India-Tour Cast: Wendy Jehlen, DeAnna Pellecchia, Pradhuman Nayak, Terra Weaver, Mila Thigpen, Neva Cockrell, Maki Somekawa, Eun Jung Kim
Technical Director: Jayne Murphy
In a rapidly shrinking world, it is essential that we come to understand each other's cultures and find commonalities in the tremendous diversity of the societies in which we live. As artists, we strive toward this understanding through sharing our stories with our audiences.
In January 2011, ANIKAI Dance embarked on one of the most extensive tours of India by any U.S. dance company in almost 100 years. ANIKAI's eight dancers performed to sold-out audiences in Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Pondicherry, Cochin, Thrissur and Hyderabad. For the people of India to see physically strong, powerful women take the stage and perform viscerally charged, athletic choreography was a cultural ground-breaking of enormous proportion. ANIKAI made front page news in each and every city. Director Wendy Jehlen in collaboration with company members DeAnna Pellecchia and Mila Thigpen also led workshops at John Britto's Dance Studio in Chennai, Vimala College (an all-women's college) in Thrissur, drama schools at Pondicherry University and University of Calicut, elementary schools in Hyderabad and Cochin, and a cultural center for impoverished children in Thalilulam, a fishing community in Kerala. The tour was supported by scores of Indian organizations, companies and Indian goverment agencies, as well as the US Consulate General of Chennai. It was also funded by our generous friends, family and fans in the US, Japan and Latvia. ANIKAI dancers and crew visited amazing landscapes, met incredible people and had the experience of a lifetime.
DeAnna Pellecchia |dancer, rehearsal director, founding member WHAT THIS TOUR IS ABOUT TO ME: eating lots of curry. seeing the taj mahal. seeing the vast capacity of my art and knowing that it is so much bigger than me. seeing the moon from the other side. seeing women who have been forsaken and forgotten, smile and cut a rug. bringing joy. bringing my own starbucks coffee. bringin it. entertaining audiences. changing perceptions. changing time zones. changing lives, others and my own. changing clothes, many times a day. defying stereotypes. defying the odds. defying the need for sleep, and air-conditioning. creating wonder. creating a piece of history. creating an inventive way of washing my clothes. signing autographs. signing away the idea that there is anything that separates me from anyone else. dancing my ass off. hugging strangers. relishing hot showers. traveling in planes, trains, tour-buses and automobiles. trusting the unfamiliar. bearing witness. kicking pman’s ass. drop-kicking cultural boundaries. teaching what little I know. learning what the world has to offer. being the pebble. being a ninja. being not in boston in january. being a superstar. being a foreigner. being humbled by beauty. and poverty. being the person who makes our stage manager laugh when she wants to scream and cry (you know I can jayne!). being an ambassador - for my country, for my art, for woman kind. making kids smile. making people think. making myself re-consider what I think I know. making my family proud. making space for possibility. making the world better. one dance. at a time. boo-ya.
JANUARY 10 - Company departs from the U.S. JANUARY 11 - Company arrives in Delhi JANUARY 14 - SHOW at National School of Drama Festival, Delhi JANUARY 15 -TRAVEL by plane to Chennai JANUARY 16 - SHOW at National School of Drama Festival, Chennai JANUARY 17 - REST in Chennai JANUARY 18 - TRAVEL by bus to Pondicherry JANUARY 18 - WORKSHOP at John Britto's Dance Studio, Chennai JANUARY 19 - WORKSHOP Pondicherry University JANUARY 19 - SHOW Pondicherry University Convention Center JANUARY 20 - TRAVEL by bus to Bangalore JANUARY 21 - PRESS CONFERENCE in Bangalore JANUARY 21 - 23 - SHOWS at Chowdaya Memorial Hall in Bangalore *CANCELLED DUE TO GENERAL STRIKE JANUARY 24 - TRAVEL by train to Kerala JANUARY 26 - SHOW at Jose Thomas Performing Arts Center in Kochi, Kerala JANUARY 27 - PRESS CONFERENCE in Thrissur, Kerala JANUARY 28 - WORKSHOP at Vimala College in Thrissur, Kerala JANUARY 29 - WORKSHOP for impoverished children in Thalilulam, Kerala JANUARY 30 & 31 - WORKSHOPS for actors at University of Calicut in Thrissur, Kerala JANUARY 31 - SHOW at University of Calicut FEBRUARY 1 - TRAVEL by plane to Hyderabad FEBRUARY 2 & 3 - SHOWS at Abhinaya Theater in Hyderabad FEBRUARY 4 - TRAVEL by plane to Bangalore FEBRUARY 5 & 6 - SHOWS at Alliance Francaise in Bangalore FEBRUARY 7 - TRAVEL by plane to Delhi FEBRUARY 7 - Company departs from Delhi FEBRUARY 8 - Company returns to the U.S.