the classical arts are a very vital part of our culture.
I want to make a difference to the cultural life of India, as a performer, thinker and activist. Arangham has come a long way since 1992 but the journey just begins…" Anita Ratnam